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September 18, 2020

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Ginsburg was a dedicated and outstanding jurist, and an amazing ground-breaker for women's rights in this country.

There are tens, maybe hundreds of thousands of young girls in this country who will be inspired to excellence by her example, whether in public service or not.

I'm sure McConnell is lining up the votes for her replacement as we speak. He is a man without honor, I expect nothing more or less from him.

He will inspire no-one, to anything.

I thank Justice Ginsburg for her lifetime of service to the law and to this country. May her memory be a blessing, and may she find peace and rest.

Shaka, when the walls fell.

What russell said. With one exception:

He [McConnell] will inspire no-one, to anything.

I submit that revulsion can be a form of inspiration. And McConnell will manage that. Some, hopefully many, will be inspired by his example to be as different as possible. And the country will be better for it.

I'm sure McConnell is lining up the votes for her replacement as we speak.

No doubt he is. The good news is that there are some indications that there are a couple of Republicans Senators (starting with Romney) who may decline. And it only requires a couple.

Admittedly, a frail reed on which to suspend hopes. But it's what we've got.

It requires more than a couple.
Even a 50/50 tie would see Pence casting the deciding vote.

Are there four Republican senators with a functioning conscience ?

One of the sadder things about this is that rather than celebrating the life of a remarkable woman, we are already parsing the grubby calculus of her replacement.

Are there four Republican senators with a functioning conscience?

If McConnell tries for before the election, figure these as having either a conscience:
Romney
Murkowski
or a care for their (slim) reelection prospects:
Collins
Gardner

And after the election, if Trump has lost, figure Romney and Murkowski to remain against. And Collins and Gardner? Well, if they've lost, they owe McConnell nothing. And probably blame Trump (correctly) for their loss. So still against, if only as payback.

If Trump lost, but they won, the situation is murkier. But I'd guess they'd figure their long-term political prospects on the side of against as well.

If you don't know already, there's a documentary on Netflix:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=biIRlcQqmOc

A bit too hagiographic and superficial for my taste, but still a nice watch.

Oddly enough, she and Scalia were big pals.

What russell said. A great loss and, potentially, a disaster.

I believe hundreds of mourners are gathered on the steps of the Supreme Court, saying kaddish for Ruth Bader Ginsburg. I find this very moving.

If Moscow Mitch has doubts that he has the votes now, he will simply do it in the lame duck session when his gang has to fear no consequences. Collins could do her usual shtick and abandon her 'principled' stand again once the election is over. If she loses her seat, it would allow her to send a final FU to her (then ex-)constituents.

Or be prepared for Mitch using a moment when the Dems are not all present to push it through with a mere relative majority (maybe Barr could detain some Dems for him).

In any case, vials with butanethiol should be kept at the ready. Plus copious amounts of hagfish exudate.

And, yes, I will applaud should some Dem have the courage to end Mitch's inevitable victory gloat with a punch to his face* and the use of some particularly indecorous words in front of the whole senate and the cameras.

*groin and stomach are off-limits!

Correction: thousands.

Finding my mother's diary, it was JFK's death. But the feeling seems to have been the same.

a completely predictable complete disaster.

a completely predictable complete disaster.

Yes, and the Kennedy assassination was Murder Most Foul.

Similar feeling of doom.

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3NbQkyvbw18

I'm also very moved by the picture of her with the slogan "Rest in Power" below, projected on the Supreme Court of New York. Also, elsewhere, "May her memory be a revolution".

Celebrating Rosh Hashanah and my daughter’s birthday last night when the news came like a punch in the gut. This is sad and bad. The universe is owning the libs.

the news came like a punch in the gut

Yes. This feels grim, and getting grimmer.

Are there four Republican Senators up for re-election who can be influenced by their constituents, who can be told to respect the 2016 precedent? It's worth taking a chance to contact them at senate.gov. And it's worth a chance to tell Democratic Senators that you support them in respecting her wishes and delaying the nomination process until after the inauguration. Mourn her, yes, but honor her by pushing the Senate to do the right thing.

I'm seeing a bunch of comments (elsewhere) on the general theme of "Ginsburg could have avoided this be resigning while Obama was still president. But she bet the Clinton would win."

What makes these people think McConnell would have allowed a confirmation for her successor, when he wouldn't for Scalia's? We'd just have gotten a Trump nominee sooner.

Also -- I remember when Bobby Kennedy was shot; I saw it on tv, while I was in English class. The teacher had turned it on since we'd finished assigned work early, and we watched his speech, watched him walk offstage -- and then all hell broke loose. It was very much like when his brother John was shot a few years earlier -- fear and anger and fury and pain all tangled together. The only recent event I can compare with it is 9/11.

