Monday, April 3, 2017

The Case for Eight Justices

Our own Lindsey Graham is having just too darn much fun at his town halls.  He loves the attention, loves to perform.  And doesn't give a rat's ass what we Dems have come to say.  He's not there to listen.  Buffered by misinformation about Planned Parenthood and abortion funding, a now regular misquote of Joe Biden's, and truly ironic comments about Democratic partisanship, his message is basically that Donald Trump is president, and we should just "get over it."

Graham justifies defunding Planned Parenthood to prevent the government from funding abortions, which it doesn't.

And after House republicans voted over fifty times to repeal the Affordable Care Act at an estimated cost of over $75 million, with big money behind challenges going to the Supremes, Graham is accusing DEMS of being partisan, and advising us to "get over it?"

And then there is the Joe Biden quote, that he has gleefully dragged out whenever asked about the Senate's refusal to even hear Merrick Garland's nomination by President Obama.

First of all, since when do republicans propose to follow anything Joe Biden advises?

Apart from that, the reality is that Joe Biden actually suggested that IF a seat became vacant during an election year, the nomination should not happen until after election day -- NOT until the newly elected president takes office.  The reasoning being that an election season should not be sullied by a contentious Supreme Court nomination debate (There are plenty of other things with which to sully it.).  His point being that the nomination should occur by the sitting president, but after Election Day.

Never passing up an opportunity to twist the truth to their advantage, republicans quickly named the misquote the "Biden Rule," and drag it out whenever convenient, happily during Obama's last year in office.

So let's stick the "Biden Rule" where it belongs and get on with the real issues about the Gorsuch nomination.

Most of us plain old American citizens don't really understand how important the Supreme Court is to the actual face of our day to day democracy.  We know about Roe v. Wade, and the more political of us know why Citizens United was bad, but truly, as we go about our daily lives, the make-up of the Supreme Court is the most important force in America.  The successful nominee will determine the direction of our country, and our lives, for decades.

It has been a bad time for the country because the Supremes have been ruled by narcissistic right wingnuts like Scalia, paranoid right wingnuts like Clarence Thomas,  and bought and paid for right wingnuts like Chief Justice Roberts for a very long time.  I can imagine the rage over the vacancies leading to the appointments of Sotomayor and Kagan during Obama's term.  After the initial shock, I imagine the republican response to Scalia's death was, "enough is enough --  NO MORE OBAMA JUSTICES!"

Of course we were stunned when McConnell pulled the "Biden Rule" from out of his ass, although we should not have been.  The republicans in Congress had done nothing other than plot to retake control for the eight years of Obama's presidency.  Their entire agenda had been centered around "NO."  They were primed to obstruct.

So, all the excuses to keep the quite moderate and well-respected Merrick Garland off the court are bullshit.  He was the legitimately chosen and extremely competent nominee and was denied a hearing and a vote.  The end.

But Dems being Dems, we are witnessing the waffling and spinning off that seems to always go on, and always results in splits that diminish our power and our message to the people.  That message being that we are standing together because it is the right thing to do and we feel that strongly about it that we will risk our careers to stand together.  You know, like the republicans did to regain Congress.

So, whether to filibuster or not?  Jeez, the justifications I've heard for voting for Gorsuch rather than filibuster have truly made me want to pull out my white hair.  He's going to get the votes anyway?  So I'll just help them along???  How about:  We don't want the republicans to change the rules and eliminate the filibuster, because then we can't use it next time.  Now that is truly the Democratic principle we all know and love, the one that says we should all cower and hope nobody notices that we aren't taking a stand.

Then we've got our perennial Dems in name only:  Joe Manchin and Heidi Heitkamp, this time joined by Joe Donnelly.  Overlooking what was done to their sitting president and his nominee, they are claiming that they are voting yes because Gorsuch is qualified.  And they are afraid if they vote no they won't get re-elected.

Neil Gorsuch is the kind of right-wing obsessive-compulsive weasel who has made lots of bad decisions, but know just how to cross his t's and dot his i's so that they won't be overturned.  He is farther right than Antonin Scalia, and doesn't have his sense of humor.  He is John Roberts on steroids.  He is a moral twin to Mike Pence, who believe that God has granted them the power to make the poor and powerless swing in the breeze.

