RUTH BADER GINSBURG HOSPITALIZED, WILL NOT RETURN TO SC; Trump promises to fill vacancy before end of Congressional term
Long serving liberal justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was rushed to Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore and is suffering from medical complications from a possible stroke. Reports are suggesting that the 89-year-old Gisburg is unlikely to return to the bench. Ginsburg’s incapacitation comes on the heels of Chief Justice John Roberts announcing the Supreme Court will reluctantly hear President Trump’s case regarding the recount in Pennsylvania.
Immediately upon hearing the news, President Trump has announced he will begin an accelerated vetting process in search of Ginsburg’s replacement from a deeply conservative list the President published in August. Loyalty to Trump appears to be the primary selection criteria. Prior to Ginsburg’s incapacitation, Trump was staring down the barrel of a 5-4 defeat in the Supreme Court with Justice Roberts publically aligning himself with the four more liberal justices and against the president. Now, with the opportunity to appoint a ninth judge, Trump can flip the balance of power in the Judicial Branch. Shortly after Trump's announcement, Mitch McConnell disclosed that he intends to utilize the remaining days of this Senate's lame duck session to quickly approve Trump’s supreme court selection.
The reaction from Democrats was swift and rife with indignation. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Shumer underwhelmed in his latest Senate appearance with an emotional appeal for unity that fell flat on an unabashed GOP. Fortunately, Shumer’s fellow Democratic Senators have landed extensive facetime on nearly every network. On All In with Chris Hayes, Senate Minority Whip Dick Durban laid out the circumstances succinctly: “if Trump and McConnell successfully appoint this judge to the Supreme Court, the legitimacy of the Presidency, the jurisprudence of the Supreme Court and the oversight authority of Congress will all be irreparably undermined. The separation of powers would be permanently erased and the sovereignty of the nation would be dismantled. Donald Trump is making a naked attempt to install himself as king despite clear rejection by the voters. We will not allow that to happen.” Colin Jost, host of Weekend Update on Saturday Night Live, chimed in with an equally effective take: “If Trump stays in office, then our elections are just as much of a sham as his marriages.”
The atmosphere in the country has become explosive. Since the election has been in indeterminacy for over a month now, Trump and Biden supporters are now developing into factions more comparable to two opposing armies than one populous. The polarized ends of the nation have met each other in the battleground states--sometimes with violent repercussions. Some cities have reverted to a lawlessness more severe than the circumstances faced in the wake of George Floyd’s death. Police departments have been crippled by institutional tears and an inconsistent application of reform policy. Some precincts are preaching for peaceful non-interventionism and others are directly engaging protestors.
The Democratic Party’s cohesion behind Biden is beginning to splinter under the pressure of the election dispute. The GOP’s seemingly endless legal resources have begun to exhaust the Democrats. The more progressive end of the party chided the Biden campaign for playing the situation too casually, which has now cost the party some leverage. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and campaign manager Jennifer O’Malley Dillon maintain the American people voted for Joe Biden on November 3rd in overwhelming numbers and their victory will be confirmed despite Trump's flagrant attempts to undermine the election results. Rick Wilson and The Lincoln Project has begun to frame Trump’s rejection of the election as an act of insurgency against the United States.
Despite the political and social upheaval, Joe Biden has continued the normalities of an incoming president. Biden rolled out his first 100 days plan which focuses heavily on restoring dignity to the White House and engaging with America’s foreign allies. Biden drew praise for his Confederate flag buy-back program in which a Confederate flag can be exchanged for an American flag of the same dimensions at any Post Office. The Trump team immediately applied Republican reductionist thinking to this concept. Don Jr spent a segment on Fox News pontificating about how the Biden administration would utilize such a system to eventually require the exchange of guns, bibles, and all related products the Trump base holds dear. Lou Dobbs, who is clinging to his anchorship despite endless calls for his termination, delivered an unhinged monologue disputing the notion people are concerned about venerating monuments and imagery of the Confederacy.