This, losing Ruth Bader Ginsberg after a long life, where she died in the presence of her family? Is nothing like that.

I was only 2, so I only have my mother's diary to go by, but the sense of loss and feeling that things are falling apart seems to be the same that I'm feeling now. Not really comparing the situations.

About wj's comment, this from Paul Campos at LGM seems appropriate.

https://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2020/09/a-prayer-for-our-daughters

lj, I'm totally with you on the comparison. And of course, while the manner and circumstances of the deaths can't be compared, what can, and what is causing the feelings, is the fear following the loss of the symbol. RBG was a symbol of liberal integrity and the fight for equality and against bigotry, and her loss (as that of the Kennedy brothers) inspires fear of the increased chances of a regression into unbridled prejudice and repression.

or a care for their (slim) reelection prospects:
Collins
Gardner

Gardner is almost certainly toast regardless. For him, voting to confirm is one last middle finger to Colorado's increasingly Democratic voters before he retires.

Gardner is almost certainly toast regardless. For him, voting to confirm is one last middle finger to Colorado's increasingly Democratic voters before he retires.

Alternatively, not voting to corfirm is one last middle finger to those (Trump, McConnell) who forced him to the right, into positions which resulted in him getting voted out. You doubtless know more of Colorado's politics than I. But my sense is that, left to his natural inclinations, he might well have been able to achieve reelection, even in purple Colorado. So he would have some reason to be irritated with them.

I interacted with Gardner a few times when he was in the state legislature and I was on the budget staff. He's sharp, he's charismatic, and in practice he was exactly as conservative as you would expect someone elected from the far eastern plains part of Colorado to be. He has a terrific "I'm really a moderate" shtick right up until it's time to vote on the bills.

All that aside, his big problem is that he won by 40,000 votes in 2014, a Republican wave year. In the six years since, Colorado has gained on the order of 400,000 new voters that skew quite heavily Democratic. 2018 was a bloodbath for the Colorado Republicans.

538 on the politics of the situation:
https://fivethirtyeight.com/videos/will-the-supreme-court-be-the-most-important-issue-for-voters-in-2020/

When I replaced my computer at the beginning of the year I didn't replace all my bookmarks, favourites etc, so stopped checking sites that weren't my regulars. lj's link reminded me, so in the aftermath of RBG's death, feeling the need for more input, I checked in again with LGM and BJ. I'd forgotten how good they were.

It occurs to me that there is another factor here. Given how the polls look, Trump might well decide that the critical factor in a nominee is not their position on liberal/conservative issues. It's what their position would be on cases involving Trump. Of which there are a fair number on the horizon. I could see him insisting on meeting any potential nominee and making a decision based on how effectively they pander to him.

He has a terrific "I'm really a moderate" shtick right up until it's time to vote on the bills.

But Trump has made it impossible for him to even talk up being moderate. He's had to be all in Trump.

(This is in part triggered by Kit Mason's comment at 12:05. I wrote an even longer response earlier and threw it out, but Michael's 3:13 revived a thought train.)

He has a terrific "I'm really a moderate" shtick right up until it's time to vote on the bills.

All that aside, his big problem is that he won by 40,000 votes in 2014, a Republican wave year. In the six years since...

The first sentence of Michael's that I quoted is Susan Collins to a T.

The second is a partial echo -- Susan won 68% of the vote in 2014, but now, post-Kavanaugh, with the faux-moderateness having been unmasked to a lot of people who weren't really paying attention to the mechanism before, she is loathed by thousands of voters who were part of that 68% in 2014. Last time I saw any numbers, her approval rating in Maine was below 40%. IIRC she went in short order from the, or one of the, senators with the highest approval rating to the senator with the lowest.

Her speech accompanying the Kavanagh vote could be translated as 5 words to the non-R people who voted for her, many of them repeatedly: "I spit in your eye."

People did not take kindly to that.

In short, I don't understand the logic of calling endangered R Senators. For what? To appeal to their integrity, maybe, assuming they have any, but surely not for any calculation relating to votes.

Susan Collins knows that if she defies Clickbait and McConnell, her base is going to be furious. The rest of us are already furious, and for the most part aren't going to drink her Kool-Aid ever again.

Calling endangered R Senators seems like a waste of time to me. Even more so, a friend of mine is all in a dither today trying to get people to call McConnell's office. That seems even worse: I can just see him laughing his ass off.

By the way, I don't want to just say that something is a waste of time without offering constructive ideas.

Best to just refer it to BJ, where the front page has links to lists they're keeping:

Political Fundraising
Taking Action: Things We Can Do
Voting Plan Illustrations
I Voted!

