President Obama frustrated many of his most loyal supporters by nominating (in March 2016) a “safe” choice to the Supreme Court. Merrick Garland was (and still is) widely recognized an eminently qualified and representative of the mainstream of American legal thought. Obama neglected to account for the cynical nature of the GOP.

The shame of that action is not forgotten and inescapably affects confirmation proceedings underway in the Senate.

President Trump’s choice is very different. Neil Gorsuch appears to be respectable and broadly qualified for the position. His demonstrated values, however, are far outside the mainstream of American citizens. His tenure promises further erosion of civil rights under the law and support for the corrupting influence of dark money into political institutions.

Gorsuch’s liabilities make it unlikely that he will receive the traditional 60-vote margin in the Senate, which leaves me wondering whether the GOP leadership will decide to abandon rules, tradition and precedent to ensure his installation. That would be, in a word, shameful.

The case for the “nuclear option” is limited — to support Donald Trump.

Mainers elected their senators to represent the interests of their state, this country, and its citizens. The people did not elect those senators to promote the political career of a disgusting and shameful TV personality who threatens everything people hold dear.

The people are watching and waiting. In the end, history will be the judge.

Daniel Simonds, Rangeley

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