GOP Already Being Extremely Ghoulish About Supreme Court Nomination
It's official. Donald Trump has officially nominated Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court last night, just like everyone speculated he was going to do all week.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg is not even buried in the ground yet, and already Republicans in the Senate are trying to fundraise off of mocking her. They are actually selling t-shirts that say "Notorious A.C.B.," meant to reference the popular "Notorious R.B.G." meme, because of how they are in fact sociopaths.
BREAKING: President @realDonaldTrump just nominated Judge Amy Coney Barrett to serve on the Supreme Court. Show you… https://t.co/GT7r4GSomH— The Senate Majority (@The Senate Majority)1601154765.0
Barrett herself is being rather trollish as well, in suggesting her nomination might "honor" Ruth Bader Ginsburg, instead of being the exact opposite of what she wanted.
Judge Amy Coney Barrett honors the late Justice Ginsburg as she accepts President Trump's nomination to the Supreme… https://t.co/Rh5KEOcgBh— NBC News (@NBC News)1601188200.0
Let us, of course, note Barrett's own words when explaining why it would just be very wrong to give Merrick Garland a hearing:
Amy Coney Barrett on Feb. 15, 2016: “It shouldn’t be a surprise the Senate [would] push a president’s nominees thr… https://t.co/JmikonkhRv— JM Rieger (@JM Rieger)1600875424.0
In more trollish behavior, Republicans are already coming out en masse, as they have been for a week, claiming that criticism of Coney's particular religious beliefs as a member of a charismatic ecumenical group is anti-Catholic and would be a religious test.
Amy Coney Barrett better not be subjected to a religious test for public office because she is a practicing Catholi… https://t.co/a1zfbfd3C9— Rudy W. Giuliani (@Rudy W. Giuliani)1601185057.0
No one is opposed to Amy Coney Barrett because she is Catholic. The current Democratic nominee for President is Catholic, as is Justice Sonya Sotomayor. The most Catholic states in the country? Rhode Island, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut and New York. The only Catholic president? A Democrat. People who say the meanest things about Catholics? Right-wing evangelicals. I rest my case.
No, the issue here is that People of Praise, the particular group she belongs to — a non-denominational "Charismatic" group that is in no way attached to the Roman Catholic Church, by the way — requires absolute obedience to one's husband. As a former member told Newsweek:
[T]he submission to your husband bit is not negotiable or figurative. [...] In the case of a woman, her 'head' is her husband—that's who is in charge of her. That is the person who is supposed to be making all of her moral decisions and taking responsibility for the condition of her soul. It's really creepy, but that's the idea.
This means that we would not just be confirming her to the Supreme Court, but also her husband. She is not allowed to make decisions for herself, which is a tough thing when we are talking about a judge.
That is not just regular Catholicism. Is the Catholic religion great when it comes to women? Just like most religions, it is not! The whole thing where women are not allowed at the altar unless they are there to clean it is pretty enraging. I don't like it! But like ... no one is required to submit to their husband in all things. I mean, maybe they're supposed to since the Bible was pretty big on the whole "women having no agency" thing — but in practice? Not that I've ever heard of!
Also ... Trump called the Pope "disgraceful." If I were Catholic (Which I am, technically. I was baptized to appease my grandparents, and apparently they don't let you unCatholic yourself anymore because Pope Benedict wanted to thwart Irish people voluntarily defecting from the Church in the wake of the sex abuse scandals.), I would be more offended by that than I would be by people being skeptical of beliefs that actually have nothing to do with Catholicism. Especially the part about speaking in tongues, a practice many Catholics consider to be a "Protestant thing" like snake handling, the rapture and trying too hard to make church hip.
The other troll they're trying to pull (still) is that she's a woman so therefore, if we believe the things we believe, we should support her. Oh, the hypocrisy of it all! Except that we don't actually believe the things Republicans think we believe.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders, noted non-understander of what feminism even is, tweeted on Friday that it was hypocritical of liberals to not support Barrett, because after all, she is a woman and that is all we care about.
If liberals actually cared about empowering women, they’d be applauding Judge Amy Coney Barrett - a working mom wit… https://t.co/NZwrnZbkK4— Sarah Huckabee Sanders (@Sarah Huckabee Sanders)1601070012.0
I get it. Republicans believe that this is what "identity politics" is. That it's merely representation that matters, not what people actually stand for. They've told themselves this story for years, and it's a good one. They liked saying that the only reason people were voting for Hillary Clinton and not an actual monster was because she was a woman. They liked claiming it was hypocritical of us to not admire Phyllis Schlafly for traveling around the country telling other women to stay home. They absolutely adore that narrative, because it gives them everything. It gives them "The Left doesn't actually believe in anything other than elevating people who are not white men," it gives them "It's hypocrisy to not support these people who are not white men!," it gives them a bonus "See, white men are actually oppressed!"
The problem is, it's not true and it makes no fucking sense.
As we tried to explain to Sarah Huckabee Sanders throughout her tenure as White House Press Secretary, being a woman does not give anyone a pass on saying and doing terrible things, particularly when those things happen to explicitly harm women.
But she knows that. They all know that. Just like they know that appropriating that meme is ghoulish, that we're not being "anti-Catholic" by pointing out that Barrett is required to run all of her decisions past her husband when that's not even Catholic doctrine, and that we don't actually think all someone needs to be qualified for anything is to be a woman. They pull this shit because they know they'll get away with it, because they know that acting in bad faith doesn't hurt them.
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