I mostly give $, because I'm staying in COVID-19 quarantine for the most part. (Remember COVID-19?)

What makes these people think McConnell would have allowed a confirmation for her successor, when he wouldn't for Scalia's? We'd just have gotten a Trump nominee sooner.

Obama appointed Sotamayor, and Kagan, right?

One of the few cheering aspects of a very bad, sad day:

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/18/us/elections/democrats-shatter-actblues-donation-records-after-ginsburgs-death.html

(and the numbers keep going up, they've changed since I first saw a reference to this on hilzoy's twitter feed)

hilzoy also retweeted this thread by someone called Patrick Skinner, who apparently is a CIA guy turned cop:


The Supreme Court was already seen as partisan. Which is crazy if we ever stopped and thought about. I mean, we can predict with amazing accuracy how cases are gonna be decided way before they’re heard. Some surprises but not really. And now this...
Patrick Skinner
@SkinnerPm
·
20h
When the Supreme Court is seen as just another garbage thing in a garbage government, then the laws become garbage. And then it all falls apart. Lots of us have seen this around the world. It’s happening here. They will push through a new justice before or after the election.
Patrick Skinner
@SkinnerPm
·
20h
We seem to think this country of ours, this society of ours, is an immutable law of nature. Like gravity. But it’s not. America at its best is the daily repetition of our neighbors at their best. It’s a habit. A hope. And when it’s deliberately run off the tracks, it crashes fast
Patrick Skinner
@SkinnerPm
·
20h
I saw collapsed societies in old jobs. Where the law was whoever was in power. Where minorities were made sure they knew their minority status. Where dissent was treason & treason was death. Where there was no local cop to do good. Cuz there was no consent or good.
Patrick Skinner
@SkinnerPm
·
20h
We don’t have to be this way. But I’m telling you as clearly as I can that we are that way. Right. Now. You think armed protests over basic public health measures a child knows to be true is alarming. Wait until we question the legitimacy of everything.
Patrick Skinner
@SkinnerPm
·
20h
And when people say don’t worry cuz it’s not gonna be so bad, understand that they can say that cuz for them it’s never that bad. We all matter or none of us do isn’t a twitter slogan. It’s the goal of America and the path to get there. If it’s ‘that bad’ for some, it is for all

Hard to argue with a single word.

The first sentence of Michael's that I quoted is Susan Collins to a T.

When it counted, Collins at least voted against killing the ACA. Gardner voted to kill it. Every. Single. Time. It's one of the reasons he had to quit making public appearances in Colorado. People shouted him down over his ACA votes.

The surest sign to me that the constitution has ceased to work as a ruleset is the way that all of our various deliberative processes have devolved into proxies for control of the supreme court. Something has to be done to change the way that Supreme Court appointments function else this ruleset remains broken and will never not be dysfunctional and corrosive of bipartisanship.

Justices should be able to retire or not based on their own preferences (subject to any term limits that might be put in place, of course) and not be held hostage to anti-democratic political agendas.

RBG had earned a damn rest.

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) said Saturday that whoever is elected this November should pick Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s replacement on the Supreme Court

She may cave in the end. But perhaps a glimmer that she may decide to do the right thing.

Something has to be done to change the way that Supreme Court appointments function else this ruleset remains broken and will never not be dysfunctional and corrosive of bipartisanship.

absolutely.

my favorite idea (so far) is to make it work more like a circuit court, where there are many judges and the judges for each case are basically picked at random.

so, expand the court to 15 or 20 judges, and have each case heard by a panel of five. the randomness reduces the ability to game things.

but as it is now, it's a broken system (as so many of our systems are).

we'll get to SCOTUS reform as soon as we're done with EC reform.

so: never.

Collins will find a reason to cave (and the prospect of forever living in fear of some MAGA yahoo shooting her for being a traitor to the cause will probably be the real reason).

wj, this has been her game forever. Get credit for moderate bipartisanship at the beginning with a lot of fanfare, vote with the party at the end. (Yes, Michael Cain is right about the ACA vote. But many others did not go that way.) Use as many weasel words as necessary to allow yourself wiggle room later.

Her words were chosen very, very carefully. She said that the next justice should be the person chosen by the president elected on November 3. She said nothing about waiting until a new Senate is seated. So in a scenario where Clickbait wins and the Dems take the Senate, she is perfectly fine voting as (FSM please grant it) a lame duck Senator in a lame duck Senate, for an SC appointee who would not be confirmed if the vote was delayed until January.

If Biden wins, McConnell may still have some slack to let her off the hook anyhow. Post-Kavanaugh, I have no glimmers of hope in relation to what she might decide to do when the chips are down.

