Benny Jay: Appointing RBG

September 22nd, 2020

In the category of good news…

Mitch McConnell’s assertion that he’d advance a successor to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg—an assertion made just after her death—was not the single most cynical act Republicans have committed in the game of filling judicial vacancies.

It’s not even the second most cynical act, as evil and hypocritical as it is.

No, second place goes to Donald Trump for announcing, just a few hours later, that he’d nominate a replacement, but only after RBG’s funeral. Cause, you know, he didn’t want to look too ghoulish.

I was hoping Trump would name a man to replace RBG (say Ted Cruz)—just to let everyone know how much contempt he has for the rest of us.

I have no doubt that it wouldn’t matter had Trump nominated Cruz or Rick Santorum or Jerry Falwell Jr. (pool boy scandal and all) to replace Justice Ginsburg. MAGA would cheer and Republican senators, terrified of a Trump tweet, would dutifully vote to confirm.

But, no, Trump swears up and down he’ll name a woman. We shall see.

But I was going to cheer you up…

Oh, yes, the most cynical act came in 1991 when George Bush (aka, daddy Bush) nominated Clarence Thomas to replace Thurgood Marshall on the grounds that—what the heck, they’re both Black, so who’s gonna know the difference? Thus, Bush selected a right-wing, Republican hack to undo the strides Marshall—a true giant for justice—had dedicated his life to accomplishing. Now, that’s cynical.

Now for the good news.

Putting Thomas on the court helped turn the tides against Bush. In 1992, he lost his re-election campaign. And so, it was Bill Clinton—not Bush—who got to name someone to replace Justice Byron White, when he retired in 1993. And that someone was, of course, Ruth Bader Ginsburg. And the rest is history.

So, you see, there’s always hope, even if it’s just a glimmer in the midst of stressful gloomy times.

Keep up the fight, everybody—we have an election to win and a country to save.

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