Senate Democrats can’t decide what threats to make about filling RBG’s seat

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-NY, holds a press conference at the US Capitol.

I’m not a political pessimist, I’m a realist. Which is basically the same difference these days. Almost four years ago, I knew how bad it would get with Donald Trump as president. People didn’t want to believe it. They wanted to normalize him or put in some kind of nonsensical historical context. The Republicans in Congress moved in lockstep with him. And here we are: Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell are going to put someone in Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat before the election. I’m telling you that as a realist: it’s going to happen. Of course we should fight. Of course we should be outraged about it. But all of us need to know that the worst is going to happen, and the Senate is going to replace RBG in the next few weeks.

Ever since RBG passed, the Democrats have been raking in money from donors. I would imagine that that Biden-Harris campaign and all of the Democrats running for the House and Senate have easily raised $50-70 million in the past three days. Suddenly, all of the hypotheticals about SCOTUS we hear every four years have become less hypothetical and more like a living nightmare. I sincerely hope that we vote a Democratic majority in the House and Senate and Joe Biden as president. But again, it will be closing the barn door after the horses have bolted. Trump and McConnell are going to replace RBG in the next few weeks. So now Democratic Senators are trying to figure out what to do and what threats to make:

Facing what they acknowledge to be a nearly impossible task of blocking President Donald Trump from filling a Supreme Court vacancy, Senate Democrats are divided over what precise tactics they should deploy in the days and weeks ahead. On a caucus call Saturday, members laid out two types of approaches that they thought would best suit the party in its efforts to stop the president from filling the seat of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died on Friday from complications of pancreatic cancer. One faction felt that a dramatic show of resistance with overt political threats would provide the pressure needed to at least slow down the march of Senate Republicans towards confirming Trump’s inevitable nominee.

Another faction, composed mainly of moderates, felt that members should stay squarely focused on the implications that the confirmation would have on health care—arguing that the public, especially in key swing states, would be moved by fears that a new court (and even the current eight-member one) could allow for the full destruction of the Affordable Care Act.

“Those kinds of conversations are going on as we speak,” said one senior Democrat privy to the conversations. “Some want to keep the focus on the impact the court will have on health care, others want one or more message-type events to try and clarify what exactly is at stake.”

The divide was confirmed by two other sources, one of whom downplayed the disagreement as part of standard strategy sessions. A separate source, who spoke on condition of anonymity to describe the contents of the call, said that an additional fear was expressed by some members over the party openly contemplating adding court seats as retribution for Republicans filling Ginsburg’s post.

“There was a discussion of, ‘OK, if we talk through this and lay out the things we are willing to do, what happens if we lose?’” the source, a Senate Democratic aide, said. “That’s an obvious concern because we’ve just given [Senate Majority Leader Mitch] McConnell the basis and moral authority to go do it himself. Suddenly, it’s an eight-three court.”

[From The Daily Beast]

Even if the Democrats get a majority in the House and Senate and we get Biden-Harris in the White House, I seriously doubt they’ll add seats to the Supreme Court. I just… doubt it. I feel like the Supreme Court is just… lost for several generations. Also: it’s asinine that Democrats in Congress can’t just RUN on reproductive rights and the court. This is why they’ve been raising money hand over fist for days – because WOMEN know what’s going to happen to the court, and we know Roe is about to be overturned.

Republican Policy Luncheons

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.

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87 Responses to “Senate Democrats can’t decide what threats to make about filling RBG’s seat”

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  1. Darla says:

    I doubt they will expand the court because democrats insist on bringing water pistols to automatic weapon fights.

    But it’s our only hope. So we need to FORCE them to expand the court, and that may very well mean serious hardball with these people. If they won’t do it, kick them out. Get someone who will.

  2. Atti says:

    Theres nothing they can do that will work against corrupt and soulless Mitch.

  3. Jekelly says:

    I told my husband the other day he better be ready to protest and fight with me. We have a young daughter and I’m so scared for her future.

  4. Joan Callamezzo says:

    Senate democrats can’t decide what threats to make? How about all the threats. Two prong, five prong strategies, do it all.

    • Darla says:

      Yeah. They are trying to codify minority rule. And they may succeed, temporarily. Maybe I won’t see the change. But there will be a Democratic Senate in the future who will expand the court. Minority rule cannot stand. So why not do it now and save us all a lot of trouble and suffering and lost time especially on climate change? Where there is no time. Eventually, the democrats will expand the supreme court. Be it in McConnell’s time or not.

    • Diana says:

      Yes! Though not sure reasoning with the American public will work… we’ve proven over and over that we as whole are too stupid to see the real implications. Obamacare is a 4-letter word to republican asshats and then once it’s gone they will blame Democrats. We need to go nuclear! Ugh not sure if our current democratic leadership has it in them. 😭

  5. Michael says:

    The 53% of white women who voted for Trump likely have buyers remorse. At least I hope they do. But as a black Person in America I have always seen how pervasive and deep both racism and sexism goes here. Those who benefit from an unequal structure will never simply give up that power. If Trump is elected again things will get truly dark.

