Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston



Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Antonin Scalia and the Phony GOP Devotion to the U.S. Constitution


Senator Rand Paul says it would be a conflict of interests if President Obama fulfilled his constitutional duties by nominating a Supreme.

Uh. No.

In a Washington Post op-ed (pitiably titled "For the good of the country, stop your nakedly partisan obstruction), Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid protests that "Republicans should not insult the American people’s intelligence by pretending there is historical precedent for what they are about to do. There is not." Of course there isn't. As constitutional historian Timothy Huebner observes in an inevitably concurring NY Times op-ed, "in cases when [Supreme Court] vacancies have arisen during election years, the weight of history is clearly on the side of the president naming a successor and the Senate acting on that nomination." 

Mitch McConnell Voted To Confirm A Supreme Court Justice In Reagan's Final Year 

So did every single Republican senator.

On Feb. 3, 1988, McConnell and literally every other GOP senator voted to confirm Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy. This was during President Ronald Reagan's last year in the White House, and at a time when Democrats controlled the Senate. Kennedy was confirmed 97-0, with three Democrats -- Joe Biden, Al Gore and Paul Simon -- not voting at all because, presumably, they were busy running for president that year.

All the bellowing by the T-GOP warning the POTUS that he should not even THINK of nominating a candidate to fill Scalia's spot is just more of the same obstruction and sabotaging that they've practiced since January 20, 2009. This is just one more disgusting example of their contempt for this president whom the American people voted for twice with the largest popular vote since President Eisenhower.

The American people's choice was to have Barack Hussein Obama as their president for a second term, which term would include the nomination of a Supreme Court justice, should one of the sitting justices die.

That just happened.

Scalia is dead, and now President Obama must fulfill his constitutional duties by nominating a replacement. What the T-GOP has been saying is b.s., and everyone knows it. President Reagan proposed Justice Kennedy for the SCOTUS in the last year of his presidency, and he was confirmed.

The T-GOP are no better than a gang of petulant toddlers who scream bloody NO! every time President Obama exercises his presidential rights.

"This is the modus operandi of Congressional Republicans. When things go their way, the system is working just fine. When the rules are inconvenient, the Constitution suddenly becomes a living document open to interpretation. Perhaps Sen. Elizabeth Warren best summed it up":

For the T-GOP, the Constitution is a fungible document that should be followed only when it favors their ideology. When it doesn't, they have no problem treating it like a certain kind of tissue one finds in a restroom.

As for Justice Scalia, I never admired him nor his jurisprudence. Ever.

To quote something Mark Twain may or may not have written:  

"I've never wished anyone dead, but I have read some obituary notices with great satisfaction."


Every day, during this circus that's called the TeaPublican presidential nomination process, we hear something that would cause any sane person to want to guzzle antifreeze.  Every day.  And today is no exception  -- BUT this something is so depressingly awful that I had to read it several times to believe a candidate for the TeaPublican nomination actually said it.

Donald Trump, the candidate currently leading all the polls for the TeaPublican Party has actually jumped on the conspiracy wagon and is buying into the suspicion that President Obama had Antonin Scalia killed!  He's considering a wild-ass, witheringly imbecilic delirium as a reality.

There's not much more one can say about a political party or a politician who would descend into utter madness of this sort.  But there it is. Trump and the lunatics on the right.

"There is no great conspiracy behind Antonin Scalia’s death. Scalia lived the lifestyle that many conservatives preach. He was a morbidly obese smoker who didn’t exercise and ate what he wanted. The shock isn’t that Scalia died. It’s that he lived to see age 79."


Kevin Robbins said...

I'm with the Republicans. President Obama should not nominate a replacement for Scalia.

Bernie or Hillary should nominate Obama in January of 2017 with a Democratically controlled Senate.

Sofa King Conservative said...

But...but...Chuck Schumer...but...but...Eisenhower...but...but...I want my way! Obama is a big meanie who wants to turn this country into a soshalist nightmare! I want my way! I want my way! Waaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

Oh, and screw the Constitution!

Shaw Kenawe said...

S.K.C., that's an accurate depiction of how the T-GOP behaves every time Mr. Obama has the audacity to act like a president.

Josh Marshall of TPM:

"The simple truth is that Supreme Court vacancies do not happen very often and in the nature of things many fewer happen in the last year of a president's term. But again, the simple reality. It's never been suggested before, ever, that a sitting president loses his right to make judicial appointments at the beginning of the last year of his four year term. Never.

The last three or four months prior to an election is arguable. But August is simply not remotely comparable to February. This is obvious. The last time there has been a vacancy of the length the GOP now proposes was more than 170 years ago. And even that was in the face of repeated rejections of nominees - not a flat refusal to entertain nominations - and with a President whose very legitimacy was under something of a cloud. By any honest analysis, none of the 'precedents' Republicans have whipped up in the last three days really speak to the present issue at all. As one reader noted, is there any other example in all of American history of a president deferring a key decision or prerogative to his successor except during the lame duck period between the election and inauguration of the next President. The answer: no, never. We have one president at a time."

Paula said...

That didn't take long. The crazies on the right are talking about MURDER! because Scalia was found with a pillow over his head and wearing non-wrinkled pjs? We can speculate on many things, one of which is why was this man away on a private weekend on a private ranch on Valentine's weekend without his wife? The crazies on the right would never suspect hanky-panky, but we've seen all through history how men (and some women) who show themselves to be paragons of morality often engage in secret shenanigans with young things that cause their hearts to stop during sexy time. Perhaps the whisking away of the body and/or the placing of a pillow on top of his head was a way of throwing off snooping into other things? Just sayin'. It's not unheard of for big important men's friends to protect their reputations after they've been found to be playing around.