I'm going to stop thinking about this for now, and think about RBG instead. I wouldn't be paying this kind of attention to senate machinations, especially right at this moment, if Collins weren't my senator, and I weren't so permanently furious about her Kavanaugh speech and vote.

*****

RBG RIP.

we'll get to SCOTUS reform as soon as we're done with EC reform.

so: never.

Except that the EC is more fully defined in the constitutions and thus can only be changed by amendment or fought out for every state individually.

The Supreme Court is much less circumscribed by the constitution. Congress could do all manner of things to the way that it functions without running afoul of constitutional problems. All it takes is a majority and a will to change.

And protocol is already dead.

But Trump has made it impossible for him to even talk up being moderate. He's had to be all in Trump.

Gardner voted as a bog-standard non-moderate Republican for six years in Congress before Trump showed up. His campaign changed in 2014 when he had to appeal at least somewhat to the Front Range suburbs instead of just his deep-red eastern plains House district, but his voting never changed.

All it takes is a majority and a will to change.

Is that not also true for Puerto Rican statehood ?

How certain is it that the winner of the Arizona (and Georgia) special election be seated in the lame duck Senate ?

The marvel of Puerto Rican statehood is this. The two parties there are defined by one critical point: whether Puerto Rico should become a state or not. And, for at least as long as I have been paying attention (say since 1964), the Republican party has been the one in Puerto Rico arguing for statehood. Indeed, I have a clear memory of the 1964 Republican convention, with the nomination rollcall including "Puerto Rico, our next state, casts [however many] votes for ...."

It will make for some interesting interactions, should they become a state over unanimous Republican opposition in Congress.

How certain is it that the winner of the Arizona (and Georgia) special election be seated in the lame duck Senate ?

In Arizona, Senator Kelly could be sworn in as early as November 30. That being the date results become official.
https://www.cnn.com/2020/09/19/politics/arizona-senate-race-rbg/index.html

In Georgia, it depends on whether any candidate has, not just a plurality but a majority of the votes in the special election. If nobody does, which seems likely, there will have to be a run-off (to be held, if necessary, January 5).

Nell Lancaster, who used to comment here, linked to this—

https://twitter.com/Taniel/status/1307146228170461185

The gist is that people should target their campaign donations to races where Democrats have the best chance of winning. Supposedly there are 11 states which are closer ( with Democrats having a better shot) than the one between McConnell and McGrath. Apparently Lindsey Graham is in a tight race. I would not have guessed that, but toppling Graham would be worth a few bucks.

Okay, a tangential mini-rant. I wish people would stop it with the “ Moscow Mitch” thing. The man is clearly a homegrown red white and a Blue American slime ball. It hurts my sense of patriotism to think that anyone would imagine he needs foreign influence to be the worthless cynical amoral POS he is. But then I always was an American exceptionalist.

I wish people would stop it with the “ Moscow Mitch” thing.

The thing is, while there's a lot more evidence to support "Moscow Donald," it doesn't alliterate. And alliteration is a core requirement.

“ The thing is, while there's a lot more evidence to support "Moscow Donald," it doesn't alliterate.”

I meant to delete that paragraph, but got distracted. I started to post a reply to yours just now, but it would become a foreign policy thread jack and belongs in another thread.

Maybe tomorrow, in the tactics thread.

Well, just a marker for that potential future comment, if it pisses McConnell off, I don't see any reason why it shouldn't be used.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/30/us/politics/moscow-mitch-mcconnell.html

Just because he’s doing Moscow’s work for them unpaid doesn’t make it any less apposite.

Thanks, wj.
Is there anything (other than the vote of the Senate itself) to prevent Trump calling a special session straight after the election ?

Never deal with a rotten conservative and/or republican without a loaded gun, safety off, pointed at his or her subhuman face:

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/walkback-for-the-ages-graham-ditches-mcconnell-rule-he-promised-to-apply-evenly

Don't trust, don't verify.

Wreak vengeance.

Is there anything (other than the vote of the Senate itself) to prevent Trump calling a special session straight after the election ?

The Constitution allows him to call Congress back on "extraordinary occasions". There is no requirement for how quickly Congress must respond. At the time the Constitution was written, it could take weeks for the message to get out and the members respond. This year Congress is merely recessing before the elections. The Senate is already scheduled to reconvene on Nov 9, the House on Nov 16.

This is what we are up against.

Is what is happening to us now the same as this?

God, bobbyp, that second link is really something.

“We have to justify our having injured those we have injured, or we have to persuade others to our guilty view in order to implicate them in our guilt."

