The passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has brought leftists to a full political tantrum. Facts, timing and the Constitution make it an increasingly likely prospect that President Trump will successfully install a third Supreme Court Justice in his first term. That drives liberals over the edge. Granted, it was not a very long drive, but in the last few days the left has let fly with an unprecedented political rave-out, even before Trump has revealed his nominee.
Leftists have invoked Ginsburg’s supposed dying wish that she not be replaced until a new president was in office. Former president Obama noted that RGB “left instructions for how she wanted her legacy to be honored,” and that they should be obeyed. Of course such “instructions” are not binding, but it is another example of the cult-like adoration liberals had for the “Notorious RBG” which kept her on the bench long after more strategically-minded progressives were begging her to retire. Now the possibly contrived “wish” is all they have left.
“Let this moment radicalize you,” Demcoratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said. No problem AOC, the rest of the party is right there with you. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer tweeted out a political hot take on RBG’s passing even before he offered condolences and told his caucus that “nothing is off the table” for 2021 if Trump moves ahead. A frantic Schumer later claimed on the Senate floor that “by all rights, by every modicum of decency and honor, Leader McConnell and the Republican Senate majority have no right to fill [the seat], no right.” The Constitution says otherwise. Schumer doesn’t care.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi amped up the threats by suggesting the House could impeach Trump a second time to disrupt the process, since by Senate rules an impeachment trial must take precedence over other business. This cynical ploy would be even less legitimate than the first impeachment she concocted, but it shows the extent to which her hatred of Trump has consumed her. Whether the hurry-up impeachment could be sent to the Senate in time to sidetrack a confirmation vote is debatable, but the process would be so reckless, so dangerous, and such an affront to the Constitution that voters might decide that the country can no longer afford such militant, subversive control of the House.
Leftists are so frustrated that they are embracing the hitherto fringe notion of forcing liberals onto the high court by expanding the number of seats. “If he holds a vote in 2020, we pack the court in 2021,” Democratic Massachusetts Rep. Joe Kennedy III tweeted. “It’s that simple.” Well maybe it is not that simple because first Democrats must take control of the White House and the Senate. Then there is the matter of a prospective Republican Senate minority gumming up the works with filibusters. Democratic Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey’s answer is to do away with the cloture rule altogether and effectively make the Senate into a smaller version of the House.
The radicalism doesn’t stop there; progressives see this fight as an opportunity to press for statehood for the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, adding four Democratic seats to the Senate.
Bear in mind this is all before Trump has even announced a nominee. He has chosen to delay naming a successor until later in the week, after Ginsburg’s funeral, as a gesture of respect. Old school liberal Chris Matthews tweeted that this was a rare act of “true presidential behavior.” Matthews was then ripped with thousands of critical comments from enraged Leftists who have no interest in gestures or respect.
No, for today’s leftist this has nothing to do with Washington’s political norms and courtesies. It is only about power. CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin mocked Democrats as “weak and they’re wimps and they’re afraid,” suggesting that court packing and other threats are hollow. He suggested Democrats take the fight to the streets, as though the country hasn’t seen enough of that over the summer. But sure enough, chanting protesters have already descended on the homes of Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Lindsey Graham and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
This is only a preview of what we can expect once a nominee is announced and hearings commence. Remember the demonstrations against Neil Gorsuch in 2017, and the much worse scenes during the Brett Kavanaugh hearings. Recall the frantic protesters literally trying to claw their way into the Supreme Court during Justice Kavanaugh’s swearing in. Coming off a season of rioting, looting and burning, radical Leftists will be primed for confrontations, and Democratic leaders will say or do nothing to deter them.
Newt Gingrich summed it up best: “There will be sort of a frenzy because the truth is that they’re powerless.” If Republicans can muster 50 votes for a qualified nominee there is nothing Democrats can do to stop the process. Their nihilistic threats to tear down the system only show their true character and lack of commitment to Constitutional government. As if we didn’t already know.
Chris Farrell is director of investigations and research at Judicial Watch, a non-profit government watchdog. He was formerly a military intelligence officer.