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comment by b_b
b_b  ·  31 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Supreme court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg just died

Mitch will have a vote on a nominee by the end of October, tops. He is a demon.

Edit: Actually, on second thought, maybe he won't do that. Supreme court was a driving force behind Trump's victory in 2016. Dinner they already have a solid majority, maybe it doesn't matter that much, so instead of filling it right away they could make it a campaign issue again.

uhsguy  ·  31 days ago  ·  link  ·  

They have till next year to do it, lame duck is probably best time

b_b  ·  31 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I think in the end, McConnell cares about himself and but much else, so he'll do whatever is best for him. There are a lot of potential scenarios, but the only thing I think we can bet on is that nothing he's said or done in the past has any bearing on what he'll do in the future. He's pure nihilist.

kleinbl00  ·  30 days ago  ·  link  ·  

This is not a clear-eyed assessment of Mitch McConnell.

Mitch was first elected to the senate in 1985. Reagan had given us O'Connor and Scalia and elevated Rehnquist to Chief Justice. Two years into his first term, Reagan nominated Robert Bork.

If you're too young to remember, Democrats at the time grumbled about O'Connor (softly, as she's a woman) and griped about Scalia (right?) but Bork caused thermonuclear war. Why? He's a legal scholar who has argued at length in decisions, in print and in speaking engagements that the constitution (A) guarantees no right to privacy (B) does not permit for the regulation of monopoly trade. Scalia-Rehnquist-Bork was going to be the conservative tripod to propel us back to the glory days before the civil rights act and the Democrats threw a tantrum.

And it was big. And it was messy. And it consumed the country for like a month and a half. And the Democrats pulled out all the stops because that's back when Ted Kennedy didn't give a fuck, Tip O'neill was a lush and these Iran-Contra fucks were lying to our faces and fuckin' Morning in America wasn't working out so great. So the Republicans had to settle for Anthony Kennedy who was fine, he was fine, but he sure as shit wasn't Robert Bork.

Democrats go from 54-46 to 55-45 in '88. Bush wins, but after saying "no new taxes" he doesn't do much. Souter? He turned into a liberal! Thomas? Thomas did what Scalia tells him to do, and does what Alito tells him to do. And then we had eight years of Clinton, by god, who saddled us with Ginsberg and Breyer. George W Bush gave us Roberts, who is only interested in being a centrist, and Alito, who is Scalia without a spine.

And then Obama saddled the court with Sotomayor and Kagan.

This is McConnell's sixth term. When he started it was Morning in America and the whole world was going back to the way it was supposed to be. There wouldn't be crack babies, there wouldn't be welfare queens, and unions wouldn't be able to destroy the industry of the United States like it had the UK and Europe.

And then the Democrats interfered in the constitutional process whereby we select our supreme court justices.

Make no mistake - McConnell is no nihilist. "Transactional?" That's a phrase that gets used a lot. But what you have to understand is that Mitch McConnell's entire Senate career has played out under the shadow of the original Democratic betrayal of 1986.

This guy?

In his world, Bork has been a supreme court justice since 1986. Roe V. Wade has been rolled back. The Civil Rights Act has been invalidated. Government has become so small that Grover Norquist has drowned it in the bathtub. And Every. Single. Battle. has been about reclaiming the United States that should have been.

McConnell is up for a seventh term. He'll win. That'll be 42 years in the Senate. With this? He gets to throw the ring into Mt. Doom. This is his Boss Battle. This is all the marbles, right here. This is a 6-3 conservative Supreme Court, his ultimate legacy, the thing he'll be remembered for - that he strove to restore a safe conservative majority for the betterment of the United States.

I don't see McConnell running for an 8th term. I don't even see him giving too much of a fuck if the Democrats respond by killing the filibuster and packing the courts. This is the culmination of his career, and after this he will be memorialized in song. He'll get an airport, he'll get a federal building, and 80 years from now we'll still be trading Molotov cocktails in his name.

b_b  ·  28 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Is Bork the Original Sin of the Supreme Court fights? Conservatives love to paint that saga as the beginning of the era where the Court matters more than the president during a presidential election, but I'm not sure that that isn't revisionist history. I base this on the fact that (1) Arlen Fucking Specter was against the nomination. Yes, he switched sides 20 years later, but he wasn't exactly Che Guevara. And (2), Kennedy, Souter, Breyer, and Ginsburg all had unanimous or near unanimous assent from the Senate. Roberts was the first to face serious dissent, with Dems splitting down the middle, and Alito then becoming the first in a string who were basically opposed along party lines, which of course eventually degenerated into the Merrick Garland debacle. So I don't think there's a lot we can learn from the Bork saga, at least not as much as conservatives like to imagine. The dude was literally on record as saying that Brown v Board of Ed was wrongly decided (although I guess he hedged by saying that it was morally correct, but legally unsound or some bullshit--but what do you expect from a guy who thought that the Saturday Night Massacre was just a regular day at the office).