***

“What happened here was the gradual habituation of the people, little by little, to being governed by surprise,” the philologist told Mayer. The Nazi dictatorship was “diverting,” he said, in that it kept people “so busy with continuous changes and ‘crises’ and so fascinated… by the machinations of the ‘national enemies’ without and within, that we had no time to think about these dreadful things that were growing, little by little, all around us.”

***

“You wait for one great shocking occasion, thinking that others, when such a shock comes, will join with you in resisting somehow.” But that moment never came. “That’s the difficulty,” the philologist told Mayer. “If the last and worst act of the whole regime had come immediately after the first and smallest, thousands, yes millions would have been sufficiently shocked… But of course this isn’t the way it happens. In between come all the hundreds of little steps, some of them imperceptible, each of them preparing you to not be shocked by the next. Step C is not so much worse than Step B, and, if you did not make a stand at Step B, why should you at Step C? And so on to Step D.”

This is what we are up against.

I graduated from law school in 1984. The Federalist Society was but a flyer on the bulletin board. "Federalists? That's interesting," I thought. I read about them. Another Reagan-era civil society sabotage attempt, it seemed. Sad that it has come to this.

Is what is happening to us now the same as this?

Not if we see it for what it is, and make it stop.

Thanks, bobbyp.

for some reason, i really love watching Jennifer Rubin seething in anger over what the GOP has become:

If need be, Democrats will expand the Supreme Court and change the lifetime tenure of justices. (Federal judges have lifetime tenure but not guaranteed tenure to a specific seat.) If need be, Democrats will eliminate the legislative filibuster. (Don’t think for a moment that if they show restraint, the Republicans would not eliminate the filibuster the moment they are back in the majority.) If need be, Democrats will admit D.C. and Puerto Rico as states as there is justification for doing so quite apart from the Supreme Court, thereby expanding the Senate to 104 votes.

The vast majority of Republicans are not susceptible to pleas for fairness, but they can be convinced that they will lose this fight to turn the Supreme Court into a right-wing cudgel, unrepresentative in any sense of the country at large. The impact of a single justice will be swallowed by an expanded Supreme Court; the impact of court fights will be reduced by abolishing lifetime Supreme Court tenures. The shape of the Senate will be fundamentally changed to the detriment of a rump party of white supremacists. Do not reason with vulnerable Republican senators on the ballot, rather vow and redouble efforts to beat them. Sens. Cory Gardner, Thom Tillis, Martha McSally, David Perdue, Steve Daines and the rest will further damage any hope of retaining their seats if they vote to confirm. (The “But Gorsuch” crowd is already voting for Trump; the vote to shred the legacy of RGB will be a clarion call for women, liberal and otherwise.)

can't say i entirely disagree with her, either.

(i still think packing the Court is a shortsighted idea)

(i still think packing the Court is a shortsighted idea)

The Republicans are making the concept of "shortsighted" with respect to the Supreme Court moot. The court is likely to retain its current character for a very long time. I should say "the federal courts." Significant damage has been done.

@Kit: I'm curious about where you went to school, that you would have been in class when Robert Kennedy was shot. It happened after midnight in Los Angeles.

I was fast asleep, having gone to bed early on the night of my high school graduation. I woke up around 5 a.m. to get ready for the first day of my summer job as a nursing home orderly, and the clock radio was blaring the news of the assassination, which had taken place a couple of hours earlier. Kennedy wasn't dead but it seemed very grim. It might have been that day or maybe the next day when I heard one of the patients shout at his TV "I hope the bastard dies." It's not nice to say, but I'm happy I outlived that guy.

I watched a couplle of Republican Senatorial clowns in two clips just now.

Court packing is the only way to go if Republicans ram through another Justice after all that bull crap they spouted in 2016. It’s not ideal, but expecting Republicans to play by any rules is stupid.

And if possible, statehood for DC and Puerto Rico. Take the gloves off. The Republican Party can’t be trusted.


( I might do the other argument about Mitch later In the other thread , or might not. )

On the PR level, “ court packing” should be changed. “ Ensuring fairness and justice on the courts” or some such.

https://twitter.com/mattyglesias/status/1307620853983719424

I'd say statehood for DC and Puerto Rico should happen, totally independent of what happens over this Supreme Court seat.

Let's keep in mind there is the other side, every Democrat and everyone here was absolutely for a vote Merrick Garland. Including Joe Biden.

So, as usual, political hypocrisy knows no bounds. And Democrats want to change the rules and pack the court because it dudnt work out for them.

SSDD.

