Buck up, ever’body!

September 19, 2020

Buck up, ever’body!


Ruth Bader Ginsburg, RIP

Buck up, ever’body! RBG would not want us crying in our cups, and I think this Court thing-y will turn out okay!

As is Senator Addison Mitchell McConnell Jr. (R – Ky.) – the Senate Majority Leader – plays games. We know this! He sold us a lot of crap in 2016, when he claimed the American people should choose the person who gets the privilege of selecting Justice Antonin Scalia’s replacement. Never mind the fact that we chose Barack Obama to work for us from January 20, 2013 to January 20, 2017.

Now, Leader McConnell must come up with a new rationale. That’s easy, he says. The American people chose Donald Trump to work for us from January 20, 2017 until January 20, 2021. Wait. What? What about last time? Well, he says, the Senate must advise and consent and in 2016 the Senate we had was chosen by the American people to check President Obama while our current Senate exist to support President Trump.

So, uh, let’s debunk this nonsense. First, President Obama received 5,000,000 more votes than his opponent, while President Trump received almost 3,000,000 fewer votes than his opponent. Doesn’t matter, on account of the Electoral College? Right, and just as clap-trappy is the notion that we select our presidents to do this or that, or that we limit the length of their terms when it comes to certain tasks. (By the way Justice Scalia died 268 days before the 2016 election, while his dear friend Ruth Bader Ginsburg died 46 days before this year’s election.)

And what about the “Senate as a check argument?” When I checked last, voters in individual states pick their senators. Each election has its own personalities and quirks. Certainly, an ascendant party helps its candidates, but nationalizing the Senate is pure poppycock, as is the notion that we elect senators for purposes which further Leader McConnell’s interests. In sum, then, STFU, Mitch!!! You and the crew who support you and yours will never get clean. You stink, and no amount of nonsense will wash you clean.

Why, then, am I optimistic? I can count. To confirm the nominee requires 51 votes in the Senate. Fifty senators, plus the vice president. And I don’t think Mitch has the votes, for he can only lose three members of his 53-member caucus.

Four senators – Susan Collins of Maine, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Charles Grassley of Iowa, and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska – have all made public statements about waiting until 2021. Senator Collins likely loses her election this year, but her only chance involves redeeming herself, after she voted for Brett Kavanaugh and against convicting President Trump.

Call Senator Graham a lost cause. I hold out not much more hope with respect to Senator Grassley. As for Senator Murkowski, she made her statement yesterday, soon before the announcement about Justice Ginsburg’s passing.

Then there’s Mitt Romney from Utah, who just plain doesn’t like President Trump and leads constitutes the Traditionalist caucus in the Senate.

Counting tells me Leader McConnell has no more than 51 sure votes. If he loses Collins, Murkowski, and Romney, one more lost vote shuts this thing down. Does someone like Cory Gardner from Colorado vote no, on the off chance that it might help him get re-elected? Or, maybe Thom Tillis from North Carolina? Who knows? And, of course, something might sway my No picks toward voting for President Trump’s nominee.

My point? The Senate is not nearly as clearly a lost cause as a 53 – 47 majority suggests. Forty-five days seems like a short time frame and we should not expect Leader McConnell to adhere to any traditional norms about the Supreme Court confirmation process. That said, we live in very fluid times. Stay strong. Use this sad moment to energize yourself and anyone and everyone you know who wants a more just society. And vote! Vote early if you can. Get your ballot to its appropriate repository as soon as possible,

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