It’s an odd moment for me. Antonin Scalia, believe it or not, died almost a year ago. You know, he died when Barack Obama was still president, still had almost a year to go. Tonight I watched that Orange Asshole, pretending to be the legitimate successor to President Obama, ineptly and embarrassingly nominate a Supreme Court justice—a nomination stolen from our first African-American president—and all I could think of was Jill F-cking Stein. How weird is that?
Excuse me, if that language offends you. I’m sorry. But I have always been honest on this blog. My feelings are pretty much out there most of the time. And I have nothing but contempt not only for Jill Stein and her Russian-aided candidacy, but for all of those on the left who voted for her, knowing she had no chance of winning and that their vote would help the Orange Asshole, and bring us to this day. This day.
Long after Stein is dead and buried—and her pro-Tr-mp legacy is sealed in history—Judge Neil Gorsuch will, if he is confirmed and his life expectancy plays out, be ruling against everything those of us who lean left—including those of us who want a country that is more than a asylum for right-wing Christian biblical bigotry—hold dear.
And, goddammit, I can’t help but think, tonight of all nights, that it is people like Jill Stein (and others I could name but won’t bother to)—pretending to be such advanced, progressive thinkers—who have helped make future reactionary rulings on the Supreme Court a real possibility.
The only thing we can hope is that Democrats in the Senate will abandon some kind of previously-reported stupid strategy to let this nomination go through without a filibuster—are you listening, Claire McCaskill?—for fear that Mitch McConnell and the Republicans in the Senate will do away with the filibuster forever for Supreme Court nominations.
Call their bluff, Democrats. Grow a damned spine. There are hints Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and other Senate Democrats are going to demand 60 votes for his confirmation, the ghost of a still-living Judge Merrick Garland haunting their political souls. That’s great news, if it holds up. For once, Democrats should play the game the other side plays without fear. Republicans won’t always have the Senate. If they use the so-called nuclear option and end the filibuster, so be it. This is not the end of American politics unless, God forbid, the Orange Asshole gets us all killed before midnight tomorrow or some other day. If we survive Tr-mp’s stupidity, if we survive the Holy War some of his closest advisers are waiting to wage, we will eventually get back control of the government, including the Senate.
I say again to Senate Democrats: Filibuster this nomination and demand a centrist nominee, if for no other reason, out of respect for the first African-American president who was treated like three-fifths of a person and a president, when he was denied his right to fill this seat on the Court.
We don’t need a young version of Antonin Scalia—no matter how “respectable” and “conventional” Gorsuch might be presented to us by pundits on TV—to entertain Court watchers with his writing and terrorize the rest of us with his rulings. I want to share with you a glowing review of Neil Gorsuch from a right-wing lawyer who directs a reactionary group called the Ethics & Public Policy Center, a group whose mission is “dedicated to applying the Judeo-Christian moral tradition to critical issues of public policy.”
That lawyer and director, Edward Whelan, writing for the conservative extremist publication, National Review, said he expects Gorsuch “to be an eminently worthy successor” to Antonin Scalia because he is a “dedicated originalist and textualist” whose many talents promise to give him an “outsized influence on future generations of lawyers.” Whelan reminds us that Gorsuch was a “National Review Online contributor” before he became a judge. In that capacity, Gorsuch wrote in 2005:
American liberals have become addicted to the courtroom, relying on judges and lawyers rather than elected leaders and the ballot box, as the primary means of effecting their social agenda on everything from gay marriage to assisted suicide to the use of vouchers for private-school education.”
Those are not the words of a respectable and conventional nominee. Those are the words of a Scalia extremist. And the only people who have a chance of stopping Neil Gorsuch from becoming a Supreme Court justice are Senate Democrats. And if they want to be on the right side of history, if they truly want to be part of the movement that will eventually sweep away Trumpism and its poisonous GOP enablers some fine day, they will fight like hell to make sure Neil Gorsuch never takes a seat on the Supreme Court.