We’re screwed good and proper: Anthony Kennedy to retire

June 27, 2018 • 1:27 pm

Yes, this just happened: as of July 31, we’ll have a vacancy on the Supreme Court. Kennedy was a swing vote, and now Trump gets to appoint his replacement, which will be someone like Scalia or Thomas. And that, of course, means we’re screwed for decades to come. What we’re going to get now is a rock-solid conservative majority on the Supreme Court, one that will make or affirm the law for a long time to come.

Kennedy was a moderate conservative, but could be a swing vote, as he was on cases of gay rights and abortion. He was our only hope that this most important branch of the judiciary might check the excesses of the executive and legislative branches. No more. Yep, we’re toast.

Kennedy’s resignation:

211 thoughts on “We’re screwed good and proper: Anthony Kennedy to retire

    1. To get Gorsuch confirmed, the Senate Republicans abolished the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees. In addition, it is likely that a few relatively conservative Democrats will vote for Trump’s nominee. So, we are screwed.

      Kennedy was a conservative on most issues as illustrated by his votes on the cases decided this term. On a few social issue cases, he departed from the conservative majority. The next appointment will be unquestionably a hard right conservative. Consider Roe v. Wade in jeopardy.

      To compound the situation, just how much longer can Ruth Bader Ginsburg last?

      1. will be unquestionably a hard right conservative.

        Not just this, I suspect, but a theocracy-builder to boot.

      2. Even though this looks very bad the Democrats
        should make this confirmation process as difficult and painful as possible.

      3. “… just how much longer can Ruth Bader Ginsburg last?”

        I’d gladly move to DC and be her nurse-maid, feed her my famous-recipe chicken soup everyday, if it will keep RBG happy, healthy, and wise, and sitting on the Court through the next presidential election.

        1. She is not done yet. You know how some people are ready to go, yet they somehow stay alive for a certain relative’s birthday or anniversary, or wedding? Then, they let go. I just want to think that no matter how good your soup is, and I bet it is better than the Soup Nazi on Sienfeld, she is not going anywhere right now. She is not going down easy.

  1. Given that he’s already packing all the lower courts, looks like “It’s all over now, baby blue”.

  2. No kidding? I totally agree! 👍 One of the journalists (can’t remember which one) said and I love this! Victimization is at the core of Trumpism! 😢🙏

  3. If Dems continue with the politics of hate, Trump might get a 2nd term. If that happens, it could be a 6-3 or even a 7-2 court.
    Tread carefully.

    1. “If Dems continue with the politics of hate…”

      Your statement illustrates the ideological divide in this country. Liberals and conservatives live in separate universes. Do you think Trump practices the politics of love?

      1. And Clinton tried to run a very warm and fuzzy campaign, imo. It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t help that I’m finishing up Harry Potter books (previewing them before kiddo gets to them) and am reminded how quickly things can swing from mostly-fine to fascism.

      2. I don’t think Trump hates any particular group of Americans, he tends to go after individuals. Hillary called a large portion of the country “deplorable” and lately, the Dems have been calling conservatives “Nazis”. This is not how you change opinions, just the opposite.

        1. “This is not how you change opinions, just the opposite.”

          Which is probably why Republicans seem unable to change Democrats minds, since Republicans have been using the very same tactics.
          Of course, it’s been the Republicans who have been running actual Nazis. And white supremacists. And dominionists.

          1. Wait, actual Nazis? Who?

            Also, “running” is a weasel word, since most anyone can join primaries or get in on some local election action. I could just as easily say the Democrats are the ones “who have been running crazy antisemitic anti-vaxxers and people advocating for violent Communist revolution.” Are there any open white supremacists who have been elected to national office and/or endorsed by the Republican establishment in the primaries?

              1. The VERY THIRD SENTENCE: “The state GOP has denounced Jones and says it will try to field an independent to run.”

                What I said: ” Are there any open white supremacists who have been elected to national office and/or endorsed by the Republican establishment in the primaries?”

                I mean, are you even going to try and rebut what I actually said in my comment, rather than what you wish I said?

              2. The Illinois Republican Party is full of people like Jones. So they “disavow” him – he is their candidate. He will be on the ballot in November as a Republican. You would think the GOP would make the effort to make certain they had a decent candidate on the ballot in every congressional district. They could not be bothered. I don’t care what the GOP “denounced.” Look at what they did. And see who is running on their line in November. Not in a primary. In the actual general election.

              3. Me: “Are there any open white supremacists who have been elected to national office and/or endorsed by the Republican establishment in the primaries?”

                You: “No, but X, Y, Z, so it doesn’t matter.”

                And, just so you know, neither party tries to get candidates for every election and just go with the person that shows up. There are several such campaigns every election.

                Regardless, you have continually failed to in any way rebut the points I actually made. You have equivocated and prevaricated, but that is not proving your original statements true.

            1. https://www.snopes.com/news/2018/02/06/former-nazi-party-leader-gop-nominee/

              You can call “running” a weasel word if you wish, but Republicans don’t seem to care a great deal who runs for their party, and once the deplorables get elected, it doesn’t seem matter to the party as long as they can maintain power.

              Trump pretty much proves that point.

              Republicans aren’t running anyone against the nazi. Perhaps they just don’t care, or are incompetent?

              Yes I agree, Republicans (elected congressmen and senators) have been calling Democrats all sorts of things, including calling all Democrats communists who want to destroy America.

              Yes, all sorts of nuts are in the Democratic party, most of the nuts are just supporters. Republicans go out of their way to elect the most rabid, lunatic frothing at the mouth crazies. Democrats at least try to keep them out or in line and remove them when they go too far.

              Unlike Republicans.

              1. From the article about the same person George posted, third sentence: ““The state GOP has denounced Jones and says it will try to field an independent to run.”

                Again, this is not a rebuttal to what I asked. That sentence alone contradicts several things you just said in your comment.

                Your last paragraph just sounds like a tired comedy sketch. “Republican be primaryin’ like this, but Democrats be primaryin’ like THIS”

                All the things you said in your original post ended up having no supporting evidence.

              2. The Republicans don’t care because they have no chance of winning that district. Democrats should start caring less about their outrage and more about the down and dirty reality of electioneering.

              3. Exactly, Taz. Usually, in such races, the opposition party doesn’t field any candidate at all. Unfortunately, because of rules in a particular state, they have to let someone run if that someone wishes to. The Republican Party didn’t field the candidate, didn’t endorse the candidate, and now has to have bad PR because the person happened to show up. PR like these articles, which have convinced Jessy and George that the GOP is actively trying to put neo-Nazis in Congress.

            2. Not sure that any of the neo-Nazis whose names have shown up on ballots with an “R” next to ’em have received official GOP endorsements. But Corey Stewart, who’s the official, party-backed Republican candidate running for the US senate, is as fringe a far-right, neo-Confederate candidate as you’re likely to come across.