You are probably right that this is the crown Jewell of Moscow Mitch's ride. He's sold out everything to achieve this moment, and now he has it. I think the joke will be on him in the end, however, because history teaches us that the Court moves with the American people, albeit at a slower pace. There's no situation in which the Court can keep a firm conservative grip on the law while 80 to 90% of the people are moving in the opposite direct. Even Roberts, the person whose SCOTUS career started in a partisan logjam and who therefore probably has the right to hate a lot of Dems, has shown that he hears people and will bend to popular will. I'm as annoyed at this moment as any liberal, but I am also optimistic that the long game may have worn itself out already.

kleinbl00  ·  28 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    Is Bork the Original Sin of the Supreme Court fights?

Yes. 100%. Undeniably. The White House had been captured by Free Market Republicans and they anointed their Saint to steer the country. Their Saint, by the way, was the trigger man for the Saturday Night Massacre after everyone of conscience told Nixon to fuck himself.

Barry Goldwater's loss motivated the right wing media machine to spin up; Richard Mellon Scaife said as much and he built the damn thing. Meanwhile the Civil Rights Act lost the south to the Democrats forever and Lee Atwater ran with that. He also said as much. The Bork nomination happened in the middle of the Iran Contra hearings so it was already a conservative "we don't care, we do what we want" move; the Democrats responded by saying "we still own the Senate, fuckers" and it was game on.

There's an entire Frontline about this.

am_Unition  ·  27 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I appreciate each and every history lesson from you. Thank you.

1. Is this guy the origin of "borked"?

2. Turn out that Biden was on the Senate Judiciary Committee at the time, and at least one GOP Senator has managed to blame ol' Joe for initiating the SCOTUS ugliness. lol "We have to be glaring hypocrites, because of what Joe Biden did to Bork". Brilliant, really. It's crazy, the political maneuvering you're afforded, if you check your principles and dignity at the door.

kleinbl00  ·  27 days ago  ·  link  ·  

1) Indeed

2) "Laws, like sausages, cease to inspire respect in proportion as we know how they

are made." - John Godfrey Saxe

am_Unition  ·  26 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Garland was upsetting, and that should have been the GOP's revenge. At the time, I guess it was. They even named it the "Biden rule" for refusing to initiate confirmation proceedings. But filling RBG's vacancy is beyond revenge. In what fucking world is a 6-3 SCOTUS representative of this country's populace? The current disregard for democratic norms is rampant throughout the GOP, and can only be explained as a genuinely desperate power grab from a party increasingly relegated to a minority of Americans, and even a minority of American voters.

There are some deep-seated issues we need to address with our society. It's not like the democrats, NYT, or fuckin' me are perfect, either, but if Trump maintains his power, we can't expect any attempts at reconciliation to succeed. He's probably the most toxic person that I've ever seen in my lifetime, and I've seen a lot of people.

We need to preach a message of unity. Encourage cross-aisle dialog at a grassroots level, not let our emotions kick in, begin from a position of mutual respect, etc., I mean, at least we could try? If Trump is forced to openly disparage a popular movement of unity, that'd be a bad look. It's not that I expect to succeed, but I'm going to hate myself forever if I never try.

Loved the Saxe quote, btw.

Edit: Fun fact: Romney said that he "would support a floor vote on Trump's SCOTUS pick". He didn't say that he would support the nomination. This guy might be looking at John McCain's vote against Trump's "always coming in two weeks" healthcare plan, and saying, "Hmmmm, how can I be on the right side of history too?". I think with him, Collins, and Murkowski, it'd still take one or two more high-profile defections, right? Place yer bets.

kleinbl00  ·  26 days ago  ·  link  ·  

The best thing the New York Times puts out is The Interpreter, which for some jackass reason they don't have on their website.

    Some of the gravest democratic collapses, Mr. Ziblatt and his co-author, Steven Levitsky, found, occurred in 20th century South America, whose two-party presidential systems closely resemble that of the United States. And the downward spiral began, more than once, with the party in power twisting unwritten but important norms to take control of the country’s highest court.

    In Argentina, the president’s party abused its power to replace Supreme Court justices, installing loyalists in three out of the court’s five seats. In Venezuela, President Hugo Chávez packed the court, adding a dozen new judges. Chile provides perhaps the most worrying example: Though the precise norm-breaking was different, it led to a cycle of escalation between the parties until the country — long seen as akin to the United States in its democratic longevity and stability — collapsed into violence and dictatorship.

