David Axelrod, speculating on the likelihood of Ruth Bader Ginsburg's imminent death or disablement--in other words, the likelihood that she is not much longer for the SCOTUS bench--tweeted a few days ago:
If there is a SCOTUS vacancy next year and @senatemajldr [i.e., Mitch McConnell] carries through on his extraordinary promise to fill it-despite his own previous precedent in blocking Garland-it will tear this country apart.
11:49 AM - 23 Aug 2019
I take that as essentially a threat rather than a warning. And it's a threat that is overwhelmingly likely to backfire in a major way against the Dems.
Consider the public revulsion against the treatment of Brett Kavanaugh--the Dems did themselves no favors with those antics. Presumably the Trump legal team has been vetting candidates ever since and will have another solid choice ready. We know from polling that the SCOTUS issue is always a winner for the GOP, and that it played a significant role in Trump's victory in 2016. If the Dems attempt to tear this country apart, as they attempted in the Kavanaugh hearings, if they once again attempt to stage a lynching the public revulsion might well lead to a Trump landslide.
The betting is that Amy Coney Barrett will be the next nominee. The spectacle of a qualified mother being savaged by the likes of Maizie Hirono and Dick Blumenthal for the crimes of being not only an articulate conservative, a Catholic, amd a mother as well will, IMO, make the backlash occasioned by the Kavanaugh hearings pale in comparison.
Since Barrett appears to be Ginsburg’s polar opposite in so many ways, especially on the issues of abortion and Roe v Wade, if she is nominated to replace Ginsburg, I can see a strategy that pushes hard on the angle of "Barrett is not the right sort to replace Ginsburg with." Of course there will be the scurrilous stuff, too, especially on social media, but if the Dems can somehow manage to keep their main strategy away from overly vilifying the woman herself, then I can see enough RINO/GOPe types being swayed by that argument, that it's “just not fair to the legacy of this great woman, Justice Ginsburg." If so, then another nominee would have to be named, and it’s easy to see the problems that could pose, especially from a timing standpoint if Ginsburg were to exit the stage during this term.ReplyDelete
If an opening does occur and Barrett isn’t the nominee, it sure seems like this dynamic could be one of the more salient factors.
So far, based on her previous confirmation hearing, Dems have "vilified" Barrett by calling her a Catholic and a mother. How do you think they'll vilify her this time--if she does become a nominee?Delete
I think Brad is correct in saying the chief threat is Collins, Romney, et.al. squishing to the argument that the court must be kept balanced/her legacy must be preserved/Trump has polarized the country enough. They'll do it to put a thumb in Orange Man's Bad's eye if for no other reason. That it will screw the Deplorables is just bonus points.Delete
If Collins was able to vote for Kavanaugh I think she'll vote for Barrett, as well. Also, bear in mind that the GOP gained in the Senate in the mid year election on the strength of Trump's campaigning--that's a virtually unheard of accomplishment and was owing in large measure to public revulsion at the Kavanaugh hearings. My guess--and I haven't studied it--is that Barrett will be both a more sympathetic nominee on a personal level than Kavanaugh (not so much of the silver spoon/mouth thing) as well as more appealing to movement legal conservatives based on having clerked for Scalia and other factors.Delete
Another factor is that Ginsburg recently stuck up for Kavanaugh and Gorsuch both from a personal and a professional standpoint. Barrett can simply find a few Ginsburg decisions to praise--search "Ginsburg" on this blog and you'll see that I've praised her views on 1001 v. Scalia's views--and that will neutralize the balance thing.
(Sorry this is a little long. I think it’s at least a fast read, though.)Delete
I'll never be persuaded that Roe has been other than a terribly divisive and destructive actor in this nation ever since it was decided. The states would've worked things out on their own and things would be a lot better now - in ways seen and unseen - if that had been allowed to happen. Since I think Barrett is probably a "No" on upholding Roe - and for other reasons, as well - what little I know of her now has me inclined to be in favor of her being seated on the Court. Since it really could happen, I think it makes sense to game out what obstacles might be thrown in the way.
The usual suspects will find ways to call her things even worse (LOL) than “woman” and “Catholic;” after all, when you view dirty tricks and deception as two of your most necessary, tried and true political weapons, finding ways to vilify "the enemy" is rarely a problem. Especially after Kavanaugh, however, I agree fully that any Plan A that smacks of dirty trickery or over-the-top calumny and vitriol would backfire, which is why I think the angle of just saying that since she is so "opposite" of Ginsburg, her replacing Ginsburg would be a “cruel and spiteful attack” on Ginsburg herself seems like a more likely route for the Dems to take. The "attack on women and women's health" card will of course be played to the hilt. Also that such a nomination would be "divisive" to the country, when “what the country really needs” at this “critical juncture” is "healing,” which demands “compromise.“ (I can hear it now!)