              And let us not forget that Klansman David Duke was at one time a Republican US congressman from Louisiana (and later received 43.5% of the vote as the Republican candidate for the US senate).

            3. Me: “Are there any open white supremacists who have been elected to national office and/or endorsed by the Republican establishment in the primaries?”

              You: “No, but X, Y, Z, so it doesn’t matter.”

              And, just so you know, neither party tries to get candidates for every election and just go with the person that shows up. There are several such campaigns every election.

              Regardless, you have continually failed to in any way rebut the points I actually made. You have equivocated and prevaricated, but that is not proving your original statements true.

            4. “Are there any open white supremacists who have been elected to national office and/or endorsed by the Republican establishment in the primaries?”

              Donald Fvcking Trump.

          2. “Which is probably why Republicans seem unable to change Democrats minds….”

            Umm, they don’t need to change the minds of Democrats, just the ever-growing ranks of independent voters. Which they are doing quite successfully, with the aid of the Dem’s divisive rhetoric.

        2. You have to be kidding! How can you forget “Mexicans are rapists” and the “Muslim ban”? Also all the anti-black dog whistling he’s done his entire life. If reminding you of these things is “hate”, then I’m a hater.

            1. ???

              Do you suppose there are no Mexican, Muslim, or black, or gay, or transgender Americans who would feel rather unloved because of Trump’s views and statements and policies?

        3. Rush Limbaugh and other right wing media stars have made their fortunes by calling liberals nazis for decades.

          Gingrich & Co. started the tradition of demonizing liberals.

          Conservatives called all those opposing the Iraq War un-American traitors.

          What universe do you live in?

      3. I don’t agree with mordacious’s response to you below, but I will say this: people who vote or can be convinced to vote Democrat often are attracted to the kinder and less hateful tone that they (used to) have. The tone of compassion and care for everyone. If Dems continue embracing hatred and constant attacking of political opponents at all times, and destructive identity politics, they will be different from Republicans only in which groups toward which the spew their hatred.

        1. I agree Democrats are headed the way of the Republicans but they have a long way to go before they approach Republicans almost daily new lows.

        2. I think people who are attracted to the Democratic Party are attracted by the policies and legislation supported by the Democratic Party, not just their “tone”. I don’t really care about tone, whether from a conservative or a liberal. I care about what actually happens because of the policies and legislation that are enacted. I am not especially smart or unique. I’d bet that for most of us s liberals, the difference in what policies are supported by the two parties is the important difference.

          1. Eh, you may not think you’re smart, but I like to perform a little thought exercise whenever I start to think that the average person might have thought processes similar to my own, or when I try to model the mindset of others. And this exercise helps me understand why optics and rhetoric are far more important than anything else.

            The exercise is as follows: think about the average IQ, which is 100. 68% fall within one standard deviation of that average. Now, what is your conception of the “average” person, taking into account your interactions throughout life and the fact that you likely live in an area where people are slightly above average on the whole? Not very smart, yes? Perhaps the kind of person who doesn’t think too hard about policy and generally follows what their favorite media outlet/community/social media feed/ideological bubble tells them is right?

            Now, think about that standard deviation on the lower end. About 22.6% of people are somewhere between 85 and 100 IQ. 15% of people have an IQ of 85 or below. 70 is where you get into mentally retarded territory.

            Even the average person, and even most above average people (a 115 IQ is the 85th percentile, and that’s the average highest IQ of people working in the vast majority of sectors, even those we might consider “smarter”: http://www.iqcomparisonsite.com/occupations.aspx), do not think much about policy, nor the future of the country beyond a vague idea, no less about maximizing utility or consequentialism (whichever philosophy appeals to you personally). They think with their emotions and, on the whole, they think what they’re told by their upbringing, families, communities, and chosen media (which is usually an extension of at least one of the latter three social institutions).

            When we’re discussing the success and failure of political parties or movements, we need to consider the vast majority of the people those parties and movements need to convince. At the end of the day, it is emotion, sense of wellbeing, sense of caring, and sense that “hey, that politician/movement is just like me” that helps persuade people. It is rhetoric and optics.

            There’s a reason people continually vote against both their own interests and their own stated values. Look at the housing crisis in California. The very people who continually vote down new housing to lower costs and give homes to people who need them are the same people who claim to be compassionate and uber-progressive. On the other side of things, the same people who say government is too big and spends too much want constant tax cuts and a bloated military budget. It’s not hard for most people to feel like they’re wonderfully helpful and compassionate and principled and advocating for what’s best, while supporting policies that don’t reflect their impressions of who they are of what they claim to want. To them, there is no disconnect because there was never much thought put into any of it in the first place.

            1. “They think with their emotions and, on the whole, they think what they’re told by their upbringing, families, communities, and chosen media (which is usually an extension of at least one of the latter three social institutions).”

              I meant to say that chosen media is usually an extension of at least one of the former three institutions (usually a combination of all three).

      4. Historian, your statement illustrates the manichaean nature of that divide. You falsely assume that if mordacious1 is critical of the Dems, xe must therefore be a trump apologist. You also ignore the possibility that both Dems and Gops can be guilty of practicing hateful politics.

  4. This is such bad news. RBG can’t have that much longer in her either. Elections do, it seems, have consequences.

  5. “. . .someone like Scalia or Thomas.”

    I’d never put Scalia and Thomas in the same boat. Thomas is a second-rate mind with questionable morals. Scalia was a brilliant mind whose integrity was never questioned even by his most ardent adversaries. His minority stand on abortion remains, to my mind, eminently sane: “The States may, if they wish, permit abortion on demand, but the Constitution does not require them to do so. The permissibility of abortion, and the limitations upon it, are to be resolved like most important questions in our democracy: by citizens trying to persuade one another and then voting.” The latter part of that statement bears as well on the issue of civility that was the topic of a recent thread.

    1. It’s not very important to me about the quality of the intellect of various justices. I am much more concerned about how they vote. Surprising to some, perhaps, justices agree with each other more often than not. However, as July 3, 2014 Thomas agreed with Scalia 91% of the time as reported by the NYT.

      By the way, I have heard it stated by people who opposed Scalia’s decisions that, nevertheless, he had a brilliant mind. Are these people conceding that they don’t have brilliant minds since they didn’t agree with him? And, if so, why didn’t they change their views to conform with that of the brilliant mind? In other words, it is logically inconsistent to oppose Scalia’s decisions while simultaneously saying what a great mind he had.


      1. “it is logically inconsistent to oppose Scalia’s decisions while simultaneously saying what a great mind he had.”

        It’s perfectly consistent to agree with someone’s logic and still disagree with their conclusion. This is because logic is only one aspect of an argument for or against a policy.

