(Update: On September 18, 2020, Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg died at the age of 87. She died from Pancreatic cancer. She served on the Court for 27 years.)
In forty or 50 years from now, or maybe a century or two, if humans survive at all, historians will look back with somewhat bemused amazement at the first fifth of the 21 century and collectively say, ‘ what the ever-loving heck were they thinking?’
They’re not even hiding it anymore. It’s all right there.
In 2016, after the death of Antonin “Anthony” Scalia, Mitch McConnell blocked President Obama’s pick of Merrick Garland to fill a vacant Supreme Court seat. He said “the American people should have a voice” in filling the seat in an election year.
When it appeared that Hillary Clinton was going to become President, McConnell proclaimed that no seat would be filled as long as he was Majority Leader. He would let the Court wither down rather than allow a Democratic president, especially the reviled Clinton fill vacancies.
Well, old six-chin Mitchie, in the end, got what he and all his friends in the Federalist Society (and the equally vile Grover Norquist) wanted in Donald Trump. A man “with enough working (fingers) to sign and do what we want,” and that’s how we ended up with a tax cut for the wealthy and two Supreme Court judges who would exonerate Attila the Hun in a pinch. Or Michael Flynn.
Late last May, when asked if a vacancy occurred next year when Donny will be up for re-election, McTurtle said “Oh, we’d fill it.” Which, of course he would. His brazen hypocrisy has been on display for years. Not that in matters in Kentucky, who haven’t had a Democratic senator since Wendell Ford in 1998. McConnell is up for re-election against a kinda-sorta Democrat in Amy McGrath, a retired Air Force pilot. Mitch, in the most recent poll, is up 12 points.
Ginsberg’s body wasn’t even cold when McConnell announced the Senate would take up a nominee (presumingly Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals judge Amy Coney Barrett), perhaps rushing it through before election day in 44 days. But of course he would. Federalist Society, Heritage Foundation approved, the polar opposite of Ginsberg.
If there’s anything left when the smoke clears from the wreckage of the past three-and-a-half years, it will boil down to this: Judges and the Supreme Court. McConnell has done more to damage this country than anyone since N. Leroy Gingrich. He has made it clear that as long as he is leading the Senate, no Democratic president will ever get a nominee on the court or get any of his or her policies passed.
None of this is new, nor should it be. Look no further than the presidency of Barack Obama. McConnell said his number one priority was to “ensure” a one-term presidency for Obama. Even though the President easily won re-election, the GOP continued to obstruct and thwart his agenda.
Now, with the extreme anti-abortion legislation, rigged gerrymandering and the ‘citizenship question’ all designed to come before the Supreme Court, these steps are designed to keep Republicans in power for at least another half-decade, if not longer.
We are living in cruel times. We have a president* who embodies those disgusting attributes and a dysfunctional Senate led by a man with a naked ambition to keep himself as the titular head of the GOP even after Adolph Elizabeth Trump is gone.
While the Libidinous Dotard’s re-election chances are 50/50 at best, Turtle-face will breeze to a seventh term. Whether or not he remains majority leader is a moot point. He has done more to damage the role of Congress and American democracy than anyone in modern times. Historian Christopher Browning has described him as ‘the gravedigger of American democracy.”
If he succeeds in putting a sixth conservative justice on the court, he will cement his legacy as a hypocrite of the First Order. He doesn’t give two craps on a gold-plated toilet about anything but power.
He successfully muted Obama and enabled the petulant five-year-old in ways that make most cringe. These two cruel men, in a twisted way, have turned this country into something unrecognizable and it will take a long time to recover.
In his eulogy this morning at Esquire.com Charles Pierce, in his usual sardonic manner, gave this recollection of Ginsberg’s most famous descent, Shelby County v. Holder, which gutted the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Ginsberg took Chief Justice John Roberts ruling in favor of Shelby County and “measured Roberts for a feckless child who understands less about this country and its history than he knows about Sumerian calligraphy. She told him in no uncertain terms what his fanciful decision would mean in the real world.
Congress approached the 2006 reauthorization of the VRA with great care and seriousness. The same cannot be said of the Court’s opinion today. The Court makes no genuine attempt to engage with the massive legislative record that Congress assembled. … One would expect more from an opinion striking at the heart of the Nation’s signal piece of civil-rights legislation…Throwing out preclearance when it has worked and is continuing to work to stop discriminatory changes is like throwing away your umbrella in a rainstorm because you are not getting wet.”
If McConnell had a conscious, he’d honor Ginsberg’s dying wish to ‘allow the next president to choose my successor.’ But, of course he doesn’t so he’ll just drop a big old Kentucky Fried turd on that and bulldoze another ultra-conservative, save-the-baby, starve-the-child judge through the Senate.
Somewhere, Merrick Garland sits.
In this upside-down year, we had another monkey-wrench thrown into it. #MoscowMitch and #DerangedDonald are disparate characters playing to a) stay in power; and b) stay in office. The next 44 days have just become about the Supreme Court.