Dems Must Fight to Protect RBG's Legacy
Liberal icon Ruth Bader Ginsburg fought for women’s rights, and the rights of all humanity, until the very end.
Now, the 87-year-old hero of the left has died, and Senate Democrats must do whatever is necessary to protect her legacy.
Four years ago, after conservative icon Antonin Scalia died, Mitch McConnell famously held up Barack Obama’s final Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland, for a year, until Donald Trump took over as president. That seat eventually went to Neil Gorsuch instead.
With just 46 days remaining until the presidential election, and with 114 days remaining until Joe Biden can take over the reigns of government, you can bet Trump and McConnell are going to attempt to ram through a new Justice as quickly as possible. Within hours of Ginsburg’s passing, McConnell issued a statement guaranteeing any such nominee would get a vote on the Senate floor.
Democrats can’t let that happen.
No matter what it takes, turnabout is fair play. This will be difficult, since Republicans currently hold a, 53-47, advantage in the Senate, but it is not impossible.
Democrats can always delay proceedings through procedural moves. But that will only get them so far.
At the end of the day, there is really only one sure-fire way to stop Trump and McConnell from achieving their dream of installing a third ultra-conservative Supreme Court Justice. Democrats must stand united, while also convincing four Republicans to break ranks, either by voting against Trump’s nominee or blocking the vote entirely before inauguration day on Jan. 20, 2021.
Their targets will consist of the usual suspects. Maine’s Susan Collins and Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski are always the top two so-called “moderates.” Collins appears hopelessly behind in her reelection bid, mostly because she has shown such fealty to Trump and went along with his last objectionable pick, Brett Kavanaugh.
As of now, she won’t even commit to voting for Trump. As a lame-duck senator, it is still possible she could rediscover her independent spirit and show some wherewithal. She has it in her. She did it in the past, when she heroically voted against Trump’s attempt to abolish the Affordable Care Act.
Murkowski, another Republican senator who voted against the disastrous healthcare reform bill, has shown open disdain for Trump lately. Democrats must convince her to vote nay as well.
Should Collins and Murkowski cross over, as they have done before, that would require two more. And that’s where it gets difficult. Mitt Romney, the only Republican in the Senate who had the gumption to vote to convict Trump in his impeachment trial, is a staunch conservative. He is unlikely to vote against a conservative Supreme Court Justice. However, he could possibly be convinced to join an effort to hold up the vote, giving Democrats a fighting chance to take the White House and Senate back in the upcoming election.
The third Republican vote that derailed Trump’s healthcare plan was the late John McCain. He has been replaced by a Trump acolyte, ultra-conservative Arizona Sen. Martha McSally, who is also heading to near-certain defeat in November. She will be a solid yes and already tweeted her desire to get on with the vote just hours after Ginsburg’s death.
From where could other dissenting voices come? It’s tough to say, but Democrats need to play hardball and figure it out. Perhaps compromise on some other Republican wish-list item. Do some old-fashioned horse-trading and back-room dealing. Whatever it takes.
If not, we could legitimately soon be looking at a backward world in which abortions become illegal in many states, the Affordable Care Act is abolished and Civil Rights are set back a generation. Democrats must do whatever it takes to keep Trump’s nominee off the bench.
The stakes are too high.