    • bettyrose says:

      I’m having a bad morning (it’s still morning in CA) as far as this goes. I too think of myself as a realist, not a pessimist, but now Biden has to win by an unequivocal landslide. The slightest margin of error gives the election to the SC, and that’s a Trump victory. Democracy may really be dead.

      I’m not as pessimistic about R v W though, for a few reasons. 1. The Court has had other opportunities to overturn it and not done so. 2. Even if overturned, abortion will still be legal and safe in about 1/2 the country. In the other half, the state electorate will have to decide, and maybe it’s time for voters to say FK this and vote for abortion in their states. Mississippi in South Dakota may be lost causes, but we can still fight to ensure the disenfranchised in those states get safe access.

      But I’m scared, FKING GDAMN scared of the supreme court giving Trump an unearned win in Nov.

    • SunshineG says:

      I don’t think those 53% of white women who voted for Trump care honestly.

      • bettyrose says:

        FKing A. Someone on FB just posted that if dRumpf stacks the Court women will revolt. Gah. I have some small hope, I guess, that women who abstained from voting in 2016 are fired up now, but women who supported Trump aren’t going to be swayed now. They don’t care about their own rights. I guess I’m suspect as to why women who abstained in 2016 would vote now as literally *nothing* he has done in the last four years wasn’t anticipated (well, okay, epically bungling a global pandemic wasn’t anticipated, but certainly nothing specific to women’s rights). I can’t really believe any woman who didn’t vote against Trump in 2016 cares enough about the Supreme Court to vote now. I’m really pissed off today.

  6. Becks1 says:

    Yeah Roe is gone. That was my first thought when I heard that RBG died. Its terrifying and horrible, but its gone.

    The Rs are going to replace RBG. The only question in my mind is if they’ll shove someone through before the election, which I think would mean that the Rs definitely lose the Senate, or if they wait until the lame duck session. Waiting for the lame duck session would be a pretty egregious abuse of power, but lets not forget the Rs impeached Clinton in a lame duck session.

    The fact that they are in such a rush tells me they are pretty sure they’ll lose the white house, and they are scared of losing the Senate too. So I guess that’s a positive? I see a lot of Rs on twitter saying things like “lets wait until after inauguration day because it doesn’t matter because it will still be trump and McConnell.” The Rs in power aren’t saying that though.

    This really was the nightmare scenario when Trump was elected (well, along with a global pandemic that Trump wont do anything about), and I will never forgive Kennedy for stepping down and giving this man an extra seat on the court.

    • Darla says:

      I believe Kennedy was blackmailed by Trump into that.

      As for Roe, yes. So then it reverts to the states. Here in NY, women are safe. But I know a lot of white women on LI who voted for him, and will vote for him again in Nov. And I want them to get THE F OUT. Take your daughters, and GET OUT.

      How dare they stay and enjoy the protections of a blue state. How dare they. Take your daughters and GET OUT. Live by the vote you cast. I am going to go ballistic. Right to their faces.

      • Becks1 says:

        @Darla – I think you’re completely right about Kennedy, and it infuriates me.

        I’m in Maryland, so I agree with you about the blue state protections. You want the benefits of the blue state while being able to rail about the money going to “the cities” (really just Baltimore here), but your rights are protected, our businesses are regulated, etc. I just cant with Trump supporters who are okay with it because Trump doesn’t affect them the same he affects others because of our state.

        And that’s the irony, right? something like Roe v Wade being overturned is going to have a bigger impact on the red states (where abortion is already more limited) and those women are going to feel the brunt of it more than I am. But I’m still angry on their behalf.

    • Lightpurple says:

      McConnell knows that if the election happens, he is in danger of losing the White House. If he manages to hold onto the Senate, he will still obstruct any appointments but he won’t have any say on who goes on that court, he does right now.

    • kelsey says:

      Not only is Roe gone but the ACA is gone as well. The new judge will vote against the ACA and even if there is no appointment, the ruling would be 4-4 and the lower court ruling which dismantled the ACA stands. Gay marriage will probably be overturned and once they get rid of Roe they are going after Griswold (which gives women the right to birth control).

      There are also going to be cases in the next year focused on the environment, worker’s rights and voter’s rights. All of these are threatened with this court.

      • Mac says:

        Democrats cannot effect any meaningful change with a 6-3 court. If they don’t expand the court, their entire agenda is out the window.

    • kelsey says:

      This.

      Gardner (Colorado) and McSally (Arizona) are toast barring a miracle. No wonder they are trying to burn it all down before they get kicked out.

      Sara Gideon is polling way ahead of Susan Collins in Maine and there are several other Senate races where Democrats are challenging that are tight.

      Republicans see the writing on the wall and know their time is limited. The only way they can win is through voter suppression and ramming through judges that will rule in their favor and go against the will of the people.

    • Dani says:

      I wish I could be as hopeful that they are going to lose the white house but it really doesn’t seem like it at this point.

