Blessed are the not so pure

There is a kind of purity that is not pure: partisan purity, which bears no resemblance to the purity of the Sermon on the Mount, “Blessed are the pure in heart . . . .”

The U.S. Senate is poorer today because of partisan purity on both sides of the political aisle. Politics is a brutal game made more civil by rules that seek to set boundaries on partisan purity. The 60-40 rule was one of those long-standing Senate rules that helped insure some measure of long-term wisdom by the 100 members of the U.S. Senate.

The onus of responsibility for weakening the Senate – lowering the bar for simple majority votes on matters once believed to be of such gravity as to require a higher threshold – falls to both purist parties. The one for pushing the envelope knowing the consequences, the other for rescinding the rule. From now on, whichever party is in the majority shall rule without restraint.

The Constitution of the Presbyterian Church (USA) asks officers to promise “to further the peace, purity, and unity” of the church in recognition that though, in an ideal world, peace, purity, and unity are in accord, they are often in conflict in the real world.

This week the U.S. Senate exercised a different kind of purity that violates all three values – peace and unity, as well as purity – leaving the country the poorer in restraint and wisdom.

Blessed are the not so pure.


  • Gordon C. Stewart, Chaska, MN, April 7, 2017.



4 thoughts on “Blessed are the not so pure

  1. Though I think it’s possible at least some Democrats really thought that public pressure might kill the nomination if given time for it to mount; or that Senate Republicans would not exercise the nuclear option in fear of the possibility of a future Democratic majority. That they went ahead makes me greatly fear that a few months before the next election there will be a very convenient terrorist incident allowing Dolt 45 to declare martial law and postpone (indefinitely) elections. This would be ridiculously obvious, but 45 has never shown much (any) subtlety.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I felt the Democratic minority in the Senate needlessly used up some of it increasing political capital. The opposition to Gorsuch looked to many people like the mirror image of Republican obstruction during the Obama Administration. There were a few cooler heads on both sides of the aisle, but petulance and party purity pay little heed to them. Politics and war are two different things, or, they’re meant to be different. Politics is the art of compromise. War is winner-take-all. I’m in no way surprised by McConnell. It disheartens me that the Democratic leadership acted in a way that is penny wise and pound foolish for the future of the U.S. Senate. There could be no question that the next nominee would be no better and likely worse than the first. Wiser heads should have prevailed against the urge to play to the loyal base of the party.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Please take this with a grain of charity for a very seriously depressed Democratic Socialist.

        In any of the time during which I was aware of politics from, say, 1950 to 2000, I agree fully. Politics is the art of compromise. But beginning around 2000, and increasing by several orders of magnitude since 2008, a compromise, as far as Republicans were concerned, became “you Democrats do it our way, to our goals, and we will let you.” They simply did not compromise. Period. Nor are they any more willing to compromise now. Their success is shown by the enormous extent to which America has shifted to the right — Republican President Eisenhower today would be considered a liberal Democrat. Certainly President Obama, in so far as he was allowed to govern, did so a fair piece to the right of Eisenhower.

        Concerning Supreme Court Judge (unlikely to be a Justice) Gorsuch, there are factors that I think were worth the attempt to deny him the seat. Among those factors are 1) it really was stolen from President Obama and from this country; Obama’s nominee was highly praised by many Republicans before Obama nominated him, and after could not get the courtesy of a hearing from those same Republicans (again, NO compromise, though Obama could have found a more liberal judge he compromised, they did not), and 2) he (Gorsuch) has made several very troubling rulings in the past, particularly ruling routinely for corporations and against individuals. Again, the Republicans could have found a more acceptable nominee, but they pushed this one through. No compromise.

        Again, I apologize for being rather contentious just now. I probably should have waited for the worst to go away and then written.


        • Good Morning to you, CA, my favorite fellow Democratic Socialist charitable-in-distress friend!

          I agree with all you’ve said re: the Republican Party and all the history of obstruction and petulant insistence on my way or the highway, including the GOP’s refusal to hold a single hearing for the Supreme Court nominee who was an acceptable candidate (except for the fact that he was nominated by President Obama, whose success Mitch McConnell had pledged to destroy).

          Having said all of that, IMHO, when it came down to the wire with the Gorsuch nomination – and when it became clear that the Republican majority would use the nuclear option, the opposition (which represents your view and mine) did a very foolish thing: they were neither peaceful like a dove nor wise like a serpent. They mistakenly decided to stand firm for principle – more for show than for governing successfully into the future – and their potential for being in the game from now on was eaten by the snake. That’s not smart! That’s foolish. Take it right up the end, but don’t feed the snake. It will swallow your future. Stick to your guns (okay, we don’t have guns; all we have is water pistols and cap-guns 🙄 and we hate guns of any kind anyway), but when you’re facing a temporary defeat, back off, re-group lest you go down in a blazing defeat. That’s what they did. And who Ruth Bader-Ginsburg leaves the court…. Not good!

          Liked by 1 person

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