        In the case of abortion, I think that Scalia’s logic is impeccable but also that he’s not giving enough weight to the emotional aspects of abortion. Pro-choice advocates in general make the mistake of trying to defend their stand on logical grounds whereas the greatest strength of their position is empathy, not logic. One can have a brilliant mind and still be lacking in empathy.

      2. I guess that depends on how much legal questions have objectively correct answers. My impression is that there’s precedent for almost anything and a reasonable legal case to be made for almost any position. So I guess you can admire an argument’s rigor and consistency both internal and with precedent (or whatever Scalia was renowned for) while still thinking it’s wrong.

        Scalia was famed as an originalist who thought the Constitution should be interpreted the same way today as it was when it was written, and that if we want to change the Constitution we’re supposed to draft an amendment. Others think the interpretation should just evolve with the times, no amendments needed, because clearly an imperfect document that we should take more as a guideline than The Truth. It seems like a value judgment.

    2. Bear in mind that a constitution that says nothing about reproductive rights would as easily allow the state to compel women to undergo abortions at to prohibit women from having them.

      And speaking of Nino Scalia, did you know Killary Clinton smothered him to death with a pillow? (Just one of the screwy conspiracy theories Donald Trump lent credence to while appearing on Alex Jones’s InfoWars program!)

    3. I never considered Scalia a ‘brilliant mind’, but a scoundrel who sold the SCOTUS out to his narrow political bias in 2000. That year I lost all respect for the SCOTUS.
      An ‘originalist’ when it suited him, but not eg. where the 2nd amendment was concerned (killed the ‘well regulated militia part).
      De mortis nisi bono, but he was a despicable little man.

      1. Also keep in mind that the “brilliant” Scalia along with Rehnquist were dissenters in the Edwards v. Aguillard case, with both claiming that teaching creationism in the public school science classes would actually be “protecting academic freedom”, as though superstition automatically deserves equal time in the public school science classes.

        Also note for comparison purposes that Ben Carson has also been described as a “brilliant brain surgeon”, while listening to him talk strongly suggests the exact opposite of anything even remotely approaching “brilliant”. Carson claimed that Joseph (who was never in Egypt) built the pyramids to store grain, despite having a very tiny open internal volume. 1984 Newspeak would obviously redefine an idiot as brilliant and visa versa.

  6. Sadly, Trump’s campaign promises about nomination(s) to the Supreme Court are why key segments of the electorate voted for him. The truly shocking thing is how Obama was cynically blocked from filling the vacancy when he was still in office.

    1. And it still burns. I only wished Obama fought hard, to the courts if need be, to defend his right for that nomination.

    2. obama entered office with the famous “super majority”. But he was at the forefront of the Dem’s divisive identity politics, which directly led to the loss of both houses. Had the Dem’s elected instead a unifying president, we wouldn’t be having this unpleasant discussion right now.

      1. Obama had no “divisive identity politics” unless you count being black. He deliberately avoided any mention of “first black president”. Many black citizens have complained that Obama did nothing for them. He invited the GOP into policy discussions much more than Trump has.

        1. Oh please. He played the race card right out of the gate and whenever it served him personally. Eric Holder pretty much only played the race card. obama also repeated the gender wage gap lie, and of course there was his ‘bitter-clingers’ insult.

              1. So, as expected, you have nothing thereby proving my point.

                He’s not my hero, just a better-than-average president and way better than the current one could even imagine.

              2. Just google ‘eric holder race card’

                Sorry, but I don’t consider nixing universal healthcare for a Heritage Foundation scheme, quadrupling the number of drone strikes over his predecessor, assassinating US citizens, suspending the writ of habeas corpus, extending FISA & the Patriot Act, blocking enforcement of EPA regulations, letting BP go unpunished, opening pristine arctic wildlife preserves to drilling, and tanking the economy, as ‘above average’.

          1. And when he saluted a Marine with coffee in his saluting hand? That Obama’s opposition was substantially racially motivated should be obvious to all. Trump led the way with his birther bullshit.

    1. Let’s remember that mostly Kennedy voted with conservatives. On social issues, he often voted with the liberals. So Trump will be replacing a moderate conservative with a full blown conservative. Not the end of the world.
      If Breyer or Ginsburg croaks, that will be the time for you to freak.

        1. Yep, the religious right is creamin’ its jeans tonight over the thought of overturning Roe v. Wade.

          But beware the answered prayers, as St. Teresa of Avila cautioned; more tears have been shed over them than the unanswered ones.

  7. To all those who voted for Jill Stein – go f*** yourselves. In Michigan (16 electoral votes), Trump won by 10,704 votes. 51,463 people voted for Stein. In Pennsylvania (20), Trump won by 44,292 votes. 49,941 voted for Stein. In Wisconsin (10), Trump won by 22,748. 31,072 voted for Stein.

      1. They may not have voted for Clinton, but this does not negate George’s point. Jill Stein and the Green Party can be justly blamed for contributing to Trump’s victory because out of ideological zeal they would have preferred to see Trump win rather than compromise their principles. This was a rerun of Ralph Nader in the 2000 election.

        I am sick of the purists on the extreme left. They need to be held accountable for their actions, which contributed to the rise of the right and Trumpism. They are truly the useful idiots.

        1. “I am sick of the purists on the extreme left.”

          Purists on the left, yes. But I’m also sick of myopic corporatist “centrists” Democrats who can’t seem to stand up for the economic interests of the vast majority of Americans.

          Here in Wisconsin, Trump won by a sliver. Republican voter suppression worked. Some “purists” voted for Stein. But Clinton hadn’t bothered even once to even visit the state.

          1. But I’m also sick of myopic corporatist “centrists” Democrats who can’t seem to stand up for the economic interests of the vast majority of Americans.

            A fair assessment. But the GOP isn’t standing up for those interests, either. They’re winning on cultural issues, most notably in an abortion rights battle in which the leftists & radfems have snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.

            And instead of seriously reevaluating why its message is not selling, the left cries ‘Nazis!’

            Republican voter suppression worked.

            Precisely how many voters were suppressed, and how was this measured?

            Yet more excuse-making by Dems, instead of taking a long, hard look in the mirror.

              1. That all-or-nothing Pew question masks the true underlying sentiment: a majority believe abortion should be either legal only in a few circumstances or illegal in all:


                The strident radfem rhetoric, which equates a fetus with a tumor, and restricting late-term abortions with forcing someone to donate a kidney to a stranger, is callous & offensive, and has done much to undermine broad support for Roe.

                Indeed, the Left’s quixotic obsession with late-term abortions was wholly misguided, as c. 97% of abortions occur in the first trimester, nearly all the remainder in the second trimester — and those for reasons covered by even the most restrictive state laws.

              2. Yet more straw men? You must have a closet full.

                We know that the abortion question is highly sensitive to what exactly it asks and how it is worded. Still, I find it hard to imagine that many in the 70% are for late-term abortions. Is that what you are implying? If not, then what exactly?