    • LaraW" says:

      I’m not sure we can conclude that Roe is gone. Gorsuch is not a certain vote – he has proven himself to be a strict textualist and very consistent in that matter. Depending on what law is challenged and brought before the court, he could rule either way. From what I read on scotusblog he hasn’t heard many abortion cases while on the 10th Circuit and in those he has heard, he’s ruled on both sides of the matter. He is not an advocate of legislating from the bench and has made that very clear. This is how we got the surprising opinion from Gorsuch re Title VII and gay and trans rights and the decision in McGirt v. Oklahoma.

      Rogers has been increasingly forced to take more “moderate” positions as his focus is, and has always been, on preserving the integrity of an independent judiciary. He is also not fond of legislating from the bench. He was the deciding vote in Kisor v. Wilkie, basing his opinion on stare decisis. I find it difficult to imagine him overturning Roe wholesale – his style is more along the lines of incrementally pushing US jurisprudence to the right. More a slow erosion of reproductive rights. I haven’t been following the ACA case, only that one the main issues is severability now that the individual mandate has been reduced to $0. I do find it interesting that this case comes out of the Fifth Circuit (appellate court for US district courts in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi), which is firmly in Republican territory.

      • Becks1 says:

        You’re right, I should take a deep breath. Gorsuch is a wild card in the same way Scalia was – you think you know how they are going to rule 99% of the time, but because they are such strict textualists, it can have surprising results.

        And I remember Nina Totenberg saying something years ago (when the court upheld the ACA) that Roberts is very aware of his legacy and his role in history and that impacts some of his votes as well.

        But I’m not feeling too good about our chances overall.

  7. KellyRyan says:

    Complete inability to plan ahead by the Dems. WTF haven’t they planned and discussed changing candidate qualifications. I agree with Darla, water pistols to an automatic gun fight. In my mountain progressives group a Biden/Harris win is only the beginning. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve told Chuck Schumer to STFU and work on the solution. :) His continual rants on testing are meaningless. I’m hitting the media hard as well. Who cares about xyz when we’re bombarded by criminal behavior. At the moment I have a glimmer of hope, the barest glimmer.

  8. Feedmechips says:

    Yeah, I’m really sick of the sniveling and hand wringing about what might happen if Dems would put issues like abortion on the forefront in an election, and really say it with their chests. WOMEN are behind this fundraising boom, and we know what is at stake. I’m not trying to be swept under the carpet.

    • Amy Too says:

      Every time Biden would send me one of those “surveys” about which issues are most important to me as a Democratic voter I would have to choose the “other” option and write in “SUPREME COURT!!” It wasn’t even on the list of like 15 “most important issues.” Seriously!? It obviously matters. A lot. To women and other Dems. Look at the fundraising that went on since RBG has died. It was astronomical. Voters care deeply about the Supreme Court and their right to choose! Say it out loud, fight for it.

    • Trillion says:

      I’m preparing myself for this election being ultimately decided by the Supreme Court. Hence the rush. Nothing can stop them.

  9. janey jane says:

    The issue is the process for democratic confirmed judges is a slow, arduous mess. It takes about 9 months to get a judge through — from identifying the candidate to getting ABA rating (why? really…I mean, why should the ABA have a say in any of this), to getting state senator approval to convening a committee to vet the three best candidates to then maybe possibly getting a hearing.

    I know three people personally who withdrew because the democratic process is slow and quite frankly stupid. One can vet a judge very quickly and get them through the process if the votes are there. The whole exercise of asking the ABA and then convening a committee of people to vet (oh and you have to find them, nominate them and choose them before work starts) is the issue.

    There are many vacancies in the federal courts. If the senate flips and Biden wins, the right move is to fill these spots on day 2 of the new Senate. And to make sure that every vacancy is filled within 30 days while there is a democratic majority in the senate. It would set a tone.

  10. Chris says:

    Pretty much everything you said. I am not freaking out now about RBGs seat because she’s been sick for a long time and I have already accepted that trump would get to fill her seat. I figured that when trump appointed kavanaugh. We lost the courts when trump won. That’s really what Republicans in power wanted, tax cuts for the rich and the courts, they never personally cared about trump. He was a means to an end.

    I think the dems should just go ahead and pack the court. Stop assuming Republicans wouldn’t and won’t do that in the future anyway. Democrats cannot expect that if we just play by the rules, then so will Republicans. Come on, they haven’t been playing by any set of rules for a while. It’s essentially a hostile takeover from a minority extreme political party at this point. It should be treated as such. What’s more important, observing norms in the hopes that Republicans will also follow norms maybe in the future or human rights?

    • sa says:

      “Democrats cannot expect that if we just play by the rules, then so will Republicans.”

      This is exactly my frustration. It doesn’t matter which party is in power, the Republicans go extreme, don’t compromise, and try to rewrite the rules to favor themselves.

      When Obama was elected, the Democrats had the majority in both Houses of Congress, that was the time to get things done. Instead, Obamacare was full of compromises to please the Republicans. Why? I am so tired of Democrats always being the only party that compromises to cater to a tantrum-prone minority.

