insult politics

At some point today or tomorrow Amy Coney Barrett will be given a seat on the Supreme Court of the United States.

Has she earned that seat? I don’t know, probably not–or at least not yet–but it doesn’t matter; it’ll be given to her anyway. Is she qualified? I don’t know, maybe, but it doesn’t matter; it’ll be given to her anyway. Do the American people support her? Some do, some don’t, and it doesn’t matter; it’ll be given to her anyway. At some point today or tomorrow Amy Coney Barrett will be given a seat on the Supreme Court of the United States.

It will be given to her in the same way SCOTUS seats were given to Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh. It will be given to her as a display of raw political power. It will be given to her as an expression of the modern Republican Party’s sneering disregard to representative democracy. It will be given to her as a demonstration that Republicans in the Senate can do whatever they want and Democrats are helpless to stop them. It’s the legislative equivalent of the Trumpist slogan Fuck your feelings.

It’s hateful aggressive bullying, plain and simple. It’s the same thing Trump supporters are doing all across the nation. It’s deliberately coughing in the face of a person wearing a mask. It’s driving trucks decked with Trump flags and signs through a BLM demonstration, honking horns and shooting people with paint guns. It’s purposely mispronouncing Kamala’s name. It’s openly carrying semi-auto rifles into the coffee shop, into the supermarket, into the state capitol building. It’s a flag saying ‘Make Liberals Cry’. It’s blocking access to ballot boxes and harassing voters. It’s calling the police to report a black person for being a black person doing what a white person can do. It’s a t-shirt that says ‘Free Michigan, Fuck Whitmer’.

Modern Republicans didn’t invent insult politics. They’ve been around for centuries. It’s been written that the Roman emperor Caligula planned to appoint his favorite horse, Incitatus, a consul of Rome–the highest elected or appointed office in the Roman Republic. It didn’t happen, but it’s a classic example of insult politics.

I’m not comparing Amy Coney Barrett to a horse. Unlike Incitatus, Barrett may, in fact, be qualified to sit on a high court bench. Even the Supreme Court. It doesn’t matter, because she’s not being given the seat because she’s the best candidate to fill it. Republicans could have chosen any of dozens of interchangeable, reliably conservative judges who’d vote the way they expect her to vote. They chose her because she’s a Catholic woman, and would give them a chance to accuse Democrats of being against religion and women. They chose her because it’s easier to bully somebody when you think they can’t or won’t fight back.

Giving a SCOTUS seat to Amy Coney Barrett is a deliberate insult. It’s a general insult to democracy, and a very specific, intentional slap in the face to Democrats. Giving her a seat is an insult to the Supreme Court. It could be said it’s an insult to Amy Coney Barrett herself, because it’s entirely possible she could have earned a spot on the Supreme Court. (The same is true of Gorsuch, who might have earned a seat; it’s not true of Kavanaugh, who lacked the temperament and probity to occupy a SCOTUS seat.)

The fact that Barrett is willing to accept a seat on the Supreme Court as a gift is, sadly, telling. It meant she didn’t have to answer any tough, important questions during her confirmation hearing. Does a president have the power to delay an election? The US Constitution offers a clear answer: no. Elections are held “the Tuesday next after the first Monday in November.” But Barrett declined to give an answer, because it didn’t matter; she was to be given a seat on the Supreme Court of the United States. Should a president commit to the peaceful transfer of power? The answer is obvious: yes. But Barrett declined to give an answer, because it didn’t matter; she was to be given a seat on the Supreme Court of the United States.

My objection to Amy Coney Barrett isn’t grounded in her politics. Well, not entirely. My objection is the rank hypocrisy of Senate Republicans and their disregard for the process of democracy. They could have waited to give her the seat until after the election. They could have waited for the American people to speak their minds through their votes. They could have chosen NOT to just giver her a seat on the Supreme Court. But no. They could have acted decently and honorably. But no. They did what they wanted because they knew nobody could stop them, because they had the power to impose their will on American society.

That’s all there is to it. At some point today or tomorrow Amy Coney Barrett will be given a seat on the Supreme Court of the United States as a testament to the conservative commitment of pissing off Democrats.

3 thoughts on “insult politics

  1. How has ACB not earned that seat on the Supreme Court? Other than the fact you may not like her personal politics or religious leanings, those do not come into play when deciding a justice for the courts. Does she have the experience and knowledge to hold the position? Without a doubt, yes.

    Has she said anything that would make anyone think she would use her personal convictions in her deciding of cases. NO. In fact there is evidence of that in cases she has decided where the law overruled her own personal convictions.

    Unlike justices such as the Sotomayor and Kagan who routinely legislate from the bench and make up laws were none exist.

    But you keep being you, a party hack. The republicans have done nothing illegal or unconstitutional in appointing her to SCOTUS. If the democrats were in power, as they were when they did the exact same thing, they too would be trying to fill the seat asap and it would be their right to do so. If the Dems controlled the Senate they could stop it, which again would be their right to do so. But this president and this senate were elected by the people to represent them and they are doing just that. To make it anything other than that is a complete falsehood.

    Like

    • I’m so glad you’re here and willing to articulate an opposing position, Billy. No sarcasm intended. It is a fact, though, isn’t it, that an appointment to the Supreme Court this close to an election is counter to well established convention, and that no one, at least not Greg, has said the republicans are breaking an actual law?

      Liked by 2 people

    • Does she have the experience and knowledge to hold the position? Without a doubt, yes.

      Oh, with very many doubts. I did say she might be qualified, but let’s face facts — she’s very inexperienced even to be a federal Circuit Court judge, let alone occupy a seat on the Supreme Court. She’s never tried a case to verdict. She’s never argued an appeal in any court. She’s never performed any serious pro bono work, even as a law student. She spent two years in private practice with a pair of prestige Republican law firms, but when asked about it during her first confirmation hearing she could only recall three cases she actually worked on. She’s never handled a criminal case. Her only qualifications, really, are academic — either as a law professor or as a clerk for another judge.

      Does that disqualify her? No. Hell, technically you don’t even have to have a law degree to be a SCOTUS judge. But she’s the most inexperienced judge since Clarence Thomas.

      there is evidence of that in cases she has decided where the law overruled her own personal convictions.</em

      Oh? Tell me about those cases, please.

      The sad fact is, her primary qualifications are 1) the well-founded GOP belief that she'll rule to overturn Roe, and 2) her long history of working for conservatives.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.