        2. If we want to second guess the election, better yet to go back to the DNC blocking Sanders in favor of Clinton. Sanders would have got most of the Stein votes and also split enough of the blue collar white male votes the propelled Trump in the battleground states. He may have even visited them during the campaign.

          1. While we can never know for sure, polls had Sanders consistently beating Trump (and all other Republicans) by large margins, while Clinton frequently lost to many Republicans in the polls and was tied with Trump.

            I believe Sanders would have won the general election easily and brought us in a whole different direction.

          2. Sanders would have been crushed. Have you even bothered to think about all the hatred directed at the “New York Jew”. Anti-semitism is alive and well in this country. I think the alt-right hates Jews more than blacks. And they have usefule idiots like Sheldon Adelson supporting them.

            And why should the DNC not block Sabders? HE IS NOT A DEMOCRAT!!!!!

            1. “I think the alt-right hates Jews more than blacks.”

              You mean all those alt-righters who voted for Hllary? Well, good thing we didn’t drive them away with Sanders instead!

              “And why should the DNC not block Sabders? HE IS NOT A DEMOCRAT!!!!!”

              Apparently, you do not understand how the primary rules work. But anyway…Aahh, so it was all justified! All the subterfuge, Hillary taking over the entire DNC and its operations and funds in order to ensure she became the nominee a year before the process even started. It was all OK! Because she’s Hillary. And the only reason someone who would do such dishonest, underhanded, nasty backroom dealing would lose is because of a few thousand Jill Stein voters.

              And, you know, all that crap Hillary pulled also goes to showing why she screwed up so royally when it came to (not) courting constituencies and areas in swing states that ended up flipping and killing her chances: she thought it was her turn. She thought she was next to have the crown. Damn everyone else.

            2. Exactly George, and I’m sorry some other commenters are more interested in Clinton-bashing than acknowledging the obvious. It’s all well and good to say Sanders could’ve beaten Trump, but Sanders was never in a direct contest with the man and thus spared the inevitable slanders and bullsh*t scandals that would have resulted if he was. A reporter who looked at the Republicans opposition file on Sanders said he would have been in for plenty of antisemitism and other horrors. If Trump could climb to the White House via nothingburger pesudo-scandals about Clinton’s emails and the Clinton Foundation, God knows what sort of crap he’d have flung at Sanders and how it might have stuck.

              In politics there is always a lesser evil, and those who deny this end up abetting the greater one. Stein voters are a primary example. Bringing up discredited stories about Clinton and the DNC is irrelevant, unless one really is favor of purity politics. The only defense I have for such irresponsibility is that many people undoubtedly thought Trump had no chance of seriously winning and thus stayed home or voted for their vanity candidate.

            3. Anybody wouldn’t vote for a New York Jew wasn’t gonna vote for Hillary anyway. Christ, who’da thought just a few years ago that the Deep South woulda gone for a vulgar, arrogant New Yorker like Trump?

              I went all-in for Hillary once she won the nomination. But I’d’ve rather planted my flag and fought to the death on the hill with Bernie Sanders.

              As for Stein voters, they’ll have to live with the results of their choice and so, unfortunately, will the rest of the nation. Personally — and very figuratively speaking — I hope they all choke on that photograph of her sittin’ all fat-and-happy at the big RT celebration table with Vladimir Putin and Michael Flynn.

              1. But there are people who would vote for HRC but would not vote for a New York Jew.

          3. There was no “blocking” of Sanders.

            Nothing the DNC did in 2016 wrt Sanders even compares to its blatant rigging for obama in 2008, violating its own rules and federal election law alike by reassigning votes cast for HRC to obama, suppressing a floor vote at the convention, and more.

    1. Here we see an illustration of the bizarre phenomenon wherein people direct more vitriol at people who are 90% on their side than their actual polar opposites.

      If the modern American left’s problems could be boiled down to a single issue, it would be this one.

      1. Because in our electoral system, you need to vote for a candidate who has an actual chance to win not some spoiler. So support the candidate you agree with 90% rather than vote for someone who cannot win but with whom you agree 100% – enabling the candidate with whom you do not agree to win. But you can feel so smug and pure as Trump seizes children at the border, loots the government, treats our allies like crap and destroys the system of alliances that the US has been building since WWII.

        So yeah – I direct vitriol at useful idiots like Stein voters. They are the problem. Not the vitriol directed against them.

        1. And yet we know pretty well by now that “I hate you stupid idiots, so do what I tell you” does not work for the Democrats.

    2. *Rolls Eyes*

      If people didn’t vote for your favorite candidate, it is not their problem that your favorite candidate didn’t achieve their goals. Let’s not forget that you have zero evidence that nearly every Stein voter would have voted for Hillary instead, which is what the alternative situation you’re positing would require. So, really, your scenario here is a pipe dream and a way for you to transfer your anger onto people who neither deserve it, nor are likely have anything to do with the subject of your anger.

      Instead of blaming Stein voters, how about blaming Hillary for repeatedly failing to court or take seriously significant numbers of people in multiple swing states? People who voted twice for Obama and then went for Trump? People who Hillary clearly managed to lose with her incompetent campaign strategy and blase attitude toward certain parts of the country? People who would have put her over the top? Or how about being angry with the DNC and Hillary together, for manipulating the primaries and continually alienating otherwise likely Dem voters?

      Nah. It’s easier to blame a nebulous group of people who disagreed with you, even if the numbers used for blaming them (and which are the only reason to blame them) almost certainly wouldn’t work out in reality.

      1. In the American electoral system, you have two choices. Hold your nose and choose one of the two. I do not like Hillary. I would have preferred if someone else (not Sanders) had been the nominee. But Hillary or Trump were the only two real choices.

        In any case, Stein is a fraud. After the election, she raised $7MM for a “recount”. She kept the money for herself.

        She has done nothing for the political process in this country other than benefit herself. And given us Trump, Gorsuch and another right wing wackjob on the SCOTUS.

        1. “In any case, Stein is a fraud. After the election, she raised $7MM for a “recount”. She kept the money for herself.”

          Another thing that has nothing to do with your idea that Stein voters are responsible for Trump.

          “She has done nothing for the political process in this country other than benefit herself.”

          Another thing that has nothing to do with your idea that Stein voters are responsible for Trump.

          Other than that, you’ve just repeated your initial claims. You still haven’t shown that your dreams would have come true if Jill Stein didn’t exist, or that she had a more significant impact than the impact of Hillary and the DNC royally fucking up many more things than a Presidential candidate and party committee have any business fucking up.

      2. There is much blame to go around for Hillary’s defeat. Many factors contributed to the debacle. Stein was one of them. Trump was extraordinary lucky since everything broke his way. If just one of these factors went the other way, nobody would be talking about the potential demise of the Republic.

        1. Yes, many factors but she was the biggest. Her speeches were (and continue to be) totally uninspiring. Every time I heard one of her speeches on the campaign trail, I thought to myself, “Who writes this crap?” She either got very poor advice or she didn’t follow the good advice.