      And I see that happening again. Even if the Democrats win big, I don’t see Biden as the guy that will take bold action. He will still be trying to compromise with the Republicans, while they have shown that the only compromise that is good enough is their complete power and subjugation of the Democrats.

      • Ummm says:

        “When Obama was elected, the Democrats had the majority in both Houses of Congress, that was the time to get things done. Instead, Obamacare was full of compromises to please the Republicans. Why? I am so tired of Democrats always being the only party that compromises to cater to a tantrum-prone minority.”

        Oh honey, you actually believe that’s an unintentional bug and not a feature?

    • Bella DuPont says:

      @Chris,

      This, this, this, this, this.

      The republicans have not been playing by the rules for aeons now. At this point, they’re so confident in the weakness of the democrats that they’re not even hiding their cheating anymore.

      Imagine a scenario in the game of thrones, just before the battle against the wights and white walkers; Jon Snow walks to the front of his army and announces: “Now remember everybody, we fight with integrity! Only weapons allowed are sticks and baguettes! Also, women and children wights are off limits. We fight with integrity!”

      That is basically the Democrats pattern of behaviour. Fighting fire with farts, essentially. It would be comical if it weren’t so desperately sad. I’ve sad this before that the democrats need to find the biggest, nastiest, craftiest bastard they can find (who believes in core democratic values) and put him/her in charge, because the chocolate soldiers they’ve currently got won’t cut it against this type of enemy.

    • Traveler says:

      I completely agree. Rethugs will never play by the rules. It’s win at all and any cost in their playbook. Dems need to fight with everything in their power; each and every trick in the book. Take a lesson from 4 years of these thugs. The days of trying to co-exist are over. People and the planet are in dire need of protection. That is all that matters.

  11. Lemons says:

    Democrats have got to stop playing nice. They are still in time out while the Republicans are scoring touchdowns. It is past time to get it together and get on the field as a team. Stop playing to our weaknesses (moderate, conservative Democrats) and start playing to our progressive strengths.

    Republicans have been getting blackmailed by Russia for 8 years! So why haven’t the Democrats gotten it together and done the same? They are such a filthy party…expose how dirty they are until their supporters’ heads explode at the hypocrisy!

  12. tee says:

    How many times was RBG hospitalized this year alone? Why weren’t they already aligned on a strategy given this outcome? Why, after all this time, are they still so woefully inadequate at political strategy? There’s only so much voters can do. We give them money, elect them in, and time and again Dem leadership prove that they are severely outmatched as an opposition to the fascist right. What can we even do?

    • Truthiness says:

      The Democrats are a minority. Strats can’t get past that. We have to vote blue in and work from there. Piling on leadership doesn’t create votes. Supporting the groups working to flip the senate is what we can do. My senators are blue so I have donated to the groups working hard to register new voters and flip the senate. We are seeing results in the last 3 days that no one has seen before, the wave is started and we have to keep it snowballing.

      • tee says:

        So we vote them in, and then what? What’s the long term strategy for cleaning up the mess from the last 4 years? How are the platforms of the people we’re voting in going to lead to the substantial change we need? Voting is not the solution, it’s merely a (critically important) tactic. The GOP understands that, but for whatever reason Dems still don’t. I wish I had confidence in the party to deliver once we vote them in, but half of them are still buying into the myth of bipartisanship. I’ll continue to do what I can do ensure harm reduction, but my faith in the party has waned.

    • Ummm says:

      That’s a feature, not a bug.

  13. Aang says:

    I didn’t think she’d live this long so I just assumed when Hillary lost the seat was gone. Gore didn’t fight, he just rolled over. Obama was an institutionalist who watched the republicans destroy what they could while he was president and still “went high”. Then he kept his mouth shut about Russia and the election. Schumer and Pelosi are ineffectual leaders without a vision. Next Dem President needs to add DC and Puerto Rico (if we can convince them), and expand the court. But I’m not hopeful. Dems have proven time and time again to be weak, and many Americans are too disinterested to push for action.

    • Ripley says:

      DC would like to be the 51st State… PR, I’m not certain nor do I think it’s a guaranteed two Dem Senators with Puerto Rico. I just want to stop feeling like I’m having a panic attack on a daily basis. Registered to vote in my new (very red) state and donated to ActBlue… here goes nothing.

  14. Lucy2 says:

    God, the last few years have just been a nightmare.
    The hypocrisy of this just six weeks before the election is sickening, but not at all surprising. I hope there’s a way to stop it, or that for Republicans find some sort of moral compass, but I’m not expecting much.
    If it can’t be stopped, I hope it at least costs the Republicans the Senate. And then the Democrats need to push through every last thing they possibly can for the next two years. Everything.

    • Bella DuPont says:

      Let’s stop calling this hypocrisy. It’s not. It’s *cheating*. Dictionary definition of cheating:

      “to act dishonestly or unfairly in order to gain an advantage.”

      The Democrats have to find a way to prevent this cheating from happening or they must find a way to overturn it if it does take place.

