Communique 9-21-2020 "Notorious (Your Initials Here)"
By Philip Drucker
I can’t imagine it would come as a surprise to any of my readers that I was and still am a great fan and admirer of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Now mind you, it isn’t that I always agreed with her, but even when I did not, I found it difficult not to. She wrote the kinds of opinions that for lack of a better description, couldn’t be dismissed out of hand. They demanded your time and consideration. Did she ever change my mind? Truth be told, why yes, she did and I can’t imagine any of my readers thinking that happens very often. Trust me, it doesn’t.
One of the greatest disappointments of my life is watching the depths of partisan, politically motivated decision making our current Supreme court has fallen prey to. It all began with Ronald Reagan and his infamous “litmus test” for Supreme Court nominees. Remember? He was the one who insisted his potential appointees go on the record as supporting the overthrow of Roe v. Wade. Have I mentioned lately that Reagan was a complete idiot and one of the worst presidents ever to hold the office?
Ruined a perfectly good country so his follows could get even richer, practice casual racism as legitimate political discourse and have children pray in public schools. I’ll still give the old dotard a nod for calling Gorbachev out, but that is where the props stop. As we move forward more and more information, the negative kind, regarding the Reagan administration and its effect on today's charged political environment is coming out and facing renewed scrutiny followed by criticism and in some instances, a new-found contempt for the jellybean eating, look at me I’m a cocaine cowboy who let the Washington DC barbarians/lobbyists invade through the back door.
Remember Robert Bork? The guy who thought the discriminatory “separate but equal” policies that led to a host of vile, often heinous in the application for example Jim Crow laws was perfectly constitutional? Yeah, that was Reagan’s choice for Supreme Court Justice. Fortunately, Bork didn’t make it onto the Court for in those days there were still Senators, including Republicans, that still had at least a shred of integrity and still tried to do what was best for the country, including nominating potential jurists to the Supreme Court for reasons other than ideological pandering in their best political and financial interests. It’s still going, but, is there a chance it might stop? The answer is yes and this is why.
Ronald Reagan’s last judicial appointment to the Supreme Court was Antonin Scalia, yes, I know, better than Bork, but so what? With the passing of Justice Scalia, the last “hands-on” vestige of the Reagan years was gone. It was time to move on. But we didn’t. At least not when it came to appointing justices to the highest court in the land. In what I can only describe as a raw power grab, Mitch McConnell, stole a nomination from then President Barack Obama, claiming it was his proudest, finest moment when he told the President of the United States of America to his face he was going to deny him the right to appoint the justice of his choice, as was his right under the Constitution.
Let’s think about this for a moment. The Senate Majority Leader wants to be remembered for an unconstitutional act. Meaning, he doesn’t care for his oath to the Constitution, or his commitment to seeing that our rights are protected, our choices for president and hence supreme court justices is preserved by the method so specified by the Founding Fathers. So, if Mitch doesn’t care for the Constitution, what exactly is his basis, his authority, his right to do so?
The answer of course is he doesn’t have one. Not unless you count blatant racism, something about something, something, socialism and the worst kind of politically motivated greed is good I’m 14 years old and can do whatever I want hubris seen in the last century. Why else would anyone else in his position oppose the milk toast Merrick Garland? Why? Because he could.
Our question for today is, can he do it again? Mitch thinks he can and we know he’s going to try. He certainly seems to have most of the Senate wrapped up in his mind-warping dangerous as all get out last ditch-Mitch attempt to keep the Confederacy alive revisionist history so his wife can report back to her handlers that all is good in Amerika. But, can he? I believe the answer is no.
Oh, the old Moscow Mitch Mule might have one last kick in him and he might manage to appoint a wholly incompetent and unfit justice to the Supreme Court. Stranger things have been known to happen. But here’s the catch. The future is coming and it’s coming fast and whatever can be done, given the political will to do so, can be undone. Or altered, or changed, or eliminated altogether. I believe now is that time.
Firstly, despite the immediate damage done that may take some time to fix, the Trump regime will eventually go down in history as the last gasp of air coming out of an already almost a flat tire. The days of wine, roses and racism gone with the wind. Trump will not become ruler of the universe for life and as the forces of American goodness, greatness and democracy come back, his memory will be a distant but never forget what could happen moment in American political history.
The experiment of self-rule by the people will continue and then next chapter, this time a happier one, will be written of the people, by the people and for the people. Suffice to say Abraham Lincoln will never be forgotten but Donald J. What’s His Name will.
One of the questions I am asked is why I am always so positive in my outlook on the future of our great country. I’m going to let you all in on a little secret. I have a direct connection to the future. I do. For the past ten years or so I have sat in front of the future almost every day of my life. It’s right there in front of me, looking back at me, and I like what I see.
For you see, I am a professor and a Constitutional Law one at that and I know that my students are the future. It will be they that inherit the torch of liberty, the mantle of freedom and yes, the future of not only our country, but our Earth. Not to quote REM, but if this is the end of the world as we know it, I feel fine.
I admit the last few years have been tough. I have never seen so many of my students genuinely scared for their future. They are a smart, politically aware bunch that seems to know what time it is, but worry if they can push the hands of the society clock forward. They tell me we are losing. I tell them we are not and the only way we can “lose” is if they quit. And from my seat behind the desk in the classroom, I know they will not.
Over the past years, I have seen the world change. Colorblind is becoming the new racial reality. Religious intolerance and sectarian crowd control in the shape of out of touch with reality comply or face the fires of hell dogma is fading away. I see them embrace their natural God given rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, not just for a select few mostly white land owners, but for everyone. They understand that equality can never be attained unless one and all are equal and that the denial of the rights of even one person is a slight upon the rights of us all.
In summary, my pupils know the value of service to one another, that they are stronger together, and that everybody does better when everybody does better. They understand climate change is real. They understand we live in a world economy. They understand the folly of greed. Best of all, they are fully committed to change and they will, I’m telling you will make a difference, and if I am correct, a big one (or two).
Am I glad Joe Biden is going to be president? Kamala Harris our VP, the Senate and House of Representatives back in the hands of Democrats? Yes, I am. But even if it doesn’t happen, the results of a single election, important as it is, not what I would put my faith in. Why? I’ve got something better. I’ve seen the future and I know it’s going to be good.
You want to honor the Notorious RBG? Go out and change the world. She did, why can’t you?