The anti-Trump media has been branding Trump as the Second President of The Confederacy for several months. The title has begun to manifest itself in a very real way in Georgia. Two weeks ago, Trump drummed up another inflammatory Twitterstorm about the importance of preserving Confederate statues. The following day, the Atlanta City Government passed a motion to remove Confederate statues and any KKK symbolism from all city government property and buildings. In response, the Georgia III% Security Force surrounded the statue of Confederate General John B. Gordon outside the Georgia State Capitol in protest. An intense rain storm flushed the heavily armed demonstration indoors, but instead of flooding the Capitol Building, the protestors marched across the quad to City Hall--where they remain to this day. Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and the Democratic City Government have not returned to the site of city government since this incident. The President has once again sided with armed occupiers of Atlanta’s historic city hall encouraging them to demand justice for their ancestral icons.
Stacey Abrams, who served in the Georgia House of Representatives before establishing Fair Fight, has orchestrated a march on Atlanta that is already drawing comparisons to Martin Luther King’s historic marches throughout the south. Mayor Lance Bottoms has announced her intention to participate in the march. Houston Texans quarterback and Georgia native DeShaun Watson published an Instagram announcing his willingness to miss an NFL game to participate in the march. The image of Abrams and thousands of multicultural protestors approaching an ensconced militia is harrowingly reminiscent of the circumstances of Bloody Sunday in Selma in 1965. This is a developing crisis that could result in explosive violence. When asked about the civil unrest developing in Georgia, President Trump passed the buck to Governor Kemp and took no responsibility.
Meanwhile, the National Guard has been deployed in several Republican controlled states to subdue pro-Biden rallies through the use of tear gas and other means of excessive force. The Trump administration has encouraged red-state governors to engage protestors in a militaristic fashion in order to uphold his scheme to overturn the election. Governors are caught between trying to uphold social order and avoid criticism from the President. Even prior to RBG’s unfortunate medical condition, Governor DeSantis and Governor Kemp had been jointly vying to have their recount cases joined with Pennsylvania’s case before the Supreme Court. Both states are splitting at the seams in social tension and both governors are desperately trying to pass off their duty.
Over in the Senate, the recount in the Montana Senate race has been completed, and the election of Democratic challenger Steve Bullock has been certified. Defeated incumbent Steve Daines, although a Republican and loosely an ally of Trump, seemed drained by the GOP’s new strategy of rejecting every meaningful election that goes against them. Many of the ousted Republicans have adopted a sullen silence in defeat. The Lincoln Project was modestly chastised by the Twitter masses for releasing a final attack ad on Martha McSally after she had lost.
The Democrats will hold a 50-49 majority in the Senate on January 3rd, 2021, the first day of the next Congressional term. The run-off between Kelly Loeffler and Reverend Raphael Warnock has escalated in significance since the certification of Bullock’s election. The Biden administration continues to damage Loeffler’s image by publishing an extensive plan to limit and penalize insider trading and market abuses for sitting members of Congress. Loeffler’s husband, Chairman of the New York Stock Exchange Jeffrey Sprecher, is allegedly considering stepping down due to the optics.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s sudden exit from the Supreme Court and Trump’s seditious plan to fill her vacancy has consumed the social discourse. Rachel Maddow has implored Nancy Pelosi to utilize her constitutional authority to temporarily assume the presidency on January 20th if Trump’s election dispute were to remain unresolved. The always pragmatic Pelosi made it emphatically clear the position of the Democratic Party is that Joe Biden is the President-elect and such a drastic step is completely unnecessary.
Fox News has reverted back to their supportive coverage of President Trump. Both Laura Ingraham and Tucker Carlson have called for the arrest and indefinite imprisonment of those responsible for the unsubstantiated voter fraud that they claim led to Joe Biden’s election victory. In several interviews with the President, Sean Hannity has lobbed Trump softballs for him to vilify his enemies and single out particularly vocal critics. Trump has not publicly spoken on Stacy Abrams’ march on Atlanta--but will appear on Hannity tonight at 7:00PM. The palpable fear is that the President will use his platform to incite violence of an irreparable magnitude.
Just one month ago, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris won the election by 5.6 million votes. Today, Biden and Harris find themselves playing defense in Congress on matters related to the Supreme Court. The American people are literally at each other’s throats. And, the icing on the cyanide-flavored cake that is 2020: research into the COVID-19 vaccine currently in mass production is indicating the treatment is not unilaterally effective.
With only three weeks until Christmas and four weeks until a new Congress is sworn in, the world is watching the United States succumb to its worst political divisions. Republicans hope to rush a Supreme Court justice through and continue the fight, while Democrats hope to stop Trump’s ill-advised appointment to the Supreme Court and bring the 45th presidency to a close.