  15. kelsey says:

    I love Michelle Obama but now is not the time to “go high.” I hate saying this but we need to go low and play dirty. The GOP doesn’t play fair and neither should we. The Senate Democrats need to fucking fight! If they don’t then Schumer needs to be replaced if the Dems take the Senate.

    At least Pelosi has threatened impeachment of Trump and Barr in order to try and stall the SC appointment.

  16. Mei says:

    Question from over in the UK – can Biden nominate a new Justice also? I read an article from the Guardian earlier that said he should do that, but I didn’t know how realistic it was. If he nominated say, Stacey Abrams, would there ever be a chance she would win the seat? I don’t know how it works to go from a nomination to confirmation.

    • Katherine says:

      Biden could “nominate” someone. But it would basically be a political statement. Congress would be under no obligation to do anything about it. And this congress definitely wouldn’t. I’m also not sure that’s a precedent Democrats really want to set being the out of power party now. Has all the makings of something that would come back to bite them if it becomes standard political maneuvering for the out of power party. Stacey Abrams also isn’t a great choice. She has no judicial experience. And while not a requirement it’s usually standard (Kagan was an exception, but I think her Solicitor General experience was the compensating factor there)

      • Bella DuPont says:

        All standards are off. That’s the whole point.

      • Katherine says:

        No it’s not the whole point. First of all a nominee can’t officially nominate anyone to the Supreme Court. They can make a political statement of who they would nominate and that’s it. So I don’t really understand what The Guardian’s proposal is here. But the answer to this is not complete anarchy and abandonment of institutional process. Also I’m not sure what people are envisioning the Democrats do when the political reality limits their *actual* options. I know it’s fun to talk big about the Democrats going rogue and being just as manipulative and hypocritical and dirty as the Republicans, but short of lighting the building on fire they are not actually in a position to do anything including dirty tactics.

        The Republicans pulled most of what they pulled in recent years while benefitting from congressional majorities. That can’t just be hand waved away for the fun of talking but about how the Democrats need to fight dirty. I am not actually for overturning all standards and precedents in our system. Because anything done in good faith, once established, the Republicans will eventually manipulate for bad faith reasons. Look at the abandonment of the filibuster for Supreme Court nominations. That was a Democrat move and it’s blown up spectacularly now that Republicans manipulate it to their advantage. I know people would rather hear a more fun, dramatic, sneaky political strategy but the answer to this is, has always been, and will always be voting.

        For my American celebitchies today is National Register to Vote day. Please make sure you are and have a plan in place to vote.

      • Bella DuPont says:

        “Because anything done in good faith, once established, the Republicans will eventually manipulate for bad faith reasons”.

        Exactly this. So essentially, you have standards which only one party adheres to, while the other party gets to re-set those standards according to it own agenda. Can you not see how unsustainable the situation is? Yes, voting is extremely important, but once the democrats win (hopefully), they need to re-set the standards for themselves as well. Call it restitution, if you like.

        Furthermore, I really believe that one of the reasons the Republicans feel emboldened to cheat so much is because they know there is no danger of the Democrats returning the favour. There have to be consequences for cheating.

        In this particular case, I think the Dems need to bring several articles of impeachment against Barr and Trump and keep bringing cases for as long as it takes (God knows the list of their crimes are long enough to last the next 4 years).

  17. Talie says:

    I think it’s important to be realistic because I see too much twisting and turning about what Dems can do. Elections have consequences and we keep seeing that. If people want change, vote. Dems would need to win the Senate with a decent amount of seats in addition to the presidency to even think about making big changes like adding a seat or two to the court. McConnell’s whole function in life is the courts and he has radically transformed them – he confirms tons of judges for the lower courts every time Congress is in session. It’s not focused on but it’s a pretty big deal.

  18. Imoverit says:

    Yes, I agree it’s going to happen. I know that having a republican in the office to appoint conservative judges was a huge rallying point for many Republicans on the fence about Trump in 2016 and a part of me wonders why he doesn’t use it as way to try and boost his support for reelection this year. I have been reading so many articles on how Republicans have been playing the long game by packing thr lowe courts with conservative judges and it is so scary to think how hard this will be to undue, democratic president or not.

  19. Jack says:

    They have to get this seat in fast so they can challenge the results of voting. This is just another path to stealing the election. At a minimum, they’ll get rid of the ACA right away and eventually Roe. But the urgency is to have a republican court to support them when Trump contests the election.

    The dems need to shut up and not give any strategy away. If you tell the American people you are going to add more seats to the court, more people will vote republican. They care about the SC and money!!! White women want their husbands to make more so they can be stay at home wives so they vote for the trumpstain for the economic benefit. They will not vote dem just because they think women’s rights are threatened. If they were concerned about women’s rights (or anyone else’s) they would be voting dem already. I’m a white female in the suburb and the women I know make up excuses to vote against Biden and profess to hate the orange clown. The only other person who votes Dem like me is another single mom.

    Biden needs to sit down with the governors and mayors and get the protesting and rioting to stop until after the election. I fully support the protestors, but the law and order cry from the republicans is hurting the dems at the poles, also.

