I mentioned to my wife a few nights ago that, along with all of the other political upheaval in the U.S. as we approach the 2020 election, things could still be worse: Ruth Bader Ginsburg could die before the election, giving Donald Trump a chance to quickly nominate her replacement, despite the refusal of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in 2016 to even give Barack Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland, a hearing, much less a confirmation vote.
Well, that scenario is now not just possible, but likely, after Ginsburg’s death from cancer this evening at the age of 87.
It comes as no surprise at all that Mitch McConnell announced tonight, while also praising Ginsberg’s life, that if the president nominates her replacement this fall, that person would get a confirmation vote in the Senate.
Of course he’ll hold a vote, even if doing so would be incredibly hypocritical. That certainly has never stopped McConnell before. As Nancy LeTourneau pointed out last year, he doesn’t care what you think.
We learn about how government works in school, but it doesn’t seem to be much more than facts in a textbook that we had to memorize to pass a test or two. Every election is transactional; what can Politician A do for me that Politician B won’t? While we don’t usually see great variances from political norms from election to election, that’s more a function of the political elite protecting the status quo.
But we’re in Bizarro World right now. Trump and his supporters are willing – or even hoping – to burn it all down to maintain power and control. Expecting any outrage from those who make up the Republican Party today is a fool’s game. And like McConnell, they don’t care what you think, either.