        2. “Trump was extraordinary lucky …”

          Isn’t there a saying that “fortune favors the side promoted by Putin”?

          Well, there oughta be.

      3. I supported a third party candidate. Had that candidate not run I would have found another. Or written in a name.

    3. What’s really to blame is our system of counting votes, not people who voted for what they believed in – which is what they’re supposed to do!

      First-past-the-post frequently leads to these problems and prevents the emergence of third parties. We need to change to choice voting or score voting. “Pick everyone you support” instead of “Pick one”. Easy. Then third parties can grow and we can have diverse policy proposals without wasting votes or voting out of fear. But it’ll never happen, I guess…

      1. As long as we have this electoral system, vote for one of the two actual candidates, not a narcissist like Stein.

    4. I would have thought you should really be blaming all the broadly Democrat voters who couldn’t be bothered to vote at all.

      The U|SA is a democracy. People are allowed to vote for whomever they want to be president. Some people wanted Stein for president. Don’t blame them for expressing that desire in the election.

    5. I’ve been on the receiving end of missives like this, so here I am as a Libertarian defending some Greens. My apologies if this destroys the site in a political matter/anti-matter annihilation event.

      Voting for the lesser of two evils still means voting for evil. By voting for anything other than one of the two incumbent parties, one runs the risk of seeing the candidate who “has a real chance” but is furthest from one’s positions, win. That’s a good thing. It sends a message to the party that lost about what they need to do in the next election to earn those votes.

      Voting only against the worst alternative increases tribalism and entrenches the duopoly. First past the post voting mathematically results in a two-party system, but there’s no reason those two parties have to hold the particular positions they do. I’d like to see them aligned more along the authoritarian/libertarian axis than the mish-mash we see now. Voting for third parties is the only way to make that change happen.

      This country will survive Trump. Identity politics that results in telling your natural allies to “go fuck yourselves” is a much bigger threat.

    1. Far as I’m concerned, Liz, we can spend from now until Trump is outta office “trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored[.]”

  8. If dems take the Senate and presidency they should increase the number of SCOTUS justices to balance the court. I think that can be done.

    1. That’s not gonna happen, but they sure-as-shit oughta grant statehood to Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rioo. Time to start playin’ mean and hard, just like the Republicans do, latch onto four new senate seats and a handful of electoral votes.

      Plus, it’s the right goddamn thing to do for citizens being screwed outta their rightful representation.

  9. Not only do elections have consequences, but the Dems and Repubs do differ significantly, and the chief executive does appoint judges and members of many government agencies, such as the NLRB, the FTC, the FCC, etc. These arcane secrets were unfamiliar to a small but, alas, consequential part of the electorate in 2000. The education system used to reveal those secrets about the US political system in Civics courses, but perhaps Civics has been replaced by other subjects, such as Critical Gender Theory.

    1. I apologize for its length; I could not find
      this statement on its blog or anywhere else
      its website = statement from FFRF’s email listserv:

      ” We’re in big trouble with Kennedy’s Supreme announcement

      Although not unanticipated, the news today that Justice Anthony Kennedy is retiring from the U.S. Supreme Court is an ominous development for our civil liberties.

      The opposition in Congress absolutely must do what it can to ensure that confirmation hearings and votes on Kennedy’s replacement are delayed until after the winners of the fall congressional election have been sworn in.

      The Democrats have every reason to insist upon this. We all remember that phony and despicable phantom excuse that let the Federalist Society steal Merrick Garland’s place on the high court with one of its handpicked nominees, Neil Gorsuch. Within hours of Justice Antonin Scalia’s death in February 2016, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell smugly announced no vacancies should be filled on the court until after the presidential election that November. Many news stories and opinion pieces were published yesterday pointing out how that stolen seat had made possible yesterday’s court vote affirming the Muslim travel ban, for instance.

      It is reasonable to delay confirmation hearings with a crucial congressional election not even five months away.

      There’s no sugarcoating the game-changing nature of Kennedy’s announcement. Even though Garland’s seat was stolen, Gorsuch technically was a right-winger replacing a right-winger. Kennedy was a swing vote. As the Gershwin song goes, “It don’t mean a thing if you ain’t got that swing.” Kennedy was often a disappointment, but his vote really counted when it counted. To give Kennedy his due, he has stood up for secularism in at least four major opinions, although more often voting against strict state/church separation. He even authorized some landmark civil rights cases, including the 1992 Weisman decision evicting commencement prayers and the clergy who gave them from public high schools, and the Obergefell verdict approving marriage equality in 2015. (Notably, Kennedy did not swing in our direction when FFRF’s Hein decision was before the court in 2007.)

      The Associated Press reports that President Trump has a list of 25 candidates (24 judges plus Utah Sen. Mike Lee), which includes the worst of the worst. There is no question that Kennedy’s replacement, handpicked from this list put together by the arch-reactionary Federalist Society and Heritage Foundation, will mean the beginning of the end for many U.S. civil liberties.

      Although Kennedy’s record in keeping state and church separate has been spotty at best, replacing him with another Neil Gorsuch will lead to 5-4 decisions with majority opinions that are far more emphatically hostile to secularism and true religious freedom. We will go from a 5-4 court with Kennedy sometimes swinging to our side, to an entrenched 5-4 “anti” court, leaving only Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 85, Stephen Breyer, turning 80 in August, and the more youthful Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor.

      Further, Kennedy was always a hopeful check against the most egregious cases of government actors using their position to promote religion. With his replacement, the court will be more willing to accept cases that will allow it to drastically rewrite state/church law from the last 70 years, confident that it will always have the five votes it needs.

      Kennedy importantly sided with the preservation of Roe v. Wade in several major cases. It is frightening to see CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin tweet today his prediction: “Abortion will be illegal in 20 states in 18 months.”

      The retirement announcement makes voter registration campaigns ever more crucial in this election year, however hobbled they may be by gerrymandering and ploys to disenfranchise the young, the poor, the racial minorities and students.

      “We’re secular and we vote” has never been a more important battle cry.

      We’re already in the battle of our lives with the Religious Right takeover of the White House and Congress. FFRF is grateful for your membership and your support of our work to defend the vital wall of separation between church and state and to work so that freethought and reason will prevail. ”

      Please give to its efforts.

  10. This sucks. I’ve been expecting this since Bush Jr.’s reign. Didn’t expect it to take this long, but damn if this isn’t the worst timing I could imagine.

  11. It seems screwed up that this president, under scrutiny for serious crimes he appears to be guilty of and that would warrant his removal from office, nonetheless gets to do things as president that won’t be removed when he is.

  12. Scalia?

    He’s more likely to appoint a toadying nut-job amateur off his television like Jeanine Pirro.