  20. Aang says:

    Well Romney just announced he’s got Mitch’s back. These people are disgusting. There is not one of them who does anything that is not self serving. Can NY just succeed and join Canada?

    • Dani says:

      Romney will do ANYTHING to get in to the white house. I wouldn’t be surprised if he was promised something or the other if he sticks with them through this and in to the next election. He’s a weasel.

      • Mel M says:

        I agree, I cannot stand Mitt. He is just like those voters who pretend to be better than the magats because they say they know Trump is garbage but they also don’t like Biden so they must be CONVINCED to vote for Biden. They are worse than the magats because they know he’s awful and will sit there and say they don’t agree with this and that but they know what’s at stake and they will put their interests before everyone else every time because they are all just selfish assholes. Screw Romney.

      • KellyRyan says:

        He’s tried and failed. Also made an attempt at Gov of California. America does not want a Mormon in the WH. Mormonism continues to carry the description of, “cult.”

    • Becks1 says:

      Romney wants the white house, but also, keep in mind that Romney is still a pretty conservative Republican. He’s not opposed to putting party above country here because that will give him some of the things he wants – abortion outlawed, ACA repealed, etc. These people know what they are doing. They WANT that third pick on the court. And now they have it.

  21. Sam says:

    We lost the courts when Obama didn’t fight back against the Garland nomination and his lower court nominations being stalled by Mitch.

    This is been a long game for Mitch that only now the other side is fighting since Trump has been President…should have been fighting and campaigning about the courts years ago.

  22. Queen Meghan’s Hand says:

    I learned from Lawrence O’Donnell last night that the House has more power to thwart the Senate calendar than the senators in the minority party. If the House brings articles of impeachment, that means the Senate has to hold a trial.

    This is why I can’t stand Nancy Pelosi and that useless toad Chuck Schumer. The House should have written HUNDREDS of articles of impeachment against Trump. The House hearings should still be going on! But no, Pelosi wanted a short and narrow impeach trial and scope and look at where we are. F03K the Democratic Party leadership. F03K Hakeem Jeffries, F03K Pelosi, F03K Schumer F03K Tom Perez, F03K all of them for spending money doing oppo research on Representatives Ocasio-Cortez, Omar, Tlaib, Pressley but doing crap to remove a man WHO HAS KILLED AT LEAST 200,000 Americans!!!

    • sa says:

      There’s no rule saying that an impeached President can’t be impeached again. If all options really are on the table, then the House needs to start drafting multiple articles of impeachment – and make each one charge it’s own impeachment, to force multiple trials in the Senate.

  23. Veronica S. says:

    RGB was a great justice. I am, however, not going to forget her arrogance and selfishness in not stepping down in 2008 or 2012 when the Democratic Party was gently pushing her to do so. Now we’re facing a situation where some of her most impactful work could be overturned by her ill-timed death. The Democratic Party needs teeth to deal with this current enemy, and I don’t know if they have them. Republicans played the long game here, starting all the way back with the New Deal trade when FDR agreed to freezing the growth of regional Congresses, which has given inordinate amounts of power favored to rural districts.

    Two biggest things that needs fixed if we manage to flip the senate: address voting expansion and voting access. Create criteria for polling areas based on geography or expand mail in rights. Make elections holidays. Automatic registration at 18. That will fix tons of issues.

    • aang says:

      I agree. She asked something like “Who would you get that is better than me?”. I didn’t a sense of humility from her, I think she believed her own hype.

    • sa says:

      I strongly disagree. Why should she be forced to step down from her lifetime appointment? Because the rest of American can’t get it together? That’s absurd.

      Justice Breyer is also in his 80s, I don’t hear people talking about how selfish he is to not have stepped down years ago. We expect women to sacrifice in their own lives in ways we do not expect of men. RBG was not here for that.

      • Veronica S. says:

        Gender is not why she was asked to step down. She was asked because she was already elderly and got diagnosed with CANCER in 2009. People saw the writing on the wall then and shock, surprise, what we expected to happen did happen now at the worst possible time. Obama and the Democratic senate is also responsible for not fighting harder for Garland, certainly, but RGB doesn’t get a pass for being female. Her appointment wasn’t just about her. It affects literally the entire United States.

        As far as I’m concerned, none of them should be lifetime appointees for exactly the reason we are seeing here. Now younger Americans are going to have to live with the legacy of a conservative court system, both supreme and federal, for the next forty years. Damage done is done at this point.

      • sa says:

        And she got treatment and was Cancer free for years after that. We don’t treat people who have Cancer as if their lives are already over.

        I don’t disagree about maybe they shouldn’t be lifetime appointments. But they currently are, and I’m not going to fault RBG for playing by the rules.

      • Veronica S. says:

        People who get cancer and survive it aren’t treated like their lives are over, but that doesn’t mean we don’t pretend they aren’t high risk. Plenty of people retire after getting sick, and she had plenty of money and resources to survive on if she stepped down. She was not in that position by necessity at that point. RGB is not a woman sitting in a CEO position whose death would only affect a minimal number of people. She was in a position of immense power with broad national influence while a fascist regime was on the rise, a power hungry Republican Party was consolidating Senate authority, and politics were becoming increasingly polarized. I will fault her on this because she’s not a saint and is human. She was mistaken defending Kavanaugh, and she gravely miscalculated here.