E. Rosewater said...

In honor of Mr Scalia I watched Lewis Black's bit on quail hunting.

Why do fat old men like to walk around with big guns and blast away at little birds that can't fly for sour apples?

Rational Nation USA said...

The politicizing of the unfortunate and untimely death of Justice Scalia by the republican leadership and presidential candidates is sickening.

A constitutional scholar and strict constructionist Scalia would likely disapprove of McConnell and the republican BS song.

But democrats have taken the same or similar positions in the past.

Proper constitutional principle is proper constitutional principle regardless of which party is in power and the constitution should be upheld and followed.

Ambivalence has been replaced with the "who gives a sh*t anymore" attitude...

(O)CT(O)PUS said...

Free Twinkies,
OTOH, perhaps fucking with the Constitution put a strain on his heartlessness.

Sofa King Conservative said...

The GOP has a special talent for Shooting themselves in the face with the crap cannon as the seltzer bottle they had hidden in their trousers explodes, all accompanied by a chorus of old white men making creepy comments about female sexuality while trashing half the country as moochers... Real winners there.

Vafanculo said...

Do the folks who are lionizing Scalia know what a vulgar man he was? A bully too:

Photographer: Herald got it right
By Marie Szaniszlo
Thursday, March 30, 2006 - Updated: 09:39 AM EST

Amid a growing national controversy about the gesture U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia made Sunday at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, the freelance photographer who captured the moment has come forward with the picture. “It’s inaccurate and deceptive of him to say there was no vulgarity in the moment,” said Peter Smith, the Boston University assistant photojournalism professor who made the shot.

Despite Scalia’s insistence that the Sicilian gesture was not offensive and had been incorrectly characterized by the Herald as obscene, the photographer said the newspaper “got the story right.” Smith said the jurist “immediately knew he’d made a mistake, and said, ‘You’re not going to print that, are you?’ ”

Smith was working as a freelance photographer for the Boston archdiocese’s weekly newspaper at a special Mass for lawyers Sunday when a Herald reporter asked the justice how he responds to critics who might question his impartiality as a judge given his public worship. “The judge paused for a second, then looked directly into my lens and said, ‘To my critics, I say, ‘Vaffanculo,’ ” punctuating the comment by flicking his right hand out from under his chin, Smith said.

The Italian phrase means “(f**k) you.” ...."

okjimm said...

I have this feeling that they,the shitheads, would love to delay the process because it would give their asshole candidates less of a chance to say stupid things. Or maybe,just, they are so arrogant they feel that nine months out, they have this election rigged and will win. But I will bet with the former. Cruz,Rubio &Stumpy have the collective intellect of a three legged rabid beagle....of the stupid goddam things they say...

Unknown said...

I find it fascinating, the paradox in which strict constitutionalists insist upon strict adherence, yet make some of the most absurdly outlandish constitutional interpretations we've ever heard when it fits their needs.

Yet; those same stricties see progressives as subversives, even though we're open and clear regarding our approach to progressivism.

"Up is down and down is up!" Congress is one big rabbit hole.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Kevin, I don't think the Obamas would want to spend the rest of their lives in D.C. after the way the creeps in the T-GOP have disrespected them. I hope he writes a memoire on his years in the White House. (I was in your neck of the woods this weekend and enjoyed the deep freeze. Ha!)

Free Twinkies, I've read that on a couple of those hysterical conspiracy-soaked sites like World Nut Daily, Breitfart, and Drudgery. Small-brained mammals eat that idiocy up.

E. Rosewater: "Why do fat old men like to walk around with big guns and blast away at little birds that can't fly for sour apples?" Because killing little birdies is fun and makes them feel happy. That, and shooting their hunting buds in the face.

RN, I don't recall a Democrat "politicizing" the death of a Supreme. Do you remember when that happened? I remember the Dems voting against Robert Bork. And I know that the Republicans will never forgive the Dems for that which happened 30 years ago. The TeaPublicans believe in legislating by vendetta -- you know, similar to how the Mafia behaved. They will never forget.

(O)CT(O), what you said and the fact that Scalia was grossly overweight and a life-long smoker. As someone noted, it's a miracle he lived as long as he did.

S.K.C., well put. Couldn't have said it better myself.

V. Scalia had a nasty streak in him as wide as 10 lasagna noodles.

okjimm, did you notice that within minutes of Scalia's death all the TeaPublicans were parroting the same talking points. Little mindless bots.

Bob, in TeaPublican's world, strict adherence to the constitution is only for the parts that agree with their ideology, sort of the way they adhere to the Bible.

Eric said...

"To quote something Mark Twain may or may not have written:"

It wasn't Mark Twain (who is probably the record holder for misattributed quotes), but Clarence Darrow and this is what he said:

“All men have an emotion to kill; when they strongly dislike some one they involuntarily wish he was dead. I have never killed any one, but I have read some obituary notices with great satisfaction.”

— Clarence Darrow

Shaw Kenawe said...

Thanks, Eric. I should have researched that.

Eric said...

Tracking down quotes is something of a hobby for me, and I've blogged about it here:

Shaw Kenawe said...

Eric, the link is broken.

Eric said...

It worked for me. Try this version: