Another first: This Comment Of The Day, by Michael West, isn’t related to any post or previous comment. It was triggered by the death today of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (1933-2020), which has immediate political implications with ethical strings attached.
Some past Ethics Alarms posts relevant to the moment are:
and here is Michael’s timely Comment of the Day:
2) Leaders of every party have soiled themselves jumping straight into political maneuvers and demands within hours of Ginsburg’s body even beginning to cool.
3) They have a really really stupid nuclear armageddon countdown timer. If I were an enterprising political commentator, I’d establish a “civil war countdown timer”. No, not like the last civil war (which wasn’t a civil war)…but a real civil war, which would make the last one look like a boy’s nerf-war sleepover. And if McConnell does what he implies he’s going to do in his statement that came out like an hour after the news broke…I’d set that countdown timer to 5 minutes. Since it’s been at about 15 minutes since the Democrats refused to accept the 2016 election and 10 minutes since the riots began this year.
4a) Someone commented on twitter that “Ginsburg dying feels line one of those points where we’re all forced to explicitly grapple with how broken huge pieces of our political system are”. He’s a history podcaster, with blatantly leftwing leanings, so I know what he thinks is broken. He’s wrong. What’s broken is an electorate that has been conditioned by media and pop-culture since the 70s to increasingly look to the national level of the Federal government to solve our problems and decide our lives. This boils down to ONE thing. ONE THING-
4b) This would be just an odd coincidence at any other time in American history. But for Abortion. The left, in it’s depraved love affair with a cookie cutter nation doing cookie cutter things dictated by central powers, has convinced itself that “losing” (whatever that means) the Supreme Court will open a route to turn America into Handmaid’s Tale to borrow Humble’s comment– WATCH DIFFERENT SHOWS. They just don’t get it. Even if the Supreme Court rules Roe unconstitutional (which it won’t), that does not make your precious sacrament of abortion illegal in the United States. All that would do is turn the topic over to the States…where in all likelihood, the balance of decisions made would still be in abortion’s favor.
4c) So the really broken thing in our nation is that- the over-reliance on the national or central level of government to make our political decisions for us.
5) SCOTUS justices should be appointed for life. I don’t think that is wrong. But SCOTUS justices should also, ethically, recognize when their time is done, and step down.
6) While McConnell would show exemplary ethics sticking to this “McConnell Rule”, I recognize that the “McConnell Rule” is really an extension of Machiavellianism that has crept into American politics since it gentrified around the time they locked the House of Representatives from expanding. The real choice facing anyone at this point which relies entirely on whether or not we are capable of extending good faith allowances to the other side anymore (I don’t think we are, reference #3)— Is, support McConnell and Trump ramming through another justice tentatively knowing that the Democrats aren’t going to behave constitutionally anyway, or oppose McConnell and Trump ramming through another justice on the assumption that will somehow demonstrate enough high-mindedness to get more Republicans elected and stave off what is increasingly expected- a Democrat insurgency. It’s cynical, I know, but here’s where we sit in the year