The hypocritical game of politics

Allison Rafert, Opinion Editor

Sometimes, despite the cheerleaders’ best efforts to bring positivity to our chants, the outbreak of “You can’t do that!” still erupts from the crowd at a Liberty football game.
This discontentment would be especially prevalent if the rules of the game were to suddenly change. Suppose our quarterback recently made a pass toward the only open player. Normally, this would be valid, but this time, the referee decided to write a new rule because the pass was thrown at an invalid time in the game. Under these new circumstances, the pass was considered illegal.
Now, later in the game, the other team has the ball. Its quarterback throws the same type of pass during the same time in the game that Liberty previously attempted. This play is still considered illegal due to the new regulation; but this time, the referee neglects to throw a flag.
The unprecedented outcome of this football game closely resembles the process of approving a Supreme Court nominee in recent years. In 2016, President Barack Obama nominated Merrick Garland to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court. This nomination was like quarterback Obama’s touchdown pass: it normally would have been okay, but Senator Mitch McConnell flagged Obama when he realized the nomination should not be allowed.
Like passing at the wrong time in the game, the nomination occurred during an election year. McConnell argued that it could only occur at a specific time—after the general election in November—to give the people a voice. So, McConnell led a movement in the Senate to boycott the approval of Obama’s nominee, essentially creating a new rule.
Now, Donald Trump has nominated Brett Kavanaugh to fill another vacancy on the Supreme Court. Trump is like the other team’s quarterback, and his nomination is identical to Obama’s pass, occurring at the same time in the game—during an election year. But with Trump’s nomination, no flag was thrown.
Although not a presidential election, 2018 classifies as an election year because we are voting to fill seats in Congress, including 33 in the Senate. And with power divided equally among the three branches of government, these midterm elections should be considered as influential as presidential elections, especially since the Senate decides whether or not to approve the president’s Supreme Court nominee.
It’s debatable whether this new rule should exist in the first place. But, either way, it is necessary to avoid hypocrisy and apply the same rule to both the game of football and American politics. Trump’s nomination should be declared null, just as Obama’s was, due to its occurrence during an election year.
At this point in the game, we should all be on our feet, hands cupped around our mouths, yelling, “You can’t do that!”