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Hubris, meet Nemesis

It’s being pointed out elsewhere, and has been ever since last Friday, but there is a plain and simple fact that the Democrats choose to ignore:

Ginsburg could have retired under Obama prior to the 2014 election, and easily been replaced by a young Progressive female jurist who could have served 30-40 years.

Her hubris was such — and so was that of the Democrats — that all she had to do was hang in till Hillary was elected in 2016, then retire, etc.  Because even after the GOP took the Senate back in 2014, history suggests they would have approved an Obama appointee without a whole lot of fuss after a Democrat won in 2016.  He might have had to appoint someone a little less progressive than he would have liked, and they would have had to wait until the smoke cleared from the election, but overall, he could have locked that seat in for a couple of generations at minimum.  (There’s precedent to approve a presidential nomination after that president goes out of office, so his nominee could potentially have been approved under a Hillary Clinton presidency, even if actual history shows McConnell felt it was important to wait and not hold hearings on Merrick Garland until after the 2016 election because a) Obama was a lame duck, and b) his party did not hold the Senate, which two items in combination have never resulted in a Supreme Court nomination by the lame duck president being approved.)

Moreover, her hubris was such that she believed she could roll the dice one more time on her cancer and beat it until after the 2020 election, while in the meantime doing the American public a disservice by remaining in office when she was unable to fulfill her duties.

Her nemesis was Donald Trump.  And even without Trump, as soon as Hillary became the nominee, there was no way in hell Mitch McConnell was going to let Obama and Hillary have their way on a Supreme Court nomination before the election.  And holding the Senate majority made that possible, and not only possible, but historically inevitable.

In addition, Trump holds a position Obama did not — he’s not a lame duck, and his party controls the Senate.  And because Harry Reid destroyed the filibuster in 2013 — something Mitch McConnell warned him would come back around and bite the Democrats in the ass — seven short years later, Trump is going to get another Supreme Court appointment whether he gets re-elected or not.  Because if you don’t think the GOP majority in the Senate is not being kept closely apprised of the debate over who will eventually be nominated, and won’t be willing to hold perfunctory hearings and rubber-stamp whoever Trump ends up nominating, you have another think coming.  Because if I were Trump (and I think he’s smarter than me when it comes to this sort of thing), I’d be on the phone to McConnell two or three times a day discussing how this is going to work.

Collusion?  You bet your ass.  But all-American collusion, the kind Barry and Hills don’t know how to do because they’re too busy chumming up to international socialists and plotting how to take America down a notch or twenty.

In the end, this really shouldn’t even be a question of politics.  The Supreme Court has become far too important, which threatens the stability of the three-cornered government the Framers created, in which three co-equal branches did their assigned thing and cooperated in order to maintain the stability and well-being of the Republic.  You could make the case that Marbury vs. Madison threw that out the window only 14 years after the Constitution was ratified, when John Marshall his own bad self decided that the Court had the power of review over what the other two branches do.  In retrospect, John Marshall probably should have been taken out and hanged from the nearest convenient lamppost along with his concurring brethren, because that supposed power appears nowhere in the Constitution and was created entirely out of whole cloth by Marshall.  And it turned the Court into a political wrecking ball, which has only gotten bigger and heavier and worse ever since, what with justices and even judges in inferior courts legislating from the bench in a manner that was never envisioned by the Framers.

If not for the tension between the Executive and the Legislature that has existed for more years than I like to think about, the Court would not be important, and wouldn’t be something that could be put in play as it has been at least since Reagan nominated Robert Bork — a massively-qualified legal mind beaten to death by Ted Kennedy, Joe Biden, and the rest of the Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee.  (Although it may have been just as well — some of his statements toward the end of his life suggested to me that he might have become a squish like Anthony Kennedy.)

In the end, though, it comes down to the fact that Ginsburg lacked sufficient humility to understand that in politics, nothing is either permanent or certain, and that she should have had the grace and sense to retire at a reasonable point after her first pancreatic cancer diagnosis in 2009, and let Obama replace her with a Democrat while he had the ability and his party held the majority in the Senate to do that.

That she followed whence her hubris led her, well, sucks to be the Democrats, right now.  As Omar Khayyám memorably put it,

“The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.”

History is history, bitches.  You can’t change it.  Not a moment of it.  And nobody can predict the future.