    Chile’s bloody fate was also the product of Cold War meddling and polarization that don’t exist in today’s United States. But the pattern is disturbingly familiar. One party violates those norms to give itself a structural advantage beyond its share of the vote. The other side follows suit. Eventually, the norms are gone and with it democracy as we commonly understand it.

    Scholars have a term for this kind rule-twisting that exploits unwritten norms for short-term political gain: constitutional hardball.

    Any politician faces a temptation to break unwritten norms for short-term gain. The expectation is that they’ll restrain themselves out of a belief that preserving the system is more beneficial in the long-term and that voters or their peers may punish them for drastic transgressions.

    But when that logic fails and parties come to see hardball as worth the risk, it can, in extreme cases, set off a doom spiral that can be hard to recover from.

    Imagine a baseball game where one team begins breaking rules and faces little consequence. This forces the other team into a difficult choice. It can continue following the rules in the hopes that its opponents will voluntarily give up their rule-breaking advantage. Or it can even things out with its own rule-twisting, knowing this might set of a cycle of tit-for-tat escalation until they’re not even really playing baseball anymore so much as just brawling in the outfield.

    There’s a reason that fights over the nation’s high court are often what tip shaky democracies into outright collapse: It’s an opportunity for one team to appoint the umpires who oversee the game....

    “If you have one of the two parties in a two-party system not committed to the rules, your system is really in trouble. There’s just no way out of that,” Mr. Ziblatt said. Asked if he knew of any democracies where this had happened and the system had recovered, he paused for several moments before answering, “No. Just no.”

b_b  ·  25 days ago  ·  link  ·  

With regard to the question of whether anyone thinks an extremest 6-3 conservative majority is representative of the country's public opinion, the answer is that no one give s a fuck what the people think:

Henry Kissenger's attitude toward South America and Asia was that he had seen the Nazi's get elected, therefore the people are morons who should only be allowed to vote insofar as they were voting for something that was good. The minute democracies start to make the wrong choice, they can go to hell. The problem, of course, with that argument is that we can all retrospectively say, "Yeah, the Nazis were bad." But we can prospectively say, "A liberal Court will lead us into a Stalinist future." However, the reigning conservative intelligentsia does very much believe that. They are very aware of public opinion, but they think that acting against it is good for the country in this case, since otherwise, we're guaranteed to slump into decadence at best and Stalinism at worst. That's tough to argue against, because it requires arguing against one's imagination and not empirical facts. I had a conservative friend tell me the other day, "They want socialism." Since there's no counter factual that can be run, it's End of Discussion.

I haven't successfully convinced any of my Trump friends yet that they're the allies of their own gravediggers. Most don't read, as far as I'm aware.

Edit: I don't mean to imply that Trump is the Khmer Rouge...just linking for the quote, not the context.

ecib  ·  30 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Concisely, yes. McConnell always struck me as someone with more vision, philosophy, and purpose than almost any representative in my lifetime. The opposite of "in it for himself".

There is a tyrannical (because I am on the other side) purity of thought at work there.

kleinbl00  ·  30 days ago  ·  link  ·  

That whole "while you're playing checkers he's playing chess" thing is a tired trope, but honestly, Mitch McConnell has been showing up, every day, and golfing the back 9 while the Democrats hang out at the 19th hole arguing scores.

For 42 years.

I think he's an evil man. I think he's morally bereft. But I also think he's a dogged legislator with a clear-eyed focus on what matters to Mitch McConnell.

am_Unition  ·  30 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    And then the Democrats interfered in the constitutional process whereby we select our supreme court justices.

I can't tell if you're referring to actual events surrounding the change in nomination from Bork to Kennedy, or if you're using the sentence as a sarcastic/rhetorical device, giving McConnell's perspective, like you go on to do again later.

goobster  ·  28 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Rhetorical device. "The World According to Mitch."

kleinbl00  ·  30 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Another aside?

I've gotten seven emails from the Trump campaign overnight. Maybe four? Maybe five? last night since RBG's death was made public.

Not a one of them has said a thing about the supreme court.

It is entirely possible that Mitch McConnell has backed Trump up about all his bullshit expressly for the supreme court nominees.

A reasonable assessment of the facts on the ground are that we have put up with four years of abject cruelty and misrule because Mitch wants this seat.

am_Unition  ·  30 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Campaign emails be damned; To Trump, I think this is primarily about shoeing someone in there as quickly as possible who can be trusted to interpret election discrepancies in his favor. I just wonder at what level those talks are proceeding. "So, Ted Cruz," (yes, everyone, he's forreal on Trump's proposed SCOTUS nomination list) "...Mail-in ballots, amirite? They're terrible! A Chinese invention, people are saying."

kleinbl00  ·  30 days ago  ·  link  ·  

"Obligation." Not "opportunity." Not "duty." Not "right." Not "privilege." I have an "obligation" to take out the garbage. Two hours ago, Brad Parscale Mk. II sent out an email with that tweet basically saying "yeah the president's right, obligation, yadda yadda, 800% match, thank you drive through" and it is far and away the least passionate shit I have seen from the Trump campaign.