    1. The Federalist Society will ride Trump’s ass like triple-crown winner Justify to make sure he nominates someone off their list of field-tested far-rightwing jurists.

  13. More positive reinforcement for the Republicans, who decided that the benefits of supporting Trump were worth the cost.

    1. Bingo. Many Republicans have to hold their noses when they support Trump in any manner, but Trump has been very effective at getting judges appointed. Not just Gorsuch, but lower courts too.

      1. Yeah, quite the accomplishment when one party controls the presidency and both houses of congress.

        Shame the dumbass can’t manage to fill dozens of State Department positions, including the ambassadorship to South Korea, as well as numerous other crucial vacancies in the executive branch. But then, he’s only in office 523 days. Wouldn’t wanna keep him from the golf course or his twitter machine or interrupt his late-morning “executive time” in the White House residence, the lazy bastard.

  14. Oh fuck oh fuck oh fuck oh fuck.

    Well, if the nomination can be held off until after the next round of elections, and assuming there’s a Dem wave blowing through Congress, maybe they can do to the next nominee what the Republicans did to Garland.

    On a related note and something I know I’ve expressed before: I will never forgive O’Connor for retiring two years before the end of the Bush administration while the Court was as constituted at the time. She knew her retirement would result in a conservative justice being appointed and the balance of the court being extremely affected. She was still in perfect health, but she wanted to spend more time with her grandkids! Well, damn it, don’t take a lifetime appointment to the most important judicial institution in the most powerful nation on earth if you’re willing to retire just because you’re sick of doing the job and feel like doing something else and you can’t wait just two years. And I wouldn’t even be angry about her retiring for these reasons if she did it when she knew someone similar would replace her . She had to wait only two more years. TWO MORE YEARS. Is that so much to ask when it comes to your responsibility for the welfare of your entire country? To stick it out for two more damn years? She took an oath and she willingly took responsibility for guiding the nation, and then she decided she didn’t feel like it anymore, regardless of the consequences. To me, that’s grossly disregarding her responsibility.

    1. O’Connor specifically stated that she did not want to retire while a Democrat was president, she was a moderate conservative after all. She retired to spend time with her dying husband, not her grandkids. She was disappointed that a moderate was not appointed to replace her, but she would have been horrified if a liberal replaced her.

      1. “O’Connor specifically stated that she did not want to retire while a Democrat was president…”

        The only reference I can find to that is an Atlantic article where it says her husband John expressed this opinion. Regardless, it’s clear from her decisions on major issues that she was on the liberal side of the court when it counted, and she has said she regrets having allowed herself to be replaced by the kind of person who ended up taking her seat.

        1. O’Connor was a Reagan appointee and cast the deciding vote in Bush v. Gore to halt the recount and put Dubya in the Oval, so I doubt she was too bothered by the notion of a Republican naming her replacement.

          I do like to think, nonetheless, that she’d have had more class and decency than ever to let the likes of Donald Trump name her successor.

          1. Rumor has it, when O’Conner saw Gore might win, she said something to the effect of ‘Oh, crap, now I can’t retire yet.’

            Sure that didn’t sway her judgment in the slightest.

    2. The Dems doing to the next nominee what the Republicans did to Garland seems reasonable — no nominee should be considered until Mueller has concluded the investigation.

      1. They can’t stop the nominee without Republican support. I don’t see a problem, unless Trump nominates a strict pro-life person. There are some senators who would not support such a nominee.

          1. Any Republican on the Federalist Society short list will have had more sense than to say anything more controversial about reproductive rights than “Congratulations on your new baby!” — and to make like Harpo Marx at their senate judiciary committee hearing.

            1. That should be called “The Judge Bork Rule”. Keep your mouth shut on certain topics or lose a seat on SCOTUS.

      2. “no nominee should be considered until Mueller has concluded the investigation.”

        I don’t think this has any bearing on the nomination process. Regardless of an investigation, the everyday function of government must go on.

        They should do it because it’s imperative that another Alito or Thomas isn’t confirmed, and so they can force the Republicans to at least replace Kennedy with a moderate.

        1. Not sure you know how this works. Democrats can do nothing to stop a confirmation of any nominee Republicans want.

          1. Not sure you know how commenting works. The comment to which I replied said, “The Dems doing to the next nominee what the Republicans did to Garland seems reasonable — no nominee should be considered until Mueller has concluded the investigation.”

            I said the investigation has no bearing on the power to nominate, and they should stop it because it will be a terrible nomination. The fact that there is no way to stop it has no bearing on my comment. The Dems can’t even stop it by saying that it’s not the right time to consider the issue (like McConnell did for Garland) because they don’t have a majority like the Republicans did when Garland came up..

    3. Two more years can be a long time if your other half is seriously sick/demented.
      You could blame Mr Kennedy even more for not waiting 4-5 months, especially knowing a deranged usurper is going to name his replacement (unopposed/unopposable)

  15. My first thought on seeing the resignation letter was to wonder if His Orangeness actually managed to read all two paragraphs.

    1. You want Trump to read a second paragraph, you gotta put his name in it in CAPITAL LETTERS.

      It’s the only way NSC staff can get him to make the jump to page two of his Daily Brief.

      But his is, after all, the author of numerous bestsellers.

  16. Justice O’Conner didn’t go off to play. Her husband had dementia, a catastrophe in any family.

    Reading the pissing and moaning here,you would think that Trump’s winning an election and the consequences of that win, were unfair, despite his electoral college plurality. The ardor with which so many here fling about accusations of Nazism and white supremacy, and the gloom of those who think the democratic experiment is done are appalling. I am more afraid of such radical views than I am of President Trump and his government, which is a remarkable statement. We have a Trump president because of democracy: a majority of the electorate trusted him more than they did Hillary Clinton, her contempt for those who disagreed with her, and her open borders remark in Brazil.

    I have never voted for a Republican in my life. I remember weeping the night Ronald Reagan won the presidency. However, politics “swings as a pendulum do.” If I remember my history correctly, Earl Warren was Chief Justice for sixteen years. He and Justice Powell were both Republicans, but their stances changed over time. During Warren’s tenure, we had Supreme Court decisions that included Miranda (on self-incrimination), Brown and others (segregation), Loving (miscegenation laws), Griswold (reproductive rights),and multiple liberal findings on establishment of religion (prayer and Bible reading in schools)and free speech.

    When Eisenhower appointed Republican Warren to the court, the other justices were New Deal Democrats, appointed by Roosevelt and Truman. Roosevelt had tried unsuccessfully to pack the court by increasing the number of justices, so he could appoint more of his compatriots. During the Warren years, conservatives pissed and moaned and hollered as progressives do now. The pendulum swung.

