When oh when will this nightmare end? The ghost of 2016 has got everybody running around as nervous as a cat at the vet’s office. Now the airwaves are filled with breast pounding and teeth gnashing about whether or not the sudden open SCOTUS seat left by the tragic passing of Notorious RBG will be the October Surprise that rides to Trump’s salvation with his flagging base.
Please my friends, calm yourselves. As a native Chicagoan to my nearest and dearest buds, let me just say fuckin’ fuggedaboudit! Rather than a knight in shining armor atop a white steed for Trump’s reelection chances, it’s actually a thornier pain in the ass to McConnell and the GOP Senate than any of them wanted.
Here’s why it won’t help him electorally. Trump’s base that is most likely to get nocturnal emissions about another Supreme Court justice is the far right evangelicals. And Trump already has them locked up, tighter than an Alabama tick. They are his most devoted bloc of voters. That’s the nice thing about far right evangelicals, once they scoop the money from the dresser, they’re there for the night. Chocolate sauce, rubber chickens, waddeva rubs ya Buddha. They were already going to turn out for him no matter what.
Where is Trump bleeding support going into the election? College educated whites, white suburban women, senior citizens, and now apparently active duty military personnel. All of these constituencies have much more personal grievances with
Trump, and the thought of another justice is highly unlikely to grudgingly bring them back into his camp. In fact, this could actually turn a blowout into a massacre for Trump and the GOP.
Trump has already promised to appoint, and McConnell to approve, a far right conservative judge that will overturn Roe v Wade. This is actually an untenable position for the GOP as reproductive rights enjoys wide popularity among women, across party lines. Suburban white women who already have an axe to grind with Trump will be even more outraged at the thought of having their personal choice taken away. And even women who might be inclined to vote for trump again in 2020 may find that attitude changing when their reproductive rights are at risk more than they already are.
It also has the chance of sparking a totally unexpected backlash vote against Trump from a totally different direction. The Biden camp is going balls-to-the-wall to drive out African American votes to take back Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, and capture the White House. And as far as black voters are concerned, if the risk of losing the last 50 years of hard fought civil rights gains isn’t a supreme motivator to get out and vote, then brother, I don’t know what is.
So calm, my friends, maintain the chi of your day. This seat opening up at this time is not the magic panacea for all that ails the Trump campaign. Far from it. In fact, it might well end up being the straw that broke the orangutan’s back, taking the Senate with it.