If Ginsburg passes, she’ll be built up as the greatest American hero EVAH! Much of the political middle might feel enough sympathy that "honoring her memory” by not “dancing on her grave” would be a big theme for the Dems, I have to believe. And if she just retires for bad health, a Barrett nomination will be effectively equated to sticking a knife in the Good Justice’s poor, dying heart. It all just makes me think the main strategy would be not so much to attack the woman (Barrett) herself, though that of course would happen. Instead, Barrett would be the "wrong person to replace Justice Ginsberg” and the “wrong nomination for what the moment calls for," with the implication of "just choose someone less divisive, Mr. President, and we'll gladly support him or her."
Of course it's all a sick joke, but since when has that ever stopped Dems from using it or a few RINOs from falling for it? (Susan Collins, for one, is facing a tough reelection bid in Maine.) And of course I do think a Plan B would be readied, just in case, and it would almost certainly be as shameless as we might imagine. And of course this is all rank speculation on my part, at best. Just throwing it out there to play around with.
"The 'attack on women and women's health' card will of course be played to the hilt."Delete
ACB is a woman. Polls show women don't buy into that rhetoric.
Plan A is winning a nasty fight. What's your Plan B?
Me? Heck, I don't even have a Plan A ;^> I totally agree with your points in favor of a Barrett nomination getting through, though, including seeing how Collins might determine a Nay would hurt her worse than a Yay. I just have fun gaming out possible strategies, and it seems that working the angle I laid out above might be tempting to the Democrats as part of a strategy to skim off a few RINOs. As for their Plan B, I have no idea. I just think the Dirty Tricks Democrats would have one, because that's just how they roll.Delete
It will be difficult to accuse Barrett of being the leader of a rape gang.ReplyDelete
I expect, therefore, that someone will accuse her of using the work "nigger" while she was in high school.
One never knows. She's adopted some kids so there could be allegations of sex abuse or trafficking of minors--a Catholic Pizzagate. Racism is always a safe bet, especially with the NYT no leading the way.Delete
I'm agnostic about ABC replacing RBG, but Axelrod looks to be preparing the battlespace. By astroturfing. I think that's one strike against. Raising awareness well in advance, means you have to take it up several notches "in the event" because it's now competing with other stories and distractions with the passage of time. You can't keep energy/enthusiasm/engagement "on hold."ReplyDelete
In my view, it's rather despicable, ghoulish even, and in extremely bad taste, to speculate about someone's demise--and publicly so. That's the second strike against. The use of death/disability for a partisan advantage is unseemly to most people.
The so-called "balance" argument was tried out when Clarence Thomas replaced Thurgood Marshall. It had a short shelf life because the Democrat activists couldn't help themselves and went DefCon 5 and full battle stations against Thomas.
That looks like a whiff. I call that strike three.
Any WH will always have a short list vetted for the contingency of a USSC vacancy--that's just prudence.
And we know that Trump knows the importance to his base because he made a showing of lists of possible nominees during the campaign. And those working with Trump on judges are very involved in the process through to confirmation. He stood behind Kavanaugh all the way. I expect no less going forward--without speculating who might be called in the event of a vacancy.
Yep. I think it's a win. If it happens.Delete
There may be a perfect storm coming for the Democrats this Fall.ReplyDelete
First, Barr/Durham/Horowitz may soon come forth with declassification, OIG report on FISC fraud, and potential indictments for Comey and McCabe.
Then, Trump may finally get his China trade agreement which will boost the economy, bring jobs back to the US, and secure blue collar votes in the Rust Belt.
Finally, a SCOTUS fight will once again remind voters why the Democrats are horrible people.
A caveat however. Voter fraud and cheating will hits new heights in 2020, so the outcome is never assured. No slacking allowed.
I have nothing to add. Oh, wait, there could be a big trade deal with the UK, too.Delete
Regarding Axelrod's threat about tearing the country apart, the Dem's motto seems to be, head's I win, tails you lose.ReplyDelete
Right. We've got a president now who won't accept that, won't alter his approach to accommodate that. I like that.Delete
By the way, and it's really too early to judge, but Brett Kavanaugh wasn't my first choice. I'm not saying that he is, or will be, a bust. His first years is somewhat encouraging.ReplyDelete
Anyway, the Rs now have 53 senators instead of 51. They also don't have Flakey and Corkey. Bottom line is that I'd like to see Judge Amy Barrett if any vacancy occurs.
I agree with all the above. The point about the change in the senators is one I intended to make but forgot to. Thanks for pointing that out. Also, Red State Dems will think twice before jumping on the "tear this country apart" bandwagon again. I don't even wanna talk about Plan B. Plan A is we put our best candidate forward, the one we really want, and we play to win.Delete