Today at noon ET, the US Senate is scheduled to vote on the confirmation of Donald Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos. As of this moment, all 48 Democrats, along with 2 Republicans are expected to vote against DeVos’ confirmation, with 50 Republicans expected to vote in favor. If there is a 50-50 tie, the Vice President will cast a tiebreaker vote, which would undoubtedly be in favor of confirmation.
However, rumors are spreading through social media at this hour that at least two Republican senators (Tillis-NC and Toomey-PA) are undecided and are open to feedback from their constituents.
With Betsy DeVos proving to be supremely unqualified for this post, based both on her résumé and her responses during confirmation hearings, she is the most likely of all of the cabinet picks to be denied confirmation. I have yet to hear an actual reason someone would vote for her, aside from party loyalty. So if the senate is truly acting in the best interests of the nation, she should be denied by a landslide. But that won’t be the case.
This instance, the most egregious of the several unqualified cabinet members nominated by President Trump, will serve as a microcosm of what’s to come. If Trump is to be resisted, or even held in check or brought back to reality, the DeVos vote is the prime example of when it can and should be done. If she is confirmed today, then senate Republicans have shown us that despite millions of calls from constituents, they will not be swayed. They will go along to get along, which is the absolute worst type of government we can have. We might as well not have a legislative branch in the first place, if they’re not going to serve as a check on the executive branch. We will be one step closer to a dictatorship, just as “CEO” Trump has wished for all along.
So if that’s the case, then we must depend on the judicial branch of government to keep Trump in check. So far, they’ve shown a willingness to, with the recent stay on Trump’s 7-nation travel ban, enacted via poorly planned and executed executive order. But depending on judges to keep the President under control will be difficult, considering how slowly the courts often operate, especially the US Supreme Court. It can take years for SCOTUS to hear cases and finally decide on them. The pace of the judicial system doesn’t inspire confidence that they can act quickly enough to prevent catastrophe, should we be faced with an extreme measure enacted by the President. Time will tell.
So for now, we’ll hope that one more Republican senator comes to his or her senses and votes in favor of our education system, against Betsy DeVos, and shows the President that the senate is not going to roll over and pass whatever he damn well pleases. We need a senate that stands up for our country and does what’s right, not one that goes along to get along.