Trump's base aren't a "law & order" crew. They're a "take the law into your own hands" crew. Letter-writing and appeals to the constitution aren't their scene; they're much more about loading up the F350 with bear spray and paintball guns to go rumble with some antifa fags.

On the other hand, RIPRBG is basically the Seventh Seal for the Progressive movement. This is that orc with the bomb running under the castle walls. I mean, I threw $100 at Get Mitch or Die Trying just to feel like I'm doing something, and I'm already monthly to the ACLU. I've also somehow become the voice of moderation, god help me, despite the fact that the last time I took one of those stupid political quizzes I was like 95% socialist or some shit.

The last thing the Trump campaign needs is another reasons for anyone vaguely left of Romney to get out and vote so hard because really? McConnell will get his pick, they'll vote on it and it'll be done. Lame duck, before the election, doesn't matter. For Trump it's another opportunity to do his dumb Bachelor Rose Ceremony but a supreme court justice? Not beholden to him. Owes him nothing. Is likely to disappoint him in the long run. At least with Jeff Sessions Trump could watch him twist in the wind for not licking sphincter hard enough. A Supreme? That's job security. And there is absolutely nothing between us and Justice Norquist. Or Justice Stephen Miller.

Trump knows, and McConnell knows, and Susan Collins knows that if Mitch doesn't get what he wants he can open up all sorts of things he's had shut down. Every bill he's sitting on is leverage. Every single thing the Democrats want? There's a Republican who doesn't. In order for this not to be an absolute catastrophe a whole bunch of people who have never done the right thing need to do the right thing.

We knew when Trump was elected we'd likely lose Roe V. Wade. We knew we'd likely lose Obamacare. And we will. That's it. McConnell isn't stupid and he's not gonna fly too close to the sun like Gingrich. Mutherfuckin' turtle wins the race.

This is the way it always is: liberals capture the culture because they're young, conservatives capture the legislature because they're patient. The conservatives have been building an apparatus since Goldwater lost and the past 70 years have been about reversing The New Deal. And here we are. Trump? Trump is a sideshow. Trump has always been a side show. Whenever you ask McConnell about Trump, he points to all the judges he's installed. And every liberal or progressive voice worth listening to has been decrying the attack on the courts since Scalia and the Democrats have been too busy giving people's jobs away to Mexico and globalizing trade for Jamie Dimon.

You've got some decisions to make, my friend. Because between the way the politics are going and the way the environment is going, you're in Taliban country.

And I don't see a mechanism by which things get better.

usualgerman  ·  28 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Electorally it doesn't matter unless states actually flip. 10,000 more democrat voters in various blue states don't matter because of the electors. There's no reason for them to worry much about blue voters "voting really really hard" because their regions are generally blue anyway.

kleinbl00  ·  28 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I've given something like $500 towards house and senate races in states I don't live in.

It matters.

usualgerman  ·  28 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Electorally it doesn't matter unless states actually flip. 10,000 more democrat voters in various blue states don't matter because of the electors. There's no reason for them to worry much about blue voters "voting really really hard" because their regions are generally blue anyway.

goobster  ·  28 days ago  ·  link  ·  

My money was on Tom Cotton filling the seat. (There's lots of back-channeling in his camp for either SC or Presidency. Both of which are fucking terrifying.)

Now that Trump has decided to nominate a woman (makes the hand gesture of "female hips" as he says it)... I'm at a total loss. No idea.

kleinbl00  ·  28 days ago  ·  link  ·  
b_b  ·  26 days ago  ·  link  ·  

"Good on TV." Lol. That's trumpspeak for "she's hot." You know that matters to him. Guarantee he brags about replacing someone he wouldn't fuck with someone he would.

am_Unition  ·  30 days ago  ·  link  ·  

He's also up about 10 pts. in a poll over his challenger, so I'm sure that he'll continue to do exactly whatever he wants.

oyster  ·  30 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Oh he will, and the Republicans will vote them in and their followers will laugh. Further proving to the sane among us that Republicans are disgusting people who are completely incapable of following any sort of principles in life. Only out for their own self interest.

am_Unition  ·  31 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Nah, he'll totally do that. He might even wait until after the election so as not to enrage the dems, which would bolster their voting numbers.

I hope I'm wrong. I hope I'm wrong about damn near everything I've said here lately. Pretty sad virtual existence. I'm good afk, though. :)

Edit: Well, it was up in the air for all of 40 minutes after I made my comment. Mitch has said he'll move to force a vote on a Trump SCOTUS nominee, but the timeline is still unclear.