Republicans Calculate Voters Might Respond Just As Well To A Display Of Raw Power As Playing By The Rules
And anyway, they’re as quickly as possible going to get their Justice onto the Supreme Court no matter what
And anyway, the rule they’re “breaking” isn’t really a real rule, it’s just something they made up when they wanted to do something else dastardly in the past.
So why can’t they just say it? “We’re just doing it this way because we can”? Interestingly, pretty much only President Trump has come out and said something close to that, musing when you: “have the Senate….you can sort of do what you want.” Also Trump may want to litigate the results of the election if he loses, let’s not forget that. So if Republicans are letting the political chips fall where they may, that may be only for the time being.
Mitt Romney’s the latest Republican Senator coming up with some ridiculous contortion over why a new Supreme Court Justice can’t wait until after the next election. Telling reporters he won’t vote to put off the process, and that:
“I recognize that we may have a Court which has more of a Conservative bent than it’s had over the last few decades. But my liberal friends — over many decades — have gotten very used to the idea of having a Liberal Court. And that’s not written in the stars.”
I am not young. Yet I have no memory — zero — of the Supreme Court ever being captained by Liberals. Nor there ever being a Chief Justice in my lifetime appointed by a Democratic President. You know why? Because there hasn’t been. In much more than my lifetime. Chief Justice Warren Burger, the first I have any memory of, was hardly liberal. Though probably more apolitical than the President who nominated him would’ve liked. Because Justice Burger in fact, wrote the decision that sealed President Nixon’s resignation.
And Burger’s predecessor, Earl Warren, who was essentially before our time, presided over sweeping societal changes that one might consider liberal, if you consider things like the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act liberal. And anyway, he was appointed by a Republican President too!
So there’s been no “Liberal Court” for decades. And now probably not for decades more.
So pardon, but what the hell is Romney talking about?
And some of that pattern of justices in earlier times sometimes thinking for themselves or at least somewhat apolitically, is what led to the coalescence of groups like the Federalist Society, (which sounds really old, but has been in existence only since 1982.) Part of its design is to ensure Republican presidents won’t accidentally appoint anyone where there’s a snowball’s chance in hell that nominee might be even a little unreliable in the faithful execution of their core causes ever again.
That seems the case with the long time front-runner for the job: Circuit Court Judge Amy Coney Barrett. Who a political consultant friend today aptly describes as: “crafted by some kind of culture war weapons manufacturer to inflict maximum carnage”.
The only condition under which it seems to still be OK for Justices to think for themselves sometimes if it means straying further Right: like when Justice Clarence Thomas seemed to suggest in an opinion earlier this year that it would be perfectly OK for states to adopt official religions. Or when Justice Thomas seems to be helming a concept that it’s high time the Court stop taking prior decisions and long-held opinions so seriously — formally known as “stare decisis”, which literally translates from Latin as “to stand by things decided”. Instead, they should start overturning some things. But when Chief Justice John Roberts simply upbraids the Trump administration for their arrogance and doing sloppy work because they think they can get away with it: Noooo!
Of course the “original sin” in the Supreme Court nomination process was Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refusing to hold a vote or even hearings for President Obama’s last Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland.
Because back then, instead of just saying “Obama doesn’t have the votes to make this happen so I’m going to stop him up”, he made up some lie about how it was really so the American people could: “have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice.” That “voice” being their vote in the next Presidential election.
So now he’s got to lie again to reverse that lie, when if he’d told the truth to begin with, he could just tell the truth now: “we’ve got the votes, Democrats can’t do anything about it, and it’s not worth waiting even a second and running the risk Joe Biden might win.”
Even more adamant in his deception, and therefore more nauseating in his reversal, is South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, who is chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Graham, after taking some time to figure out just the right way to equivocate, put out an official statement blaming his not following through on his own oft-made promise, on Democrats not being nice to now Justice Brett Kavanaugh during his confirmation.
Except Graham previously insisted long after Justice Kavanaugh was confirmed that:
“If an opening comes in the last year of President Trump’s term…we’ll wait til the next election”.
Here again is that clip:
Again, that’s from after the actions he now considers inviolably offensive; despite them. But nope, not anymore.
A few Republicans are coming close to fessing up and basking in their malfeasance rather than trying to deny it. But that’s in an effort to turn it on Democrats: arguing that actually the way they’re doing it now is the right way, so the fact that they blocked it from happening the right way before doesn’t matter, because now they’re doing it the right way, so Democrats have no legs to stand on to complain about that.
Sadly, none of this news about Republicans falling into line and racing to nominate is really news, because it’s all exactly what we all pretty much expected. And yes, all politicians lie. But not like this.
So why am I bringing it up today? Volume and scale. The sheer number of lies that were and are being told, and the utterly staggering scale of those lies. And they know this too, but they’re balancing it against opportunity.
These are lies that were and are so shallow, yet so sweeping that why should we ever believe anything any that the people who told and are telling them ever say again?
If you’re a regular reader of this newsletter, you’ll notice I don’t regularly cover Trump’s rallies anymore because I know he’s just saying this kind of BS so his supporters can revel in the fact that statements like that are getting people like me unglued. But…
Isn’t that reason enough to vote him and all his toadies — which at the moment are pretty much all Republicans — out of office? All of them! Or at least many of them, if we’re being realistic, and hopeful?
Just another for instance: all or at least most of these same Republican politicians, plus the President, swear they’re going to protect Americans’ health care coverage even if they have pre-existing conditions. Even if you believed that before, can you possibly believe that now? Not only because they’re fighting it in the Supreme Court. In fact, it’ll be one of the first cases the Supreme Court takes up after the election. But also because they’re just going to play the same slip-and-slide with that. Because after all, you could get coverage for pre-existing conditions before Obamacare came in; it’s just nobody could afford it. But you could’ve still said it was covered.
You see where I’m going with this…? And more importantly, where they’re going to go if they’re returned to power, with the full force of the Supreme Court behind them?