As Lyndon Johnson once said, “Come, let us reason together.” There’s a pattern forming with respect to filling Justice Ginsburg’s seat on the bench which is worth considering. First, Lindsey Graham came out and wildly contradicted himself on his 2016 stance on filling a supreme court vacancy in an election year. Then Mitt Romney surprised everybody with his own hypocrisy, advocating that Trump fill the seat a couple of months after he voted to have Trump removed from office. So where is his God to advise him on “impartial justice” now?
Consider this: maybe the flagrant hypocrisy of these senators and the desperation that Mitch McConnell displays to immediately fill the seat is because doing so efficiently accomplishes two massively important things: One, it satisfies Trump’s base, and all shades of conservatives, by getting a Biden-proof lock, 6-3, on the Supreme Court and two — and this is the biggy — it gives the GOP the opportunity to cut Donald Trump loose, finally. McConnell knows Trump is losing and he’s fine with it now, because Trump has served the purpose for which he was designed and now he can be disposed of. He’s not only fine with Trump losing, he doesn’t give a damn. He just wants Trump to serve one last function for him.
The trade off in nominating Trump from the beginning was put up with the buffoon of all buffoons as the GOP standard bearer because it served the higher institutional purpose of stacking the courts. Now, there’s a chance to both control the Supreme Court and be rid of Trump, and a deliriously happy Mitch McConnell isn’t letting any grass grow under his feet.
Imagine him on Friday, when Justice Ginsburg passed, contemplating the deliciousness of of the scenario that fate brought him, kill two birds with one stone; get rid of Trump’s raison d’etre by filling the seat, and you get rid of Trump. Poof. Because there is no question that the 2016 GOP, fractured as it was, was galvanized by the prospect of Trump winning so he could pick the next Supreme Court justice. And if he does that now, pre-election — then there’s no reason to reelect him, now is there? The Bulwark:
But if Trump does make his pick and McConnell does push the choice through the Senate, his coalition of traditional conservatives and populist nationalists will likely dissolve. Gone will be the fear that a Democratic president will appoint a justice who will swing the Court so far to the left that gay marriage will be mandatory and abortions will be performed at Costco.
In effect, by making a pick, Trump may be rendering himself obsolete in November.
According to an August Pew poll, 64 percent of registered voters said they consider Supreme Court appointments to be a top issue, trailing only the economy (79 percent) and health care (68 percent.) Conservatives who find Trump wholly unfit for the job but currently burn a candle in front of a portrait of Amy Coney Barrett on a nightly basis lose the need for four more years of Trump if Republican-appointed justices hold a bulletproof 6-3 majority on the bench.
“But Coney Barrett” only works if the seat is open in 2021. […]
Many Trump critics will likely see winning the Supreme Court and losing the presidency as a fair tradeoff – a rock-solid conservative Supreme Court was the only reason to vote for him in 2016, so once that’s a done deal, it’s best for the GOP to cut him loose. But it will also impugn the integrity of the Court, poisoning future decisions and turning nomination fights into unwinnable wars of attrition.
The courts have always been the only justification for having Trump’s idiocy and vulgarity stain what little credibility the GOP had left after Bush Lite. But they put up with Trump, because the ends justified the means. The only question now is, will somebody explain to Trump that he’s self immolating by filling the vacancy before the election?
And most probably that won’t take place in any event, in just 39 days, and McConnell is prepared for that eventuality. He just wants the post filled by January 3. But here’s the rub, Mitch: Trump is insane. Once he’s lost and he doesn’t owe you anything, or owe the base anything, plus he’ll be hopping mad at losing, he just might welch on the bet and not fill your SCOTUS seat. Ever think of that?
I would say he must have. McConnell knows as well as we do what a cheat Trump is. So he may cheat the GOP out of their prize. This is a credible possibility.
Lindsey Graham is betting that in ramming through this SCOTUS nomination, he will become the hero of the conservatives and this will get him reelected. He’s going balls to the wall, pledging the support of every judiciary committee member for a nominee that is as yet unseen. The message there is that Graham has given up being a senator and sees his job as more of a mafia consigliere. The Boss (and we’re not talking about Trump) has made it clear he wants a nominee confirmed, Graham will get him a nominee confirmed. Ironically, John McCain used to rail against this kind of precipitous action, calling for “procedure. I just want procedure.” Alas, McCain’s ideals didn’t rub off on Graham, or if they did, it was a quick rinse and not a dye job.
Mitt Romney is safe and so now he’s showing his true colors again, waffling like mad on a position he held was inspired by God just a few short months ago. Or, maybe he does believe his current batshit allegation that the “nation is center-right.” Who knows? What is known about both Graham and Romney and Republicans in general, is that they seek office for power, and power for power’s sake. Say what you will about the Democrats and our fragmentation over issues of ideological purity, we are the party of principle and social conscience.
There’s only one thing for certain: Justice Ginsburg’s death plunged us into a dystopia and anything is possible before the airship of state pulls out of its nosedive and levels off. Buckle up, it’s going to be a bumpy 43 nights.