A no-holds-barred, knock down moment in American politics
So the day finally came. Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away on Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. She was one of a kind. If you think back on all the Supreme Court justices who have passed, no one — and I mean no one — has been mourned the way RBG is being remembered. She was one of a kind — a feminist icon and so much more. She was a symbol of righteous defiance to an evil and insane monster of a president and she never even had to say out loud that Trump was a threat to this country.
Before her death, Ginsburg made it known that she hoped that her replacement would be appointed by the winner of the 2020 presidential election. That is the last thing that either Donald Trump or his evil henchman, Mitch McConnell, intend to allow to happen. A recent national poll said that people wanted this appointment to be put off until after the November elections. This president and McConnell will not do that. They see the national polls. They recognize that there is every probability they will lose both the presidency and control of the United States Senate to the Democrats. Now the arch-hypocrite, McConnell, who refused a Supreme Court nomination vote to a Barack Obama’s selection because it was a within a year of a presidential election, insists that a vote be taken within DAYS of such an election.
My phone has been ringing with people imploring me to come up with a solution to this dilemma. No question that McConnell will have the Senate confirm whatever conservative is nominated. Nonetheless, Trump has more than a few hurdles.
Obviously, he has to deal with the fact that he is going to lose the upcoming election. This nomination hypocrisy will only make his chances worse. So he will try to replace Ginsburg with another woman, which in itself is incredibly outrageous, given his despicable behavior toward and remarks about women.
Is there any hope? First of all, holy hell has to be raised over this hypocrisy. There have to be mass rallies, but so massive that this would-be dictator will once again overreact the way he did during his now famous walk across Lafayette Square. This time, everyone will have to get out with their pots and pans and not go home until the nomination is pulled.
Then every single Republican senator behind this sham will have to get a lot of mail and a lot of editorials saying that people will not vote for them if they committed to this perfidy. People like Susan Collins who are behind in the polls based on their past false utterances will have to know that they will be ridden out of office if they vote for the Trump nominee.
Then, with just days left until the election, the process will have to be drawn out. This is a time, if there ever was one, for Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to insist that every procedural rule be adhered to. This is a real “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” moment. Every Democratic and maybe even a few honest Republicans will have to get up and take their time decrying this great hypocritical moment. Every penny that can be sent to Mitch McConnell’s opponent, former Marine fighter pilot Amy McGrath, should be sent to support her candidacy. This may turn out to be a way of getting rid of McConnell, whose race is unexpectedly close.
This is a going to be a no-holds-barred, knock down moment in American politics. In fact, nothing could be a more fitting tribute to RBG than raising hell over this. Assuming that Trump and McConnell get their way, this may be the time to do what Roosevelt could not, increase the numbers of justices on the Supreme Court.
This is a fight worth having. God bless Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Alan Chartock is professor emeritus at the State University of New York, publisher of the Legislative Gazette and president and CEO of the WAMC Northeast Public Radio Network. Readers can email him at [email protected].