I shouldn't have been surprised at the vitriolic level of response to Justice Ginsburg's death, but I was. Even for the progressive left of US politics, this has taken "low" to a new level, and promises to lower that level to unheard-of depths over the next few weeks. I'm not looking forward to the nomination proceedings for her successor - and I hope the candidate is prepared to be raked over the coals all day, every day. I wouldn't like to be in their shoes.
The level of opposition produces a stubborn reaction in me: "Well, if that's the way you want it, so be it!" I can't help but note that Justice Ginsburg herself defended election-year SCOTUS nominations, back in 2016.
She lamented the Republican-majority Senate’s continued blocking of Garland from consideration, and its insistence that the next President, to be elected in November, should be the one to appoint a new Supreme Court Justice.
“That’s their job,” Ginsburg said, when asked whether the Senate should give the 63-year-old judge a fair hearing. “There’s nothing in the Constitution that says the President stops being President in his last year.”
There's more at the link.
That being the case, let's do it!
I'm obliged to reader C. M. for sending me the link to this Twitter thread. You can read it more easily at the Threadreader version.
For decades, I stated that if there was a SCOTUS vacancy within say six months of a Presidential election, then a nomination and vote should be held until after the election as that was one of the few times the voters had at least somewhat of a say. Yeah, about that.
You threaten to riot? You threaten to shut it all down? You show up at McConnell's house to protest the very night RBG dies? Fine. Do that and I'll advocate for hardball to be played right back with the ball to be hit directly into your face. You want it, you got it.
It isn't just last night. This is the accumulation of decades of ever increasing nastiness re: Republican SCOTUS nominations. This is the threats of court packing, this is hearing vileness, this is *gestures* all of it. I didn't want this game. But I'll play it to win.
Since we're going to play this stupidest possible game, then play it as hard as possible. I want the nomination Monday, the vote Tuesday, and the swearing in on Wednesday. Hearings are an insulting joke. Everyone knows how everyone will vote. Just do this thing.
BUT BUT YOUR PRINCIPLES! PRINCIPLES, I SAY! You know what my main principle is? I don't give in to threats. I'm done with this pretending that this is about anything other than pure power plays. In the era of the Golden Scalp Weasel came the Great Unmasking.
Since the masks are off, let me take off mine. I am, underneath it all, an utterly cold blooded pragmatist. I loathe to my DNA that SCOTUS is now most powerful. But it is. That's not changing. And thus I want that power to be on my side as much as possible.
If that means ramming a vote through as hard and fast as possible, so be it. So be it. I screamed my throat raw and typed my fingers bloody for decades telling everyone not to get to this point. I lost that argument. I lost that argument entirely. Will to power it is then.
I am, by the by, fully aware of what will happen when the roles are reversed. How can I not be? It's been laid bare for years. I am doing my enemies, and it is clear now they are not opponents, the favor of taking them seriously. I'm just using the power they want first.
Since this is the game that will be played, play it we shall. And play it to win. And the Senate Republicans better understand by the end of today that if they do not, they will lose and they will deserve to do so. Oh all of this is as terrible as I thought. Yet here we are.
Again, more at the link.
I can't help sympathizing with the author of that Twitter thread. I've tried for years to be a voice of reason, rather than partisan extremism. I've noted repeatedly that I'm neither Democrat nor Republican; I vote for the individual, rather than the party, because I distrust both major (and all other) parties equally. None of them are putting the needs of this country first. Instead, they're all fighting for what's good for them, rather than the nation. Their every action is predicated on "What will the voters think?" rather than "What does this country need?" Principle has long since been abandoned in favor of profit - the more profit to them, the stronger the "principles" for which they fight. (Note the net worth of politicians when they enter upon elected service versus when they retire from it.) Money talks a lot louder to most politicians than what is good, or right, or constitutional.
I'm angry that things have come to this extreme. It should not have happened, and the fact that it has speaks very poorly of us, the American electorate. If we, individually and collectively had a constitutional spine, we'd have elected a better quality of Representatives and Senators and Presidents, to make sure that they "toed the constitutional line" and didn't weasel out of their obligations. We failed in that responsibility; and now the politicians we elected are reflecting that failure as they ignore their responsibilities. It's basically our fault for electing them. We allowed spineless self-seeking jellyfish to legislate our future - and just look at the job they've done! We're all suffering under it now, and we have no-one to blame but ourselves.
Nevertheless, we're in this handbasket, whether we like it or not, and it's heading downhill faster and faster. I don't have much doubt about its destination unless we change direction - and to do that, we need wise, principled, honest and clear-headed politicians and SCOTUS justices, to bring us back to our constitutional roots and make sure the ship of state is restored to a seaworthy condition. We dare not leave that job up to ideological extremists or partisan party-political hacks.
May President Trump be wisely guided in his choice of a candidate to replace Justice Ginsburg on SCOTUS: and may that candidate be prepared, and equipped, to face the onslaught of partisan hysteria that awaits them. May the rest of us have the wisdom to encourage our Senators to vote for the wisest choice for our country, to help preserve the little we have left of our Founding Fathers' vision, and - if possible - claw back more of it from the forces, on both sides of the political aisle, that have gnawed on its bones for far too long. We need neocons just as little as we need extreme progressives; hard-line right-wingers just as little as ditto left-wingers.
I note that Justice Ginsburg was close friends with the late Justice Scalia, whose politics were diametrically opposed to hers. Despite their strong differences, they respected each other, and showed it in their friendship. That friendship should be an example to the rest of us. Despite political differences, we can get along, and work together, and build an America in which all of us can live at peace with one another . . . if we choose to do so.
I hope and pray that President Trump nominates someone who will help us to achieve that.