Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Some Thoughts on Replacing Scalia

Regarding the GOP stonewall on Scalia’s replacement, by my amateur reading of it there is no “use-by” date in the Constitution that precludes the president’s right, indeed his obligation, to nominate a successor in the event of a sitting court member’s death. It’s not a carton of milk. There are eleven months left in Obama’s presidency; he was elected twice, the last time by five million votes and an electoral landslide. This is a thing he gets to do.

Offended by a rash of executive actions in recent months, McConnell et al are determined to slog through one more tough year of maintaining zero output from the legislative branch, with this item being the chief remaining prize. The closing of Guantanamo bookending Obama’s presidency as a campaign promise in 2008 and now with its remaining 90 prisoners proposed for relocation, they would love to stifle that as well if only for its symbolic effectiveness as a yoke of failure the punditry could lay across his presidency. But still, keeping the Supreme Court of the United States in a non-functioning state is the current prime directive of the Republican senate. I can barely grok how sick this is.

Displaying all the maturity of a schoolyard spoil sport who takes his ball and goes home so none of the kids can play, McConnell and the gang of eleven members of the Senate Judiciary Committee have signed a letter stating their intention to kill the process with inertia. Now that’s leadership. Obama could nominate the hangin’ judge of the GOP’s dreams, a full-on Adam’s rib, Noah’s ark death penalty enthusiast and brutality apologist and they wouldn’t even know it because they won’t meet with him or her, nor will they schedule a hearing. It’s outrageous.

I imagine Mitch McConnell as a little boy when his mother told him to clean his room, with his little fingers jammed into his ears and saying “blah blah blah” as his even in youth prodigious wattle shook like Jell-O in the mold. What an infuriating bunch of jerks these eleven members of the Senate Judiciary Committee are. They are the whores and hirelings of some number of dozens of fat cat donors, and the goal of obstruction for obstruction's sake that was plainly stated in 2008 is now in its endgame. Whether it’s pandering to fundamentalists, industrialists, militarists or racists, if it impedes the president, the answer is always going to be the same: “Yes sir, right away, sir, whatever you say, sir.”


  1. Excellent. For years now, this Congress has behaved like a group of spoiled pre-schoolers. Pouting if they don't get their way, refusing to share, bullying anyone who gets in their way. I love the image of Mitch McConnell with his fingers in his ears. They're still there. Thanks for writing this, it's perfect!

    1. Thanks Anna--I was listening to NPR today and a fellow Steve Inskeep was interviewing put it in those same terms. The only difference was that he chose the syllables, "na na na na na" instead of "blah blah blah."