Days before Ruth Bader Ginsburg died, the American hero dictated the following statement to her granddaughter: "My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed." Republicans only respect power, and the dead have very little, so just hours after RBG's death, Mitch McConnell promised to replace her more quickly than it takes an Amazon Prime delivery to arrive these days.

Donald Trump grossly suggested Ginsburg's last official words were a fake: "That sounds so beautiful, but that sounds like a Schumer deal, or maybe Pelosi or for Shifty Schiff. So that came out of the wind, let's say. I mean, maybe she did, and maybe she didn't." Yeah, who are you going to believe — Ginsburg's granddaughter or Trump’s lying mind?

Ginsburg was not yet buried before Trump announced her replacement ... well, no one could actually replace RBG. Trump and the GOP are just stealing her seat and offering it to a woman who'll gleefully take a crowbar to her life's work. It also wasn't a subdued announcement over Zoom. Trump presented Amy Coney Barrett to the world in a big fancy Rose Garden ceremony. It was as if Barrett was becoming an equity partner in the Legion of Doom.

The week after Trump ignored a dead woman's final wish had a certain Stephen King vibe: Bad things kept happening to the president, with escalating crappiness and entertainment value for the casual onlooker: His tax returns dropped, revealing he's a tax cheat in debt up to his orange eyeballs. He went full Colonel Jessup during the first presidential debate. His wife was revealed as the type of monster who'd willingly marry Donald Trump. Oh, and he tested positive for COVID-19 and is now hospitalized instead of ranting about how much Black people suck at one of his COVID-palooza rallies.


Trump's not the only one paying the price for dancing on Ginsburg's grave. It seems like Barrett's coming out party was possibly a COVID-19 superspreader event, a collaboration between O. Henry and Edgar Allan Poe with “Ballroom Blitz" as the soundtrack.

The guests at President Prospero's ball who've also contracted COVID-19 include the not-quite first lady, Utah Senator Mike Lee, North Carolina Senator Thom Tillis, Hope Hicks, Rev. John I. Jenkins, and Kellyanne Conway. Because no one present took the virus seriously, there's no telling who else they might've spread it to while celebrating their new “pro-life" Justice. Trump traveled to Ohio, Minnesota, and New Jersey 48 hours prior to testing positive. His entourage was maskless, and he came in contact with significant numbers of his supporters.

Joe Biden fortunately tested negative after having Trump spit COVID-19 in his direction on Tuesday. But Chris Christie confirmed that there were no masks during the debate prep where Trump rehearsed being obnoxious. Christie also confirmed today that he has COVID-19. Bill Stepien, Trump's campaign manager, was present for debate prep and also tested positive.

Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson also tested positive, but he wasn't at the Barrett ball of doom. However, Republican senators still meet regularly for lunch, indoors, and remove their masks to eat and speak. Senate Democrats don't do this because they have brains in their heads.

McConnell still plans to quickly advance Barrett's confirmation. Previously, all the haste was because the GOP feared losing the presidency and the Senate in the election. Now they need to act while they still have an ambulatory caucus.

Oh, they were so happy last Saturday! Barrett would soon impose her extremist views on us, and they felt free to ignore all known guidelines regarding public gatherings during the pandemic. Attorney General Bill Barr tested negative Friday but not for lack of Kellyanne Conway's schmoozing. Look at them partying like it's 2019.

Conway even leans in to whisper to Barr. Who whispers to people anymore?

The CDC has declared gatherings like the Barrett ball as the highest risk for spreading COVID-19: No social distancing, few masks worn, and people traveling from outside the immediate area to attend, including the guest of honor. After guests tested negative, they were told they didn't no need stinking masks. They even took the party indoors, where according to the Washington Post, "Cabinet members, senators, Barrett family members and others mixed unencumbered at tightly packed, indoor receptions in the White House's Diplomatic Room and Cabinet Room."

Lee was seen shaking hands and hugging people while holding his mask in his dirty hand.

An honorable person would've declined to participate in this travesty, but I don't think honorable people were on the invite list.

Young people have missed graduation parties. Couples have postponed or greatly altered weddings. Families have not been able to physical comfort each other at funerals. But the conservative revelers believed they were safe behind their walls of privilege.

Earlier, Trump told those assembled that, "I know you're going to have a busy couple of weeks, but I think it's going to be easier than you might think."

Life, and Mr. Poe, disagreed.

And now was acknowledged the presence of the Red Death. He had come like a thief in the night. And one by one dropped the revellers in the blood-bedewed halls of their revel, and died each in the despairing posture of his fall. And the life of the ebony clock went out with that of the last of the gay. And the flames of the tripods expired. And Darkness and Decay and the Red Death held illimitable dominion over all.

[Washington Post]

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Stephen Robinson

Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He's on the board of the Portland Playhouse theater and writes for the immersive theater Cafe Nordo in Seattle. Tickets are on sale now for his latest Nordo collaboration, "Curiouser and Curiouser," an adaptation of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking Glass." It promises to feel like an actual evening with SER (for good or for ill).

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