During the 2016 campaign for the Presidency, Hillary Clinton, when describing her opponent Donald Trump’s hard-core base, used the unfortunate phrase basket of deplorables. For as many people it pleased, I also believe that it alienated a significant amount of others who were undecided at the time, prompting them to vote for Mr. Trump. That’s why I call it unfortunate.
However, those of us who knew EXACTLY what she meant have seen that deplorable behavior demonstrated over and over again by Mr. Trump and his ardent supporters.
The President lies incessantly and his base marches in lockstep behind him, finding every excuse possible to dismiss his mendacity. It’s so blatant that it can only be described as, well, deplorable. No wait, let’s make that even more accurate — it’s fucking deplorable.
The latest example can be found in the death of legendary Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the political game being played in the US Senate to name her successor as quickly as possible, i.e. before the November elections.
Of course, the Republican led Senate is leading the charge to make this happen, conveniently forgetting the statements, oaths, and promises they made in a similar situation under the Obama administration when then President Obama nominated Merrick Garland to fill the vacancy created by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. There was still nearly a year left for the Obama Administration.
So, with a full 11 months to go before the 2016 election, GOP Senators like Mitch McConnel, Chuck Grassley, Lindsey Graham and a host of others claimed that The People should have a say in the process and that would be expressed by their choice in the coming Presidential election. Because they were in the majority and led by Mr. McConnel, they successfully blocked the appointment of a man whom virtually everyone said was extremely well qualified. And, ALL OF THEM are captured on tape claiming that, by a matter of principal, they would not bring the nomination to the floor of the Senate. In other words, Mr. Merrick would not even be considered for the post despite his impeccable credentials.
Now, with a mere matter of weeks to go before the big election and with Justice Ginsburg not even officially laid to rest, the GOP canaries are singing a different tune. Suddenly, they have an urgency to do the jobs they were elected for and are rushing to confirm her replacement as soon as Mr. Trump gives it to them — no matter whom it may be.
It is simply unprecedented and reeks of political contamination. Even the VERY few GOP Senators who had doubts about the process, like Utah Senator Mitt Romney, have all adopted the party line and will go along for the ride. Honor, honesty, integrity be damned. Their hypocrisy knows no bounds.
Look, it’s Washington and political expediency is part of the everyday vocabulary there. Democrats are also on tape during the Garland affair saying that the nomination should be pushed through. It was certainly in the best interests of THEIR party to have it so.
However, the moral equivalence between the two is not the same.
The average time for the entire Supreme Court process is 71 days or 2.3 months*. With Merrick Garland the time frame was 11 months (about 330 days) before the election. This time the GOP wants it accomplished in just 42 days or about a 1 and 1/2 months (as of this writing 9/22/2020).
Do the math! The two things are NOT equal. They’re not even close.
Certainly, this entire course is being charted by Mr. Trump and his cabal of supporters within his Administration and Congress. I fully understand that this is a grab for more power to implement their vision of American. I get that. What I don’t understand is how many Americans can still support the deceit and wanton hypocrisy of Mr. Trump and his ENTIRE Administration.
So, when you think about it, Ms. Clinton was almost right — they are deplorable, but they simply don’t make a basket large enough to hold them all. . .
* Congressional Research Office.