Politics & Policy

Senator Wyden Must Resign

Sen. Ron Wyden (Reuters photo: Mike Theiler)
‘O tempora, o mores’

I have disagreed with Senator Ron Wyden on practically every political question there is, but he always has struck me as a decent and honest man, and so it is with a heavy heart that I write these words: Senator Wyden must resign his seat in light of disturbing new information about his past that has come to light.

The shocking revelation: Senator Wyden has been, for more than a decade, a willing accomplice to a plot to undermine the American political order and to overthrow the Constitution by infiltrating agents of radicalism into the highest reaches of the federal judiciary.

The nefariousness of this undertaking cannot be overstated. The monsters advanced to positions of power with Senator Wyden’s assistance include dangerous extremists whose ideology “represents a breathtaking retreat from the notion that Americans have fundamental Constitutional rights.” His agents take “a very dangerous view to our liberty” that “harkens back to the days when politicians restricted a people’s rights on a whim.”

Wyden’s anti-constitutional conspiracy “is couched in the sort of jurisprudence that justified the horrific oppression of one group after another in our first two centuries.”

Horrific.

I refer, of course, to his longtime support of Neil Gorsuch.

Judge Gorsuch, who has been nominated by President Donald Trump to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court, may be unknown to Americans who do not follow the affairs of the judiciary with any great interest, but this monster — Wyden’s own characterization of him is what is quoted above — is hardly unknown in the halls of power. In fact, this atavistic beast, who would strip us not only of our constitutional rights but of our human dignity if given half a chance, was up for a confirmation vote as recently as 2006, when he was named to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, one of the most powerful and prestigious of the federal benches.

But a curious thing happened in 2006. In spite of Judge Gorsuch’s obvious extremism, the danger he presents to the lives and liberties of every American, and his manifest unfitness to hold any federal judicial seat, he was confirmed.

He was confirmed unanimously.

Senator Wyden could not stir himself to vote against this human horror, whose defects are so obvious and so well-documented. Neither could Gorsuch’s classmate from Harvard Law, Senator Obama. Senator Dick Durbin knuckled under to the unanimous decision, as did Senator Debbie Stabenow, Senator Chuck Schumer, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (remember her?), Senator Barbara Boxer, Senator Harry Reid, Senator Patty Murray, Senator Patrick Leahy, Senator John Kerry, even the late Senator Ted Kennedy.

And, of course, there was Senator Wyden, who now has turned against his former confederate.

Not one Democrat could stir himself to cast a vote against this menace to all we hold dear.

There are only a few possibilities that could explain this. The first is that Senator Wyden is so negligent in his duties, so incompetent, so mentally unfit for office that it simply escaped his notice that he was helping to advance the judicial career of a Constitution-killer such as Gorsuch. But that seems to me unlikely — Senator Wyden is many things, but he is not an utterly blind, deaf, and illiterate fool. The second possibility is that Senator Wyden is simply a coward and an opportunist who is interested in Gorsuch now only because the election of Donald Trump has riled up his constituents and donors, and Supreme Court votes make headlines that appellate-court confirmations do not. But it would be a disservice to the intellectual depth of Senator Wyden to believe such a thing. No, that is unthinkable.

If Gorsuch is what Senator Wyden says he is today, then that is what he was in 2006.

But if we reject the possibility that he is simply a fool or a self-seeking political miscreant, then Senator Wyden must be a villain, one who knowingly and with malice aforethought helped maneuver Gorsuch onto the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, where he marinated in his own malevolence and awaited his eventual elevation to the Supreme Court.

And so, Senator Wyden must resign.

In fact, if Senator Wyden remains in office — or Senator Schumer, or Senator Murray, or any of the others who went along with Gorsuch’s unanimous confirmation — then it will be impossible to take seriously the Democrats’ current objections to the nominee, i.e., that he is a uniquely unqualified candidate with a borderline sociopathic style of jurisprudence that would make serfs of us all. Not since Cicero confronted Catiline has a senate seen such a heinous plot or required more dedicated action.

If Gorsuch is what Senator Wyden says he is today, then that is what he was in 2006, when every Democrat in the Senate signed off on his nomination.

But such are “The Difficulties of a Statesman,” and we all know how that philippic ends:

Resign. Resign. Resign.

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