The GOPsters had all the right to vote Garland* Down. They not only refused to vote, they refused to even call a hearing. The former would have been constitutional, the latter was not. Btw, Mitch announced at the time that, should Hillary win but the GOP keep the senate, there would be NO consideration of any judge nominated by her even if she stayed in office for 8 years. There were also threats to start impeaching her possibly before she even got inaugurated.
There is no good faith left on the GOP side and any intelligent uncomatose person claiming otherwise shall be considered henceforth as lacking the same unless meeting very high bars of proof to the contrary.

*whom they proposed as the ideal compromise candidate just shortly before

Agreed, wj.

Marty, it’s a little weird that you think the Merrick Garland case works against Democrats. If the Republicans had allowed a vote people wouldn’t be so bitter about Republicans now demanding one. They change the rules to suit themselves. So yeah, if Democrats get in they should stop expecting Republicans to adhere to rules. You want Democrats to roll over and play by whatever rules the Republicans see as in their current interest.

Now if Mitch said that the nomination would be postponed until after the election was decided, and the results taken into account, I wouldn’t be asking for court packing. But your side doesn’t go by rules. They want power and change the rules to get it. Okay.

Incidentally, I am not exactly a big fan of Democratic partisan bs.. Ask me what I think of Russiagate. Not in this thread though.

oh good, i was wondering when Marty would be here to tell Democrats to follow the rules his own shitty party won't follow.

and, is anyone saying Trump's next shitty nominee shouldn't get a vote?

i see a lot of people* pointing out the nihilistic hypocrisy of the GOP rushing to fill RGB's former seat in light of MERRICK FUCKING GARLAND. i don't see a lot of people saying it shouldn't happen for any other reason than the (clearly bullsht) McConnell Rule.

* notably not ObWi's foremost expert on boundless political hypocrisy, of course.

Douthat has an odd argument.

Romney, he implies, should vote for a right wing SC nominee precisely because it will delegitimize the SC, lead to court packing and ultimately a world where we hash things out through the legislature and/ or a court system openly regarded as political, rather than a system where legally trained Mandarins with lifetime appointments send down their rulings chiseled in stone from Mt.. Sinai.

I don’t entirely trust Ross’s reasoning and the convenient place where he ends up ( I actually like the guy most of the time) but it might work out that way.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/20/opinion/republican-supreme-court.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage

oh good, i was wondering when Marty would be here to tell Democrats to follow the rules his own shitty party won't follow.

The challenge is this. Assume, strictly for the sake of discussion, that the Democrats are willing to follow whatever rules the Republicans have set. What rules would those be, exactly?

Just doing whatever the other party demands, moment to moment, is obviously not following anything that could be dignified as "rules". But established practice of Republicans is sufficiently mutable** that it seems we would need a reference point in time. And how to pick that?

So all in all, about the only way to follow the rules that Republicans like McConnell and Trump have embodied is to impute those rules from their actions. Which results in just one rule of thumb: anything you can get away with, which will maintain or increase your power, is right. Not, I suspect, a rule they would like the Democrats to conform to.

** It's like working for Trump, and trying to conform to his "policy" tweets. You just never know when you'll get a 180 degree reversal. To not only adjust to, but to try to defend as no change at all.

Not, I suspect, a rule they would like the Democrats to conform to.

tit for tat.

and i suspect those are gonna be some tough titties.

Seems a futile argument to me.
Just warn the Republicans not to seat another Justice before the next Congress, and if they do so, then let them face the consequences.

Marty can call it whatever he likes.

And, btw, so are us the gushing encomiums for Ginsburg when you’re preparing at all costs to trample on her legacy. Looking at you, Ted Cruz.

And in one sense, Marty is correct.

Little point in trying to search out any principle on the part of McConnell, or criticising him for hypocrisy. He has no principle other than the exercise of power.

‘spare us’ not ‘so us’.

Typing in a screen...

And, btw, so are us the gushing encomiums for Ginsburg when you’re preparing at all costs to trample on her legacy.

Remember Orrin Hatch? He and Ted Kennedy were friends for all their time in the Senate. Family dinners together friends. The minute Ted was gone, Hatch did everything he could to destroy the causes Ted cared about most.

Remember Lindsay Graham? Great friends with Mohm McCain. The minute McCain was gone, he betrayed every principle McCain fought for. Also called Joe Biden one of the finest human beings he has ever known. Now that Biden is running for President, Graham is in boots and all to publicize a fake scandal in order to damage Biden.

GOPers have no internalized sense of ethics, and so their morals are whatever gets them the most power/money on any given day.


GOPers have no internalized sense of ethics, so their positions can change 180 degrees from day to day.

Most importantly, GOPers have no internalized sense of ethics and they assume the same is true of everyone else, which is why they constantly accuse Democrats of "virtue signaling" when we (Democrats) advocate for equitable social and environmental policies.


