In a recent opinion piece for NBCNews.com, Democratic strategist James Carville expressed optimism for the upcoming election. “November,” he added, “is Democrats’ first chance in generations to chop down the rotted timbers of the Republican Party and sink the whole ship.”
Carville is correct that we must think bigger than a Biden squeaker. While any result that would fairly and legally remove Donald Trump from the office he has desecrated would be welcome, a decisive Democratic victory is the true antidote to heal a divided nation gaslighted by the vagaries of a narcissistic monster.
The last presidential election stands as a sobering reminder that anything can happen, despite polls and expert projections. Between now and Election Day, we cannot afford to let rosy assumptions or prognostications lull us into laziness and inaction, especially if we wish to see blue our television screens fill up with blue late into the night.
Unlike Carville, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is no Democratic strategist. However, he and his cohorts are telegraphing the GOP’s increasing level of desperation in recent statements and actions about filling judicial vacancies.
The beating heart and sound mind of Ruth Bader Ginsburg has become nothing less than an essential fortification for maintaining America’s rule of law and getting through 2020 without unspeakable trouble. Thankfully for Ginsburg and the country, her hospitalization this week to treat a gall bladder infection was a success and she is already back home and on the job.
Given Ginsburg’s age and recent health scares, there has been some speculation that she might announce her retirement. Rather than decline to comment on a hypothetical situation, top GOP senators told Politico on Friday that McConnell’s Senate will absolutely fill any vacancy left by Ginsburg’s departure. This comes, of course, after McConnell in 2016 refused to allow a hearing for Judge Merrick Garland after Justice Antonin Scalia’s death 11 months before the end of President Obama’s second term.
While the thought of Ginsburg leaving the Supreme Court this year is scary, we must not be cowered by some power-hungry senators’ chest-thumping words. On the contrary, such a premature rush to expose their hypocrisy and commit to replacing Ginsburg should be viewed as an acknowledgement that the GOP fears their days in power may be numbered.
This is not the only sign that McConnell and his minions are growing visibly anxious about their chances of maintaining control next year. In March, the New York Times reported that McConnell has been prodding veteran GOP judges to retire so that Republicans can replace them as soon as possible. Between now and November 3, we must, as Carville suggests, not only aim to win but “sink the whole ship.” We need to prove, in resounding fashion, that current Republican anxieties are not all for naught.