Mitch McConnell’s Sickening Hypocrisy
And the danger it poses to the country's democracy.
It was disrespectful, even disgusting, but not at all unexpected that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) had wasted no time after Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death to announce that he would do whatever was necessary to push through a new justice on the Supreme Court.
After all, the country is already used to McConnell’s, Trump’s, and the Republican Party’s lack of empathy and common decency.
The fact that there is an election less than two months away, makes no difference to the Kentucky senator this time, but four years ago it certainly did. On that occasion, he blatantly stole from then-President Barack Obama the opportunity of appointing a new justice after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, almost nine months before the 2016 election. The hypocrisy is sickening.
Now, with the election around the corner, McConnell and Trump have said they will push through, not a conservative replacement, but an ultra-reactionary one for Ginsburg, a liberal champion of historic proportions.
It is almost certain that one of these two federal judges, Amy Coney Barrett and Barbara Lagoa, will occupy Ginsburg’s seat although not with her intellect, her prestige, and influence. Both women are members of the conservative Federalist Society with Barrett being the favorite, although Lagoa, the daughter of Cuban immigrants, is being sold as someone that could deliver Florida to Trump come November.
It won’t be easy for either one to fill Ginsburg’s shoes. As Nina Totenberg put it in National Public Radio, Ginsburg “changed the way the world is for American women. For more than a decade, until her first judicial appointment in 1980, she led the fight in the courts for gender equality. When she began her legal crusade, women were treated, by law, differently from men. Hundreds of state and federal laws restricted what women could do, barring them from jobs, rights, and even from jury service. By the time she donned judicial robes, however, Ginsburg had worked a revolution.”
But as Alex Storozynski, a New York-based journalist and writer said, “Trump will replace RBG who did more for women’s rights than anyone with a judge who will take away women’s rights.”
Storozynski is right. With Ginsburg’s death and Mitt Romney shamefully agreeing to support Trump’s appointee, it is all but certain that a conservative woman will replace her, endangering Roe vs. Wade and bringing back the dark times of women dying of illegal abortions, as well as Ginsburg’s many victories for gender equality.
It is telling that, so far, it is only two women senators, Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Maine Sen. Susan Collins, who have said they won’t support McConnell’s plan to confirm a new judge before the election. They do not agree with Trump and McConnell who care only for maintaining power at all costs no matter what new conflicts it brings to a country already suffering from a pandemic that has killed 200,000 Americans, an economy in shambles, a sharp ideological division, and racial conflicts of unexpected magnitude.
Then again, that’s Trump and the GOP for you. Which is why we have to kick them out of power with our vote come November.