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With the Passing of Justice Ginsburg, Democracy Just Got Harder, Again

The seating of another right-wing justice would be a full-scream nightmare turn during this gruesome administration.

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died on Friday, is photographed in the East conference room at the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., on August 30, 2013.

Right. Ol’ Lindsey nearly broke both legs walking that one back upon the passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. If Senate Republicans can seat a new Justice before the election, they will do it. If they can seat a new Justice before the end of January (in the event of a Trump loss), they will do it.

Of course they will do it. Three right-wing Justices in one single presidential term? Plenty of presidents have gotten two or three over two terms. FDR got eight in six years… and gosh, d’ya think it had an effect on history?

Three in one term is ridiculous, and a full-scream nightmare turn during this gruesome administration.

Of course McConnell and the GOP will leap on this preposterously historic opportunity — combined with the 200-plus new federal judges they have stuffed into the lower courts — to lock in wealth protection and the white supremacist voting structure for at least another generation.

Control the coinage and the courts, counseled old Jacob Broom. Let the rabble have the rest.

Mitt Romney, Chuck Grassley, Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins — four GOP senators who have piped up about the upcoming nomination brawl in the last 24 hours — will not be able to stand in the way of this tornado. One of them will buckle, and that will be that. Just this morning, Romney’s office already walked back his earlier commitment not to vote for a nominee until after inauguration.

I strongly suspect the placement of a new Justice won’t happen before the election — too tight, too fraught, and that four might hold — but I am grimly certain we will be swearing in a new Justice by bleak February.

I say this with love: If you doubt it, if you have hope for a different outcome, you have not been paying sufficient attention, or you’re letting your heart do the talking in your head.

This is about power: Raw, unmistakable power. This is the Republican Party grasping with both hands the last bulwark it has to defend its eroding standing against the rushing tide of history. This is Mitch McConnell fulfilling his destiny; though he may be despised by tens and tens of millions, all the Right People in all the Right Rooms will sing his name to sainthood, and that is all he cares about.

They will do this, because they can, full stop.

Parting thought: Anyone who needs a refresher course on the profound fragility of our democracy need only look at how very much depended on the health of one extraordinary individual from Brooklyn.

Democracy just got harder, again. Stout hearts.

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