Perhaps it is glib to observe that, at the end of the day, Republicans should confirm a replacement for Justice Ginsburg because they can confirm a replacement for Justice Ginsburg, but there is a lot of truth to that observation. They can do it because the president has the power under the Constitution to appoint a nominee (I expect it to be Amy Coney Barrett, but Barbara Lagoa is a possibility and a great one), plus because the Senate has the power under the Constitution to confirm said nominee. And they better do it, because the Democrats intend to crush us if they can, and if the GOP wimps out, our voters will melt down.
The GOP can do this, so the GOP must.
There are lots of arguments floating around, often supported by old tweets and video clips, about how people said this and that about what should happen in similar situations (I note that many of these ignore important facts that distinguish the situations, like the president and Senate are held by the same party now but were not when Merrick Garland was rejected). There are appeals to unwritten rules that always seem to restrain Republicans, and one of the many amusing things about this whole situation is that the wailing Democrats have not even hinted that they would hesitate if the situation was reversed. There are rules and norms cited, and precedent asserted, and none of it matters. The GOP has the power to do it, and I expect it will attempt to do it since unilateral surrender because Democrats will get mad is simply not going to fly with the base. This is the Big Enchilada. This is why we have a GOP president and GOP Senate, to do this one crucial thing. And a GOP that won’t is a GOP the base has no more use for.
So, save the twisted pseudo-moral arguments for the saps. Look back to the Peloponnesian War. Athens and Sparta were at each other’s throats. Melos was a little island city-state that just wanted to be neutral. Athens came along and told Melos you have to join us or we will wipe you off the map. The reason was that allowing Melos to withstand Athens would make Athens look weak and encourage other city-states to resist. Melos was very upset, and in the Melian Dialogue recorded by Thucydides made a bunch of arguments about why Athens should not do as it saw fit. Athens essentially replied that it could do it, so it would do it, and too bad. Melos refused to yield and got wiped off the map.
It is not a perfect analogy, but let’s call the GOP Athens. However, we can’t quite call the Democrats Melos. Melos (at least as depicted by Thucydides) was not an enemy of Athens. The Democrats are. They already announced, while the Energizer Justice was still going and going, that they intend to nuke the filibuster, expand and pack the Supreme Court, create four new Democrat senators out of the new states of DC and Puerto Rico, wave the citizenship wand over 11 million illegal aliens, and make millions of Americans felons for having guns – and that’s just a start. They are committed to a comprehensive plan to lock-in power for themselves forever at the expense of the GOP.
That’s not just speculation. They have said it. That’s their plan. They are going to launch an unprecedented assault on us with the intention of forever utterly disenfranchising us.
So, why again is it immoral that the GOP use the power it won via elections to exercise the power given it during those terms of office, especially in an existential crisis? It’s as if Melos was preparing an invasion fleet but argued, “I can’t believe you are doing this to us, Athens – we aren’t going to invade you for another six months!”
Here comes the headline from lying liberal dummies for liberal dummies: “SCHLICHTER SIDES WITH ATHENS IN MELIAN DIALOGUES.” Luckily, ancient Greek classics are racist, sexist, cisgender exercises in racism, so no libs will know what the hell that lie even means.
We keep hearing how important it is for us to be bound by the norms and rules the Democrats are not only trashing but that they have already told us that they intend to further trash. Let’s assume we’re good little submissives like the Bulwark types and David Brooks and the rest of the establishment toadies demand we be. What then?
Do we gingerly walk into the post-election lawfare ambush that the Democrats have promised with SCOTUS at 4-4 (I also note how absolutely everyone assumes that Justice John Roberts will totally side with the liberal pro-Democrat bloc)? Since Biden’s puppetmasters have already announced that he can never concede ever, there’s no time when the Demos would say “Okay, you’re legit. You get to appoint someone.” They never have so far. Remember how, before Party Hearty Brett’s alleged sex gang affiliation became the big issue, the narrative was Trump couldn’t legitimately nominate a justice because he was under the deep, dark cloud of (manufactured) suspicion about RUSSIA! RUSSIA! RUSSIA!?
And if he loses in November (Until Ginsberg died, I thought Trump was on a glidepath to victory, but it’s not clear how this wild card will affect the correlation of forces), do we just waive the last six months of Trump’s term, which is compounded by how the Mueller baloney made us already give up about two years of his term to that nonsense?
There’s no situation where they will ever agree that Trump is a legitimate president, and therefore that you and I can legitimately have a say in our own governance. We never get their thumbs-up to pick a replacement for RBG no matter what.
In a paradigm of norms and rules, Amy Coney Barrett or Barbara Lagoa would sail through a quick confirmation process (they both just passed one a couple years ago to get on the Circuit Court of Appeals). Instead, we’ll be subjected to a long line of lies about how the nominee is a religious nut and a secret Nazi and loves Q and how she groped a bunch of timid liberal males who were totally shattered by her vicious assaults in 1981 near the water fountain at George Washington Junior High.
Athens cut to the chase when dealing with Melos – it could and it was going to. And the GOP should do the same and cut to the chase. It can and it must because it’s dealing with people who have already promised an all-out assault on our rights and sovereignty.
We either win, or they go down the path of trying to ensure that our interests and rights never again interfere with their unrestrained exercise of power again. And that leads to a dark place.
Appoint and confirm, GOP. Do it, because you can, and because you must.