    Now President Trump has the right to appoint judges who agree with him. He is injudicious. He is aggressive and even bellicose. He has done repugnant things in his personal life. He has turned back regulations that protected the air and water and appointed numskulls such as Betsy DeVos and Scott Pruitt. Nevertheless, he has not at this time been charged with any crime, and he warrants a presumption of innocence until he is proven guilty in court. In fact, crimes have been committed against his administration. I see no reason to conclude that he is a Nazi or a totalitarian of any stripe, except for his ridiculous jokes about the good luck of dictators in their power. The Congress has the power to block him.

    We ought to get over the 2016 election. We ought to curb our hysteria. If we want a different president in 2020, we ought to get down to work and begin now to elect one.

    1. “We have a president Trump because of democracy: a majority of the electorate….”
      That is simply incorrect. A majority of the electorate voted for Ms Clinton, nearly 3 million more votes.
      And then we did not even mention voter disenfranchisement, probable counting fraud in swing states and relentless smearing by Russian (ie a foreign, mostly hostile, power) troll factories. To an outsider he clearly appears to be an illigitimate president, an usurper.
      For the rest I can fully agree with your post. Those calling him a Nazi have no clue about Nazis, methinks.
      Indeed, the US democrats should better go to work for November and 2020.

        1. Where are you getting those figures for the 2008 primaries? According to Wikipedia, the primary vote totals were: Obama 17,535,458/Clinton 17,493,836.

          1. Ah, I think I had in mind just the primary totals, exclusive of the caucuses. Overall, obama only surpassed HRC if one excludes Michigan.

            1. Obama’s name wasn’t on the ballot in Michigan, since the DNC refused to sanction the contest, so it doesn’t seem sporting to count those votes.

              1. The citizens of Michigan still voted. Nobody forced obama to not run in that state. NB: the DNC did eventually count the MI results, but arbitrarily reallocated votes cast for HRC and ‘undecided’ to obama, in gross violation of its own bylaws and Federal election law.

                Bottom line: more voters chose HRC than did obama.

  17. Isn’t this old news? Presumably the process will be delayed until the next president, c.f. how the last appointment was delayed by opposition.

  18. I find all the people blaming Stein voters slightly confusing. You blame them over the people that just stayed home, and over the people that voted Trump in protest, despite the knowledge that he was going to do this? Stein voters are a rounding error. On the other hand, the DNC strategy and the lack of attention to swing states probably cost Clinton 10 times the number of votes that went Stein.
    Blaming Stein voters for Trump is like blaming your slightly confused Aunt for your wedding going horribly wrong when the bride decided not to show up.

    1. Very good. I agree that Stein voters were probably just a rounding error last time. But they were psychologically akin to the Nader voters of 2000, who certainly played a significant role in that outcome. And also, we don’t know the extent to which Steinish attitudes led many (how many?) Obama voters to stay home—or even vote for Trump. I am slightly acquainted with one woman who went from Bernie to Trump. [I add that she also claims to receive direction from Jesus.]

      1. Stein got nearly a million and a half votes; Trump won the three states that swung the electoral college — PA, MI & WI — by a combined total of 77,000 votes.

        I’m not blaming the numbnuts who voted for Jill Stein, but I ain’t exactly excusin’ ’em neither.

        1. Exactly how I see it. There’s plenty of other reasons for the catastrophe but that doesn’t absolve Stein voter’s from their complicity.

    2. It’s also a mistake to assume that Greens are ‘on our side’. They are radicals & revolutionaries, eager to tear the whole thing down. In their minds, trump only accelerates the conditions required for the revolution.

      Forget about pandering to the extreme left, and instead on winning back the vast middle that was lost when the Dems abandoned populism for toxic blend of corporatism and identity politics.

  19. To be sporting and consistent on this, Mitch McConnell and senate Republicans should wait at least until the new Congress is seated next January before holding confirmation hearings on a new nominee — you know, to “let the voters have a say” (the way Mitch insisted voters should be able to do regarding Scalia’s replacement in 2016).

    SCOTUS will be lurching rightward alright, especially if the Dems fail to get to 51 seats in the Senate this Fall. CJ Roberts will become the new “centrist” swing vote, if you can bear to imagine. Hope all the folks who couldn’t be arsed to hold their noses and vote for Hillary are happy now.

    If the Dems can delay the vote and manage to take the Senate this Fall, I think new majority leader Chuck Schumer should say “you screwed us, we’re screwing you” and refuse to act on any nomination until after the next presidential election, let SCOTUS have eight justices for a couple years. Come to some equitable agreement as how these things should be handled in the future, effective January 21, 2021 — win, lose, or draw.

    1. As I see it, the best strategy the elected Dems have for SCOTUS is: do what the Republicans did, block, obstruct, use arcane rules in all endeavors to block and obstruct. Let’s go full whataboutery on their asses. They did it, so we did it. If we held SCOTUS to 8 seats until 2020, the base of left-leaning people and especially progressives (who are never poled it seems), the young who will become 18 in two years, and a huge swath of discontented independent voters, and the many minorities who disenfranchised after Obama would be heartened. Democrats are bad at heartening people. Let’s obstruct and hearten the true majority in America.

      1. You’re asking for the impossible. There are no “arcane rules” for Democrats to delay confirmation beyond the mid-term election.

    2. I agree that Roberts could become the new swing vote, if only because it’s “The Robert’s Court” and he may not want his legacy to be connected to extreme rulings. He also sided with the libs to uphold Obamacare.

      1. And Donald Trump, demagogue that he is, repeatedly excoriated the Chief Justice for those votes on the campaign trail 2016.

    3. “Hope all the folks who couldn’t be arsed to hold their noses and vote for Hillary are happy now.”

      Can’t say that I’m happy, but can’t say that I’m unhappy. Given the attacks on free speech and other nonsense from the regressive left, a legal lean to the right might give the ship of state some needed ballast (bilge in the bilge?). Unfortunately, it all seems to come down to CYF: Choose Your Fascists. I’m inclined to consider the far left more dangerous than the far right simply because they’re smarter, but I may have to eat my words on that one.

  20. Given the stupidity of the electorate, a large scale economic disaster may be the best hope for significant change in the US. This has happened multiple times in the past, the great depression being the most recent case. I don’t think the SCOTUS will go after Roe V Wade, the main thrust of court appointments is to support the very wealthy and large corporations by suppressing the rights of ordinary people to contest their power. For example using class action law suits and unions. Replacing government funded agencies with corporate privatization of prisons, road construction and social security provides another source of funding contributions for Republicans.
    I hope the Trump trade wars will cause enough economic disruption to cause a blue wave in November, but effective action by Democrats is certainly lacking. They should be loudly supporting programs like those proposed by Bernie Sanders and stop trying to be wish-washy Republican-lite zombies.

    1. That’s what Bill Maher has been wishing for: a recession. He got a lot of shit for saying that a couple weeks ago. And this week he doubled down. I’m with him and you…until people wake up to money woes, the cult will continue it’s ascent. Bring on the economic disruption please.