        She is not the first judge to be asked to do this. It is not a gender issue and that’s reductive and short sighted to say so. It’s literally a politics and numbers strategy game. Sandra Day O’Conner stepped down under Bush specifically so she could be replaced by a conservative. Right now, the Republican Party is convincing federal judges to step down so they can fill the branches. (They just approved six of them last week, by the way.) You can say she played by the rules, but those were her rules, not anything that benefited the rest of us because Republicans have been playing a very different and much savvier game when it comes to the judicial system. She was a notable judge who did great things. Unfortunately, the rest of us who are younger women may have to live with watching that legacy overturned because of which set of rules she chose to play by.

      • Nic919 says:

        Lifetime appointments are crazy. In Canada we have judges until age 75 at which time they must retire. And while appointment of judges aren’t as political here, we know which judges are going to retire in the near future when an election is called.

    • sa says:

      triple post

    • sa says:

      triple post

    • salmonpuff says:

      I am late to this, so my comment probably won’t be seen, but I can’t stop thinking about it. RBG is not responsible in any way for the mess we are in now. Obviously Mitch McConnell & the GOP are the primary culprits, but the Obama administration and the Dems have a HUGE share of the blame. We elected them to fight for us, and they didn’t. They let the GOP hold Merrick Garland and other judicial nominations. They had recourses, despite being in the minority, and they didn’t use them. There is no guarantee that if RBG retired, the McConnell senate would have let Obama’s nominee through. And Obama would have likely chosen the path of appeasement and nominated someone much more centrist than RBG. (I do get why Obama governed the way he did. I’m not sure he had much choice other than to be calm, rational and moderate.) This entire situation has the feeling of stupid inevitability to it…we’ve all seen this coming, and yet no one believed it would arrive.

      • Veronica S. says:

        I never said RGB was wholly responsible for this situation. This a culmination of factors up and down the board, including a massive miscalculation on the part of the Democratic party over the last twenty years not understanding what they were up against, no paying attention to the gerrymandering going on around the country, and definitely ignoring the very real need for a more progressive party platform. What I said is that she was responsible for her choice not to retire when the warning signs were on the wall that it was politically dangerous for her to remain in that seat. The time to retire was 2006-2008 when we had a clear majority. The judicial branch is the only part of the system that is not decided by American voters. It is the branch that must be handled most strategically for that reason.

        We got outplayed, simple as that. All of us hold blame for that, but especially the people in power who know how political games work. As this point, we’ll be lucky to get a moderate conservative, much less a straight up conservative in there. Whatever. Play stupid games, win stupid prizes. A lot of young women have an ugly wake up call coming their way.

  24. Rapunzel says:

    Once again, secession is the play here. Blue states need to say “you red states aren’t holding us hostage anymore.”

    Tell these GOP f–kers “there will be no more taking blue state money if you’re not going to give us what we want.” Start the process immediately. Hold a convention where blue states draw a new constitution and have it ready to go the minute the GOP controlled SCOTUS dismantles the ACA, Roe, Griswold, Gay marriage, trans rights, etc.

    The rwnj propaganda will just continue to spread and infect more laws and people in blue states if blue states don’t get out.

    Stop playing ball with these cheating mofos. Get a new ball game going.

    • Veronica S. says:

      I really do think it’s going to boil down to the states, to be honest. The current setup inordinately favors red states at a federal level, despite the fact that they do not represent the majority across the board, and their rhetoric is increasingly fascistic and dangerous as they tighten the grasp of their power. At some point, the situation will hit a fever pitch. Blue states will have to decide what to do for their own survival then.

      We may very well see the union fracture in our lifetimes. It may very well be overdue. I just hate that it’s going to play right into Putin’s hands.

      • aang says:

        The USSR could only have dreamed of weakening the US the way in which Putin has been able. I think that the US is going to end up loosing the cold war 30 years after we thought we won.

      • Bella DuPont says:

        @aang

        Yup. I’ve been saying this for a while now, that the US is in a war it doesn’t even know it’s fighting against Russia and Putin is using his puppet/asset, Donald Trump to tear the country apart from within.

      • Veronica S. says:

        America assumed the Cold War ended with the USSR. We didn’t realize they just changed tactics. I’m not thrilled to think of what happens when and if America falls. We’re by no means perfect, but who replaces us in the power vacuum? China? Russia? Should be the EU, but do they seem interested and organized enough to you? Not to mention how much of Europe’s military might relies on NATO and American forces.

        The West Coast is the most likely culprit for secession, IMO. They’re united regionally and culturally better than any other in the US, and they have the financial power to support themselves. The Northeast MAY follow after, but that’s questionable. There’s more regional diversity here unless you knock out Pennsylvania and the western half of New York.