GOPers have no internalized sense of ethics so they are incapable of understanding the concept of values which actually mean something, are actually important to people, and drive policy making.


GOPers have no internalized sense of ethics so they think it's all smoke and mirrors - because to them, it is.

Little point in trying to search out any principle on the part of McConnell, or criticising him for hypocrisy.

if it was just McConnell, that'd be one (slimy, vile) thing. but the entire GOP went all-in on the McConnell Rule: top to bottom.

they're about to reap that whirlwind.

GOPers have no internalized sense of ethics and they assume the same is true of everyone else, which is why they constantly accuse Democrats of "virtue signaling" when we (Democrats) advocate for equitable social and environmental policies.

Not quite true. They only assume the utter lack of ethics is true for other politicians, But not true of the general population. Otherwise, "virtue signaling" would be pointless.

Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska said on Sunday that she will not support nominating a successor for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court before the 2020 presidential election. The announcement makes her the second Senate Republican to publicly take that position.

we'll see.

wrong link re: Murkowski.
NPR

So, as usual, political hypocrisy knows no bounds

There is no precedent for filling a Supreme Court vacancy which arises as close to the election as this one.

There was no precedent for not filling a Supreme Court vacancy which arouse as far from the election as the one Merrick Garland was nominated for.

For Marty to accuse the Ds over this: well, political hypocrisy knows no bounds.

The overriding consideration is that the composition of any politically appointed body should mildly favour the party which gets more votes. A 6-3 majority of extreme candidates chosen by the party which usually gets the second most votes: this is not democracy.

Marty, I really think you have lost touch with what our objection in the Merrick Garland case was. Hartmut @12.55 puts it all pretty concisely, and cleek summarises nicely:

i see a lot of people* pointing out the nihilistic hypocrisy of the GOP rushing to fill RGB's former seat in light of MERRICK FUCKING GARLAND. i don't see a lot of people saying it shouldn't happen for any other reason than the (clearly bullsht) McConnell Rule.

Sorry to flog a dead horse, but for clarity:

McConnell made up a rule to avoid bringing the Garland nomination to the floor. He is flouting his own rule in order to instal a replacment for Ginsburg before the election (or possibly the inauguration).

The absolutely unavoidable conclusion is that he (and the GOP) will do absolutely anything to get their own people in, and absolutely anything to avoid any Dem people getting in, no matter the circumstances, and no matter how they contradict their previous justification and rationale. They are, in fact, the definition of hypocrisy.

wj I'm not even sure about that, based on what GOP voters - hoi polloi - say. From what I can tell, their belief is that we are ALL faking it, politicians and general population alike.

Why would we all be faking it, you ask?

Answer: to make the poor GOPers feel bad. To guilt them into giving their hard-earned $$ to mudpeople and otherwise including subhumans in human discourse.

IOW, we only advocate for policies in order to manipulate GOPers, steal from GOPers, and feel superior to GOPers. Not because we actually care about mudpeople and subhumans (or the environment, etc.) because, really, who possibly could?

(i still think packing the Court is a shortsighted idea)

Here is a reply.

The GOP has set this table. The new norm is this: If it is not expressly prohibited, it is permitted. This is not about hypocrisy. It is about power and the willingness to wield it.

Let that sink in.

Let's keep in mind there is the other side, every Democrat and everyone here was absolutely for a vote Merrick Garland. Including Joe Biden.

So, as usual, political hypocrisy knows no bounds. And Democrats want to change the rules and pack the court because it dudnt work out for them.

Let's keep in mind that the novelty in the case of Merrick Garland was McConnell's refusal to give him a hearing. So yes, (D)'s and everybody here and quite a lot of other people wanted Garland to get a vote because... that's what we do when a SCOTUS seat is empty.

POTUS nominates, Senate votes.

Let's also keep in mind that the "rule" that was applied in Garland's case was one that McConnell pulled straight out of his own ass. For the convenience of his party.

And the person breaking that "rule" now is McConnell. For the convenience of his party.

So as far as this goes:

Democrats want to change the rules

F*** that noise. But thanks for playing.

(R)'s represent a minority of the country. Trump lost the popular vote. The (R)'s in the Senate represent about 15 million fewer Americans than the (D)'s in the Senate.

The (R)'s want to govern as if they have a popular mandate that they do not have. That is not sustainable.

If Trump and McConnell push a SCOTUS justice through, I will absolutely support adding additional seats to the SCOTUS. If Biden wins and the (D)'s take the Senate, I will absolutely support them doing so as the first order of business in the Biden presidency.

The Constitution offers some safeguards for minority interests in governance. Those are meant to be safeguards, not levers for obstructing the wishes of the majority of the population for as long as the (R)'s can get away with it.