      Also, the CBO today released some pretty alarming data re. the Trump tax cuts and the deficit. Recession is looming regardless of a Maher wish.

      1. I agree with Bill Maher. It’s not that we wish for a recession, just that we do if that’s what it takes to rid of us of Trump. It’s the only economic argument the electorate really understands.

        1. This seems far from obvious to me. What seems likely,because this is exactly what has happened for the past 30 years or so, is that the Republican Party and its supporters will simply blame the Democratic Party and “liberals” in general for any economic woes, as they always have, and the base that has reliably chugged the kool-aid for several decades and voted against their own best interests will do so again.

          No, I seriously doubt another recession will garner the results you want. I think the best resolution would be the blue wave, big enough that the houses of Congress can at least neutralize Trump and perhaps counter his tax and economic policies enough to avoid the serious recession that seems certain otherwise.

          This scenario seems more likely to be effective. We don’t need to change the minds of his base and are unlikely to be able to in any case. There appear to be more than enough people, going by the results of this last presidential election and election activity since then, that would vote against Trumpsters despite Republican Party and foreign national election shenanigans if we can just get enough of them motivated enough to actually go vote. Perhaps now that the Clintons, who so many on both sides hate so much and so irrationally, are out of the way, this has a better chance of happening.

          1. You might think having the Clintons out of the way would help but Republicans, especially under Trump, have found that they can demonize a ham sandwich. They’ve managed to put several Dem leaders on their base’s hit list. Listening to them, you would think that Nancy Pelosi was the devil herself. Dems have to challenge these, not by striking back with the same kind of demonization (making an exception for Trump) but by using satire.

            I am heartened that we’ve made progress on de-demonizing “socialism”, for which we have Bernie largely to thank. I think he shows that it can be taken on by using it as an opportunity to explain what socialism is all about and that we have lots of it already.

            1. Good point about de-demonizing socialism. I’ve noticed a trend in that direction also, but I’ve never heard it mentioned by others before.

    2. I agree. It always seems as if the Dems are trying to “triangulate” their positions with respect to voters. Instead, they should be like Bernie and get behind solutions that will work to improve the country and the lives of its citizens. They don’t need to support every Bernie solution but, if not, they need to come up with their own. It’s not that appealing to voters isn’t important, it’s just that the best way to appeal to voters is to have a good agenda and be passionate about it.

      1. Perhaps the key is being passionate about it, but a good agenda? It still boggles me how ubiquitous the idea is that Hillary didn’t have or didn’t talk about policies that would be good for the poor and dwindling middle class. This just isn’t true at all. I invite every one to go back and look. She talked about her policies all the time, had a website with all the details of them and constantly talked about them and directed people to her website for further details. And the majority of them were specifically intended to help the poor and dwindling middle classes and looked capable of actually doing so.

        No, I don’t think having a good agenda is a key. Even among more liberal voters. Even the majority of commenters here at WEIT claim that Hillary didn’t have policies aimed at helping the poor & middle classes and or didn’t talk about them. Heck, many of commenters even here at WEIT seem to believe much of the lies, partial truths and wholly fabricated scandals about the Clintons that the Republican Party and its moneyed supporters have continuously propagandized about since Willie was president.

        I think the passion part is the key. Inspiring enough people at an emotional level, by whatever various means.

        1. I totally agree.

          Also, the (so-called leftist) media played a huge role in all this. Naturally they were drawn to Trump like a moth to a flame, and to a lesser extent, to Bernie for his novelty and surprising success. Trump is the poster boy for the adage that any attention is good attention.

          Hillary did indeed have all the policies but there’re just not the sort of things anyone can make sexy; journalism lives for scandal, slips of the tongue, crises, etc. Then there’s the right-wing radio brigade dispensing pure fiction as if it were scientific fact…

          Though you can’t blame the media alone–they wouldn’t exist if they didn’t give the public what it apparently wants to hear.

          Still, structural change is what we need. No gerrymandering, no Electoral College, country-wide vote-by-mail options, holding elections on a week-end, no machinations to suppress certain classes of voters, campaign finance reform, mandatory voting…

          We’re doomed.

  21. I am kind of mad that he didn’t try to stay for another two years until we could get a moderate. He must know they will appoint another conservative who is more extreme than him. I know he’s old and could croak, but come on your country needed you. You could have literally slept during most of the trials and saved your energy to be a check on the worst ones, now even if we get moderates in 2021 and progressives a few years later, we will always have obstructionist conservatives majority in the supreme court destroying all progress.

  22. This is why we on the right favor small government. You don’t want all the rules made in Washington, because sometimes our team is in charge.

    Maybe if government didn’t interfere so much in our lives, every Supreme Court decision wouldn’t be such a life-or-death deal.

    The legal academy is about to rediscover the many virtues of judicial restraint and stare decisis.

      1. It would be amazing if someone could find some legal rule to challenge Kennedy retiring, and then force the case to make its way through the courts, until, seven years from now, Kennedy is sitting on the bench when it reaches SCOTUS and they finally decide on it.

        Ah, to dream.

    1. Justice Roberts just exercised judicial restraint in the immigration decision. Don’t celebrate, he also practiced judicial restraint in the affordable care act decisions. The policy can go against the right or in favor of them, and visa versa.

    2. “Maybe if government didn’t interfere so much in our lives, every Supreme Court decision wouldn’t be such a life-or-death deal.”

      Like, if it didn’t concern itself with reproductive rights, contraception, respecting the anthem…if it didn’t redefine corporations as citizens…

  23. We’re not totally screwed. Get out and vote. Get your friends and neighbors to vote. The legislatures craft the laws not the courts and we (the people) can greatly influence who is in the legislature. But only if we get involved.

  24. I think you are screwed indeed, I commiserate.
    And if that ‘Blue Tsunami’ doesn’t materialise, you are truly screwed.

    I have this fantasy that Mr Trump would nominate Mr Garland, it would be good for him for several reasons:
    – It would show Mr McConnell who’s really ‘boss’, I think he had some disagreement with him re Alabama recently (IIRC).
    – It would put the Democrats completely on the wrong foot (you see, I‘m the moderate, you are the extremists). I’m the one uniting the USA.
    – It would be a great stunt, he loves great stunts.
    – The conservatives needn’t worry, after all, Mr Garland is quite conservative.
    – He’ll probably be able to name the successor of RBG too anyway.

    But I don’t hold my breath, only if someone would whisper in his ear and makes him think it was his idea.

    1. I think Trump and Republicans have so incorporated “winning” into their brand that they now can’t even think about compromise without appearing weak to their base. Finding new ways to stick it to the Dems fires them up bigly.

    1. Anyone who would sentence an 82 year old nun to 3 years prison, is okay in my book. (My book is “Why I Hate Nuns”)

  25. Ruth Ginsberg screwed her party by not resigning when obama was in office. she is in poor health and doesn’t seem competent. So selfish.

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