Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Democrats, it’s time to get mad — and even


Opinion by
Eugene Robinson
September 21, 2020 at 6:51 p.m. EDT

This is a moment to get mad and to get even. The way to do that is to crush President Trump and pulverize the Republican Party in the coming election.

Trump has the power to name a replacement for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died last week. He says he will nominate a woman, surely an archconservative just raring to kill the Affordable Care Act and reverse Roe v. Wade. The GOP-led Senate has the power to confirm her. And because it can, we should expect that it will.

Doing so would be hypocritical, given the way Republican senators held up Merrick Garland’s Supreme Court nomination, cynical and corrosive to the very idea of democracy. But so what? We’re talking about Trump, who desperately wants voters to focus on something other than the nearly 200,000 people who have died of covid-19 on his watch. We’re talking about Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who could not care less what mere citizens might think. And we’re talking about the Senate Republicans, who reliably roll over and give Trump and McConnell whatever they want.


Four years ago, too many Democrats — especially young people and African Americans — stayed home on Election Day. Just 80,000 more Democratic votes spread across Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania would have given Hillary Clinton, not Trump, the power to nominate three Supreme Court justices, shaping the high court’s ideological makeup for decades to come.

I don’t know who those Clinton-appointed justices would have been, but I know they wouldn’t be Neil M. Gorsuch, Brett M. Kavanaugh and whoever Trump picks later this week. The Supreme Court has to be made a turnout-driving issue for Democrats, the way it has long been for Republicans.


“I want you to use my words against me,” Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) said in 2016, as Republicans were denying even the courtesy of a hearing to Garland, President Barack Obama’s high court nominee. “If there’s a Republican president in 2016 and a vacancy occurs in the last year of the first term, you can say Lindsey Graham said let’s let the next president, whoever it might be, make that nomination.”

Now Graham vows to fast-track Trump’s court pick. His Democratic challenger, Jaime Harrison — with whom he is statistically tied, according to polls — has already begun hammering Graham as a man whose word cannot be trusted.

GOP Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Martha McSally of Arizona and Thom Tillis of North Carolina trail their Democratic opponents; while Cory Gardner of Colorado, Joni Ernst of Iowa, Steve Daines of Montana and Graham are also in serious trouble. If Democrats win any four of those seats, then even if Democrat Doug Jones gets ousted in deep-red Alabama, McConnell’s majority is gone.


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