Imagine that another terrorist attack occurs before a new director is named. In that case, we can expect lawmakers to howl about why we were unprepared. They?d surely call for hearings and demand that heads roll. They?d conveniently ignore the fact that their own partisan gamesmanship contributed to keeping us unprepared.
Partisan politics also have hijacked the judicial nomination process. A handful of senators are blocking the will of the majority by refusing to allow a full Senate vote on numerous lower-court nominees, some of whom have been waiting years for a vote. As former Attorney General Ed Meese recently observed, ?Never before in history has the Senate used a filibuster to block the confirmation of a nominee that enjoyed majority support.?
Our courts are undermanned, partly because so many qualified people have been waiting so long for a yes or no vote. That probably doesn?t matter to most people. After all, relatively few of us need to go to federal court. However, we all depend on the CIA to deliver quality intelligence. When it fails, we?re all at risk.
It used to be said, ?politics stops at the water?s edge.? We must work together to make that statement true again. So this summer, even as Republicans and Democrats celebrate our political differences at their conventions, let?s remember we?re all Americans. To paraphrase Benjamin Franklin, if we won?t hang together, we might all end up hanging separately.