Fun fact:  Mike Pence reports that he will not dine alone with a woman who is not his wife.  I imagine his hair turned white from the amount of scrubbing he does to try to get the dirty thoughts out of his head.  I also wish the not-dining-with-women-alone thing were true of Gorsuch; it would be a great relief to our three woman justices once he is confirmed.

But enough comic relief.

The big money is on Gorsuch.  There are lovely ads put out by the Judicial Crisis Network telling us to call our Senators and tell them to confirm this wonderful man.  No surprise, the Judicial Crisis Network is a right wing dark money group which in fact fueled their self-named judicial crisis immediately after Obama nominated Merrick Garland.  It appears that McConnell isn't all that smart or politically determined; what it takes is those big guys who have kept the idiot in office all these years to tell him what stand to take.

Googling these dark and dirty groups, going backwards till my head spun, I came up with the Wellspring Committee run by Ann Corkery, moneyed religious right attorney who doesn't just put her money where her mouth is; she puts her mouth there too, as with an article for RealClearPolitics explaining how the Dems opposition to Jeff Sessions is based on falsehoods and,
"One, the left's reflexive opposition to all things Donald Trump.  Two, the left's prep work for the next confirmation battle over Trump's nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court."
As far as facts and arguments go, we could say she's like Ann Coulter, but smarter.  And much richer.

The other nice thing about Corkery, Wellspring, Judicial Crisis Network, and all those other dark money groups is that they don't have to tell you who they really are and what they really do.  Corkery's twitter feed is a private group -- I didn't know you could even do that.  Secret money, secret affiliations, secret lives.  What we do know about all these groups and all this money behind Gorsuch is that their primary function is to protect their own power.  They are the people behind the corporations that run the country.  They are the "christian" conservatives that continue to put their money into controlling the rest of us with their fake family values, funding opposition to women's rights so that only women with money and influence can determine their reproductive lives and their futures.  They include the NRA and the Kochs.  JCN not only welcomes into their fold Dems who cave like Manchin and Heitkamp, they take to task their right-wing Supreme Court jurists who find against their interests, calling out Chief Justice Roberts for his decision on Obamacare.

If you want to try to follow the money, this is the article to read:

And while you are there, please feel free to donate to Open Secrets, a group that we are really going to need to ferret out the dark money during these dark days.

So, we have Dems that are doing all they can to slow down the inevitable appointment of extremist Neil Gorsuch.  He will rule against minorities, against women, against voting rights.  He will always, always rule in favor of corporations and the religious right.

A shame the Dems couldn't get it together, like, right from the beginning of this battle.  They knew Trump couldn't have come up with a qualified nominee (one who could speak in complete sentences with words of more than one syllable, and who hadn't been indicted on anything) all on his own.  The deal that has made Paul Ryan Trump's lapdog may have had more to do with choosing the right Supreme Court justice than with agreeing on repealing Obamacare.  We all know that other than furthering Trump's fame and fortune, he really doesn't care what gets done.  We know he was handed a list of acceptable nominees, and can only assume he closed his eyes and pointed to Gorsuch.

Dems united in this battle, refusing to accept anyone who was not Merrick Garland, and the DNC putting money into ads and publicity insisting on same, might have still gotten us Gorsuch, but might have put things off for quite awhile.  The fuss about having to have nine justices just doesn't hold water.  I think the Supremes have done just fine with four and four.  Because in order to accomplish anything, four would have to be persuasive enough to convince a fifth to come over.  I put my money on my team.  I believe the women justices are smarter and more determined than those characters on the right.  I believe Kennedy has been persuaded more than once since his pal Scalia has found out once and for all whether satan really exists.

Without a skeevy Mike Pence being able to cast a deciding vote as he does in the Senate, an eight judge court might be the closest thing to nonpartisan, democratic decisions we will have.

What can we do?  We can make that call that the Judicial Crisis Network wants us to make.

Call your Senator:  202-224-3121 and tell them NO to Neil Gorsuch.

1 comment:

  1. I hate to say it, but the "Christian Right" is so susceptible to accepting untruths in the name of doctrine because so many of them have blinded themselves to reality by believing in the literal truth of the bible. We have a serious reality problem in this country.