The death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg — the epitome of the progressive wing of the Supreme Court — adds another twist to the nation’s election season that the coronavirus pandemic has already transformed into the most chaotic in decades.
Donald Trump wasted no time in murdering Senator Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) doctrine that no nominee to the court will be considered in the months before a presidential election — a doctrine that apparently only applied to Merrick Garland, President Barack Obama’s nominee in his final months, since McConnell has already declared that it inexplicably wouldn’t be applicable in the current situation.
Trump signaled his intentions in a morning Twitter post that trumpeted his minority mandate as an excuse for the hypocritical, power-grabbing move.
.@GOP We were put in this position of power and importance to make decisions for the people who so proudly elected us, the most important of which has long been considered to be the selection of United States Supreme Court Justices. We have this obligation, without delay!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 19, 2020
The post led to a flurry of immediate condemnations in the comments section of the president’s social media feed with many Democrats calling for a future Democratic-controlled Congress to expand the number of seats on the court if Trump and McConnell are successful in adding another Federalist Society-approved reactionary justice to the court.
3. Mitch McConnell refused to hold a Senate vote on President Obama’s nomination to the Supreme Court, Merrick Garland. Rushing a vote less than 2 months before an election is the height of hypocrisy.
4. In addition to losing the White House, you ghouls will lose the Senate too.
— Eugene Gu, MD (@eugenegu) September 19, 2020
The Electoral College has placed a candidate that LOST by 2.8 million votes as POTUS. Let’s all remember that a minority of voters have taken away the “Will of the People” due to the antiquated Electoral College.
— Ruth “RaeAnn” Emery-Posner (@RaeAnnEmerySAG) September 19, 2020
Money and power – all he's ever cared about. How many times has he mentioned the economy while 200,000 people have died due to his inaction?
— Ron Clements (@Ron_Clements) September 19, 2020
History will not be kind to any of them.
— SassyMillie Believes in the Soul of America! (@SassyMillie2) September 19, 2020
This GOP hypocrisy will cost McSally, Gardner, Tillis and Collins their seats. Dems have Senate. Biden in White House, then we expand the Court.
GOP took the gloves off first. F%ck 'em.
RIPRBG. Let's win this for her. VOTE and take power.
— Eric Applebaum (@applebaum_eric) September 19, 2020
It remains to be seen whether the outrage over Republican hypocrisy will further energize the Democratic electorate and cost the GOP both the presidency and control of the Senate, but if this doesn’t add extra impetus to motivate Trump’s opponents to elect Joe Biden on a landslide, who knows what other atrocity can?
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Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music and art.