    • schmootc says:

      That’s the first thing I thought about on Friday – I’m done with these people. They want to live in a craphole, let them live in a craphole. They can take their feudal society and shove it up their asses. I live in Oregon and think Cascadia would be perfectly lovely. Or else Washington, Oregon and California. Our governors have worked together nicely on Covid-19.

  25. A Guest says:

    We lost the Supreme Court in 2000 when W was elected, it just took 20 years to come to it.

    Packing the court is a tactical solution to a strategic problem. We need to take back statehouses and governorships. We need a liberal “Federalist Society” to identify and promote judges, we need their PR machine and mailing lists, we need to vote in mid-terms to keep a Senate majority if we get it.

    We need to have serious discussions about the Electoral College, the 2 Senators per state rule, term limits for Federal judges.

    This is going to be a 20+ year fight to take our government back. It can’t stop with the election of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.

    AND everyone needs to have the following statement imprinted in their brain.

    “Joe Biden as President will do something in the next 4 years to disappoint me but I will NOT stop fighting and I will not stop voting”.

    Too many of us did that previously and it fell to an 87 year old woman with cancer to stand between this country and the abyss.

  26. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    Yikes thrice. This is new lol.

  27. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    I think we’ve been walking the same road Kaiser. Since his campaign, I’ve been trying desperately to convince anyone really about the shit show that embodies this thing that crawled out of primordial soup. And if 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that things can always get worse. We’re in deep, and I think the worst is yet to come.

  28. sa says:

    Romney supports felony disenfranchisement. One of the defenses of which is that we don’t want felons influencing the vote so that crimes are decriminalized or penalties are reduced. Romney voted to remove Trump from office, meaning he believes Trump committed a high crime or misdemeanor, but he thinks that Trump should get to appoint a Judge to a lifetime appointment? At least McConnell doesn’t pretend to have any principles.

  29. holly hobby says:

    They should go scorched earth on those idiot GOPers. Sorry the days of decorum are gone when Mitch ascended to power. Stop being timid. Impeach Barr to stop the whole confirmation process.

    • A says:

      I don’t understand how the Senate Democrats aren’t angrier. How are the okay with this shit? Why?! Their colleague across the floor do not respect them at all. What is to be gained from trying to play fair here???

  30. SunshineG says:

    I mean all of this could have been avoided if she would have stepped down during Obama’s terms but here we are. Now things will be as it will be 🤷🏾‍♀️

    • A says:

      I know. I understand why people don’t like hearing that though, but I also feel like…yeah. It’s not a criticism of RBG personally, I mean, it’s her job to do with as she sees fit. But that’s a feature of the system that I do think a lot of the Supreme Court justices need to be aware of. At the same time, I understand the opposing perspective that they are above politics, and should stay that way, and I think having to consider political factors in your decision to retire as Supreme Court justice is probably not a good idea either. It beholds justices to one party or another, and that’s probably not a great thing for an independent judiciary.

  31. Eugh says:

    Can we talk about how Coney Barrett is in a handmaid patriarchal religious cult (People of Praise)?

  32. A says:

    This is part of what frustrates me immensely about the Democrats. I fully understand the urgency of needing to get Trump out of office. But I feel like the Democrats themselves often don’t. There are moments like these that have happened in the Trump presidency, where they seem more beholden to process, to institutions, to precedent, when all of these things have never mattered to the Republicans. Why are these people trying to uphold these things that the other side has never given a damn about? Especially when it’s a question of standing up for what’s right?

    There is so much support and movement within the progressive half of the country for real change. All of us have sat around watching this Trump shitshow with horror. We know that it’s a question of Biden vs a real nightmare for the next four years. But this is the sort of behaviour that causes people to lose faith in the Democrats. Our votes are there no matter what, but they can’t act like they’re taking that for granted. They can’t middle-ground this shit. There is no middle-ground to be had, period, with the Trump contingent. They have nothing to gain by trying to appeal to the Republicans, or Trump voters. The real power, the real change, the real support for the Democrats, resides with the progressives. The Democrats need to better represent our interests. We’re the ones putting them into office, after all.

    And I guarantee, if they presented a more full-throated opposition to the Republicans, they’d get a lot more non-voters on their side too. Non-voters don’t vote because they feel discouraged by the lack of political conviction, but don’t want to vote for the Republicans. They need a demonstrable guarantee of faith from the Democrats. People need to be able to believe that these politicians will represent their interests, not pussy foot the fuck around like this.

    I’m feeling optimistic, somewhat, because of the huge flood of donations to Biden. In general, campaigns are won by the candidate who spends the most money. Trump, in 2016, had a late surge in donations, which is why, in spite of everything else that happened over the summer, he won the election. If Biden and the Democrats outspend him, they stand more of a chance than they did before. Nothing is set in stone though. People need to be vigilant.

  33. Sarah says:

    You guys need an overhaul of the judicial system. Lifetime tenures are illogical. In Canada all judges must retire by 75. This avoids a lot of issues we’re seeing in the US.

    Also, I read somewhere that McConnell was giddily referring to RBG’s expected passing as this election’s October surprise. There is a special place in hell for him.