So there is going to be payback. This year, next year, four years from now, ten years from now.

Whenever.

There is going to be payback. Not dumb-ass right-wing "we're gonna shoot you all" payback, but legal, Constitutionally sound, legitimate payback. The means of thwarting the wishes of *most people in this country* will be taken away from the (R)'s.

You can only spit in people's eye so many times before they figure out that they've had enough.

Consider this my daily dose of hook biting. Once a day is sufficient.

Marty is to Trump and the Republican Party what von Ribbentrop was to Hitler, an advance man sent into the lair of the Nazi's prey to blame the prey themselves ... the Austrians, the Czechs, the Poles ... the "other side", always perfectly equal and balanced in both-sides-do-it depravity ... for forcing innocent-faced fucking ruthless Germany to resort to extreme means to achieve its evil ends.

And what is this word "hypocrisy"?

Weak tea.

The trump conservative movement is a treacherous, depraved internal enemy of all good things American and human.

Thieves, liars, and cheats, to a man and woman.

That we are even discussing the civilized formality of an election against these filth instead of outright insurrection, as they, their armed vermin selves, are doing in every conservative fascist venue, as we speak .. win or lose .. brings a smirk to every fascist McConnell/Putin/Trump republican face, and the faces of every brutal autocrat across the globe who watches trump for the cue to murder their own people, for its pure innocent naive faith that civilized normative behavior, all now dead, will win the day.

Make no mistake. They are killers.

Let that sink in.

why the GOP wouldn't then do the exact same thing as soon as they get a chance; and why the Dems wouldn't do it again; then the GOP; then the Dems? and why won't the end result be a second legislature, where the justice system enforces laws depending on the party in power ?

the GOP needs to be ground to dust.

do we need to take the Court there with it?

I'm not even sure about that, based on what GOP voters - hoi polloi - say. From what I can tell, their belief is that we are ALL faking it, politicians and general population alike.

Casey, that may well be true. But there must be some voters (independents, perhaps?) who do have some ethics not based on expediency -- or, at least, Republican politicians think there are. Else, as I say, charging "virtue signaling" would be pointless.

(i still think packing the Court is a shortsighted idea)

That depends. If you think Court packing will result in reversing the disenfranchisement of a significant number of votets? In particular for state level elections. That could change the complexion of politics to the point where it is not so shortsighted.

I might also note that "court packing", for Federal courts below the Supreme Court level, is exactly what McConnell et al have been engaged in. To the point of putting in justices who are Not Qualified. Indeed, what they say thay have been trying to do. So perhaps, on that evidence, shortsighted indeed.

i think Casey nails it.

when the GOP doesn't want to address an issue it says the issue doesn't exist and that the left is just trying to make everybody feel bad by saying there is (as part of the left's ongoing plot to %%Q-ADJACENT-CONSPIRACY%%)

that way, the GOP laity doesn't need to wonder if maybe the left is onto something. there's nothing there and the left was just faking it. problem obviated.

That depends. If you think Court packing will result in reversing the disenfranchisement of a significant number of votets? I

i think it will ultimately destroy the Court and the judicial system as a whole.

To the point of putting in justices who are Not Qualified.

On that, it occurs to me to wonder: is it not possible to find enough attorneys who are both qualufied and conservative? (If not, why might that be?) So why not nominate them?

The best explanation I can come up with is that it's part of signaling distain for elites. To show that disregard for expertise extends beyong just scientists and diplomats. Would their base carry that to disliking of expertise to their own personal physicians** and auto mechanics? Inquiring minds want to know....

** OK, stipulated that the antivaxxers would. But even on the right, they are a small, albeit loud, minority.

I see the first poll on the issue has over 60% of respondents saying the pick should wait for the next elected President.
Perceived fairness tends to overwhelm sophistry in the end.


I came across this delightful RBG story which I’d not seen before. Made me smile.
https://twitter.com/shershovitz/status/1307704249220911105

That was me, btw.
Not claiming to be nice.

i think it will ultimately destroy the Court and the judicial system as a whole.

Brinkmanship over the Supreme Court isn't ideal, I agree. I'm wondering how it's not destroying the Court to have allowed McConnell to annul Obama's right to choose a Justice, and then turn around and pack the court with Ginsberg's replacement, not to mention an entire Federal bench full of unqualified (according to the standards of the American Bar Association) ideologues. The Court may or may not overturn the ACA. Maybe they won't do the worst we fear. But it would be more disingenuous of Democrats to wait and see than it would to just say that, on principal, we have to enforce some fairness.

I think the ruin may have already occurred. Certainly it's not going to be fixed in my lifetime without some extraordinary events or measures.

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