See update for September 25, 2020, at bottom of post.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s final act was to further demonstrate Republican hypocrisy.
It was about four years ago when Antonin Scalia died, opening a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court. Then-president Barack Obama nominated Merrick Garland, allegedly the least objectionable possibility Republicans could hope for from a Democratic president, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refused to allow a confirmation vote, averring that the Amerikkkan people should have a voice by way of the presidential election that year. Donald Trump won and nominated Neil Gorsuch, who was confirmed to the Court.
Now Ginsburg has died, again in an election year, and McConnell is, as previously promised, wasting no time in applying a different standard, promising that Trump’s nominee will get a vote. With Trump, the Amerikkkan people will not have the voice they had with Obama.
Or more precisely, conservative Amerikkkans may have a voice where (neo)liberal Amerikkkans and Leftist Amerikkkans may not.
I have little interest in how McConnell rationalizes this blatant hypocrisy (but see the update for September 25, 2020, below). What is more important here is a further demonstration that the right refuses to recognize any Democratic president as legitimate: The birther attacks against Obama were matched in their own way by the relentless attacks on Bill Clinton. The discrepancy between how McConnell treats a Democratic president’s nominee to replace a conservative and how he treats a Republican president’s nominee to replace a liberal extends this delegitimization to the Supreme Court.
I had a couple young women in my car this evening. Apparently both had moved here to Pittsburgh from Portland, Oregon. One had moved in with her boyfriend, and his parents, certain that she is an anarchist and a member of Antifa (she denies this), did not approve. The other was having similar difficulties with her own parents (I’m guessing she had moved to Portland, and then back). In both cases, relationships that should be loving are instead being torn asunder by political polarization. We are in a state where each side utterly disdains the other and anything said is more about that disdain than it is about reality. And just as those women were wondering how to continue their relationships when so many hateful words are uttered, we may wonder how we can continue as an allegedly united United States when so many hateful words are uttered.
I would ask what the end game is here but I sincerely doubt there is one. There is no answer to how we heal, how we recover from this, and not even much interest in such an answer. It might be better if the hypocrites stopped pinning U.S. flags to their lapels.
Update, September 25, 2020: One reason I wasn’t much interested in Mitch McConnell’s attempts to rationalize the hypocrisy of filling Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Supreme Court seat after obstructing Barack Obama’s nominee four years ago is that I was already pretty clear it was bogus. Well, guess what? It is bogus.
- Lisa Mascaro and David G. Savage, “Senate confirms Neil Gorsuch, Trump’s Supreme Court nominee,” Los Angeles Times, April 7, 2017, http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-gorsuch-confirmed-20170407-story.html; Dylan Matthews, “Merrick Garland’s probably doomed, strategically interesting nomination, explained,” Vox, March 16, 2016, https://www.vox.com/2016/3/16/11249220/merrick-garland-supreme-court-explained↩
- Robert Barnes and Michael A. Fletcher, “Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Supreme Court justice and legal pioneer for gender equality, dies at 87,” Washington Post, September 18, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/obituaries/ruth-bader-ginsburg-dies/2020/09/18/3cedc314-fa08-11ea-a275-1a2c2d36e1f1_story.html↩
- Matthew Choi, “McConnell: Republicans would confirm a justice during 2020 election,” Politico, May 28, 2019, https://www.politico.com/story/2019/05/28/mitch-mcconnell-supreme-court-1346094↩
- Clare Foran, Manu Raju, and Ted Barrett, “McConnell vows Trump’s nominee to replace Ginsburg will get Senate vote, setting up historic fight,” CNN, September 19, 2020, https://www.cnn.com/2020/09/18/politics/congress-fight-rgb-seat/index.html↩
- David Benfell, “Conservative Views on Undocumented Migration” (doctoral dissertation, Saybrook, 2016). ProQuest (1765416126).↩
- David Benfell, “Take those Amerikkkan flag pins off your lapels,” Not Housebroken, September 19, 2020, https://disunitedstates.org/2020/09/19/take-those-amerikkkan-flag-pins-off-your-lapels/↩
- Russell Wheeler, “McConnell’s fabricated history to justify a 2020 Supreme Court vote,” Brookings, September 24, 2020, https://www.brookings.edu/blog/fixgov/2020/09/24/mcconnells-fabricated-history-to-justify-a-2020-supreme-court-vote/↩