Friday, September 18, 2020


We've just lost Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Mitch McConnell has already vowed to try to ram through a replacement.
McConnell announced Friday that he will move forward with trying to confirm President Trump’s nominee to replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died Friday evening.

“President Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate,” McConnell said.

We're told that President Trump will nominate a replacement for Ginsburg in the next few days. My guess is that it will be Amy Coney Barrett, a 48-year-old anti-abortion extremist. Barrett is a member of a Catholic group called People of Praise, whose members are each paired with a same-sex moral guide; until a few years ago, the female guides were known, embarrassingly, as "handmaidens." Republicans undoubtedly feel they have the upper hand if they nominate Barrett because Senator Dianne Feinstein was widely criticized for saying to Barrett, when she was being considered for an appeals court position in 2017, "the dogma lives loudly within you." Right-wingers now buy mugs and T-shirts emblazoned with this phrase.
But it's possible that Barrett isn't corporatist enough for the GOP's purposes, and another nominee might be chosen. Or Trump might not like her.

Three Republican senators say they oppose consideration of a justice this year.

But that leaves 50 Republicans who will let Mitch McConnell have his way, including such embattled Republicans as Colorado senator Cory Gardner, North Carolina senator Thom Tillis, and Arizona senator Martha McSally. I'm sure they feel they have to. Their rage-junkie voters won't vote for them if they block this appointment.

So I think Trump and McConnell will win on this. But remember how outraged Democratic voters were after Brett Kavanaugh won his confirmation fight -- what happened immediately afterward was the Democratic wave election of 2018. It's true that Barrett can't possibly seem as reprehensible as Kavanaugh did. But the shameless hypocrisy of Mitch McConnell, who said even holding a hearing on Merrick Garland in early 2016 was a violation of a precedent he invented from whole cloth, will be all the motivation many anti-Trump and anti-GOP voters will need to get them to the polls.

I think this has the potential to doom Trump in November. He'd be much better off telling his voters, "Do you want me to fill this seat, or do you want Biden to do it?" That would give them more reason to turn out. But he and McConnell won't want to wait. McConnell, in particular, wants to seat as many judges as possible before next January because he knows Biden is favored to win.

McConnell should be smart enough to realize that seating another Supreme Court justice will probably ensure his loss of the Senate. It won't stop him, though. He and Trump will win -- and then, in all likelihood, lose.



Just days before her death, as her strength waned, Ginsburg dictated this statement to her granddaughter Clara Spera: "My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed."
I think voters who aren't politically engaged will learn about this, see Trump and McConnell defying her last wishes, and be repulsed by their defiance of her final request. This has been an election about decency vs. cruelty. This will be another reminder of Trump and McConnell's cold-blooded, unfeeling nature. It's not a good look a few weeks before an election.

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