Of Course Trump And Mitch McConnell Can't Wait To Pick An RBG Replacement
Back in 2016, 8 months away from the election, Republicans swore to high heaven that they simply could not give Merrick Garland a hearing, that doing so would just be wrong in an election year. That the people needed to make that decision at the ballot box. This was not self-serving at all, they swore. Ted Cruz insisted, even, that the court could function just fine with 8 judges. This had absolutely nothing to do with the fact that they simply didn't want Obama to nominate a new Supreme Court Justice, they simply cared about what was fair.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg's body is not even cold, and Trump, McConnell and Cruz — along with practically every other Republican out there — are talking about how they absolutely must be able to immediately fill her seat, a month and a half away from a national election.
Mitch McConnell released a statement last night using some very twisted logic to explain why it was totally okay for him to deny Garland a hearing, but that Trump should be allowed to appoint a replacement immediately.
"Americans reelected our majority in 2016 and expanded it in 2018 because we pledged to work with President Trump and support his agenda, particularly his outstanding appointments to the federal judiciary. Once again, we will keep our promise. President Trump's nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate."
McConnell can't say he is flip-flopping on his 2016 position about election-year court vacancies because doing so benefits him politically now. So he has offered some logic that does little to disguise its political convenience: This time is different because the Senate and the presidency are held by the same party, which wasn't the case when there was a vacancy in the last year of Obama's presidency.
"Since the 1880s, no Senate has confirmed an opposite-party president's Supreme Court nominee in a presidential election year," McConnell said in his Friday statement.
Oh, sure. That makes all kinds of sense. Of course, if McConnell thought they would continue holding onto the presidency and the majority in the Senate, he would have no problem at all with waiting. Apparently, he thinks they're going to lose — and lose big. Because the fact is, there are a whole lot of people out there who, at the very least, claim that the only reason they are voting for Trump is to get that seat so that they can take our reproductive rights away. They fill that seat, it's possible a whole lot of those people won't even bother to show up.
This morning, #FillTheSeat was trending, with a whole bunch of conservatives quoting various Democrats circa 2016 talking about how Garland should be given a hearing and a vote — their attempt to make it look like Democrats are the ones being hypocritical.
I agree with @HillaryClinton! The Senate Republicans MUST fill the seat so we don’t dishonor the constitution!… https://t.co/O0UdiRawmt— Alex Bruesewitz (@Alex Bruesewitz)1600519761.0
Sure thing, Mr. President! #FillTheSeat https://t.co/prfntnV3pa— Will Chamberlain (@Will Chamberlain)1600522878.0
And, of course, there are those doing the Both Sides Tango.
@ParkerMolloy I'm all for calling out the GOP for their statements in 2016 and was doing so last night, but I think… https://t.co/48Ha15BkGX— Josh Jordan (@Josh Jordan)1600525319.0
Ooooooooh... so reasonable and fair!
Look. Obama nominated a centrist candidate like Merrick Garland, believing that he was being "fair" to Republicans, and that they would appreciate this gesture — even though Democrats had yet to receive a single thank you note for having graciously taken the public option off the table, or for the many, many other ways they had been every so generous to Republicans while Dems controlled the legislative and executive branches, with the assumption that the favor would someday be returned.
Republicans refused to confirm, making up a whole ridiculous justification for it that anyone with half a brain realized was bullshit. And now, they are showing us that it is bullshit.
When people tell you who they are, believe them. Republicans do not act in good faith, with this, or anything else. Ever. There is no consistency that we can count on, outside of the fact that they will always act in bad faith and they will always be trolls. Operate on that assumption, now and forever.
This is a gift.
This should be seen as a freeing moment for anyone still hanging on to the idea that there is any kind of logical consistency with the way the Right acts or what they believe. There isn't. Not a single thing. Think "Oh, they can't criticize a veteran?" They can absolutely criticize a veteran. Think "Well, they can't call so-and-so a socialist?" They can call anyone they damn well want a socialist. Think that if you "just let them have" whatever thing it is they want that they'll return the favor? They won't. Think if you're careful to be reasonable and not to "go to far" or do anything that you think will "frighten" them that they won't act like whatever it is you do end up doing is the equivalent of stabbing them in the face several times? Because they totally will.
Doing Republicans favors, taking them as sincere and principled, being careful not to "scare" them or "go too far" has not once worked out for us, ever. In fact, it has traditionally been thrown back in our faces.
Once you know that there is no amount of people pleasing you can do to get what you want, you can be yourself — and that, frankly, is when people actually start to like you. We understand this in our regular lives. Go-alongs are only ever just barely tolerated. No one is that excited to be around someone who is trying super hard to be all things to all people and play all sides. Everyone wants to be around the person who is just absolutely themselves and gives no fucks what other people think about them.
There is no playing fair here. I don't know if there ever was, but there certainly isn't now. There is only being strongly and steadfastly ourselves and not paying attention to Republicans or what they want, only what we want and what we want to do for other people. That's it.
Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse