Hypocrite-in-chief McConnell reaches new heights with claim Biden commission will 'politicize' the Supreme Court
William Hazlitt: "The only vice which cannot be forgiven is hypocrisy. The repentance of a hypocrite is itself hypocrisy" That's why hypocrisy cavorts with notorious cousins: fraud and knavery. Rank stupidity (like Trump's) doesn't quite compete because world-class hypocrites thrive only when inventing plausible scenarios – and Trump's fraudulence quickly exposes itself: he is manifestly the same scurrilous person inside and out. No wonder Trump and Mitch McConnell can't stand each other: they honor different devils.
Thus emerges the reigning Hypocrite-in-chief: Senator Mitch McConnell. In April the most visible GOP leader -- and icon of special big business interests -- provided this farce: he was shocked, shocked to discover that wary corporations could not abide wholesale, Republican voter suppression in Georgia. Without missing a beat a week later he coughed up that Biden's modest, 36 member (!) Supreme Court Commission "fits squarely within liberals' years-long campaign to politicize the Court." Squarely? Liberals'? Years-long campaign? Politicize? Is this a new form of self-satire?
Judicial Snub for the Ages
With mastery in politicizing the federal judiciary, McConnell wedged through more rightwing judges in the last four years than anyone in modern history. Two ignoble Supreme justices owe elevation to McConnell. Nothing is sacred for this double-dealer who degraded court justice as just another power play in which the end justifies criminal means. No other American politician dared refuse for eight months even a hearing for Obama's mandated Merrick Garland nomination, thus blocking the most important Constitutional privilege awarded every president: to pick high court judges.
Is there any doubt such manipulation stands among the most corrupt Senate moves in history, a sabotage of procedural justice? Not only did McConnell block Obama's nomination but ended up installing Neil Gorsuch, an unsavory, regressive choice installed for decades. Staining both the country and the Supreme Court, McConnell fabricated a stolen payoff for rightwing ideologues. Prior attempts to "pack the Court" (though legal) pale compared to this outlandish maneuver, all the worse because it succeeded. If "gerrymandering" the high court is not a high crime that invites indictment, what is?
As the Wash Post summarized, "Garland will be remembered as the Supreme Court nominee who dangled in the wind for eight months in 2016, waiting for a Senate hearing that never came. To Democrats, it was an outrage and a raw display of political power. To Republicans, it was an election-year gamble that paid off." Almost as bad is what McConnell had to do to deliver, per NPR, "Senate Pulls 'Nuclear' Trigger To Ease Gorsuch Confirmation.
On top of the atrocious Garland postponement, McConnell sidetracked the 60 vote filibuster rule on top court picks with a "nuclear" Senate change: a simple majority to approve Supreme Court justices. That's a big deal as far short of 60 senators supported Gorsuch, as a judge and a slippery character. McConnell's filibuster ploy is all the more outrageous considering today's ardent GOP defenses of the hallowed 60 vote filibuster. Thus was the Constitution and the Senate degraded, Garland robbed and Gorsuch awarded a lifetime appointment. And now the Great Court Manipulator has the infinite gall to posit that Biden is the culprit politicizing the Supreme Court.
Next chapter verifying McConnell hypocrisy involved the 11th hour (of the Trump presidency) assault on justice and fairness, if not grade-school consistency. That's when McConnell pushed through Amy Coney Barrett after Justice Ginsberg died only weeks before the upcoming 2020 election. So much for the gist of McConnell's earlier hypocrisy with Garland: "eleven months is too close to the next election to pick a new justice. Let the people decide. Why rush?" McConnell pretense was on full display when he saw a tiny opening to anoint Barrett, squeezed through with a rush to fill Ginsberg's empty chair.
Even if he did nothing else for the next three years, Biden could not approach the iniquity of the McConnell rampage against justice, tradition, and democratic interests of a vast majority. McConnell didn't just politicize the selection of justices – he corrupted the entire process, thus empowering suspect, undeserving Supreme Court justices until they die or resign, long after Mitch is gone, even in his grave.
P.S. Biden's proposed Supreme Court commission "may be a dud," or more about appearance than highly justified Supreme Court reform. Per Ian Millhiser in Vox and Jonathan Turley in The Hill, no strong proponents of Supreme Court reform populates this commission. Clearly, the White House "prioritized bipartisanship and star power within the legal academy over choosing people who have actually spent a meaningful amount of time advocating for Supreme Court reforms," Millhiser writes. Notably, members of the rightwing Federalist Society approved commission choices, signaling its paper tiger status.
For 15 years, Robert S. Becker's independent essays on politics and culture have analyzed trends, history, frameworks and messaging. Featured at Nation of Change and Smirking Chimp, Becker has credits from Alternet, Salon, Truthdig, OpEdNews, San Francisco Chronicle, and the Absolute Sound. With a UC Berkeley PhD in English, Becker left university teaching (Northwestern and U. Chicago) for business, founding SOTA Industries, a top American high end audio company prominent from 1980s-1992. From 1992-2002, he was an anti-gravel mining activist while doing marketing, business and writing consulting. He is submitting a manuscript to publishers on the Chinese American Look Tin Eli, responsible for look and feel of most American Chinatowns, having orchestrated the restoration of San Francisco's Chinatown after the 1906 earthquake.