The Left’s Dishonest Attacks Following Ginsburg’s Death
During a global pandemic, an explosion of racial tensions across the country and the most controversial election in modern history, America could hardly use another partisan conflict. Yet the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg might just be the catalyst for what could be the nastiest fight of the entire Trump presidency. In the wake of the incident of four years ago, the accusations of hypocrisy from both major parties are at an all-time high. Republicans specifically have seemingly inverted their historical position in an almost comical form, or at least that might be what you think if you turn on CNN. Of course, it's impossible to get completely unbiased news coverage these days, but much of the coverage of Ginsburg’s death and the ensuing events has been more than dishonest. Let's look at a couple of specific areas of media and Democrat misconduct. Let me be clear that this piece is attempting to question the actions of Democrats and those on the left, and not the former justice herself, who by all accounts was a woman of extraordinary qualities.
Justice Ginsburg’s Final Wish
In a now-infamous final statement, the late justice dictated to her granddaughter the following request: “My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.” Coming from a constitutional scholar, the statement is nothing short of shocking. Ginsburg knows very well that her intentions regarding a preferred successor are irrelevant from a legal sense. In the United States, seats on the Supreme Court are not passed down by inheritance. They are filled by a nominee appointed by a duly elected president and confirmed by a majority of duly elected senators. The appropriate reaction to such a wish by Justice Ginsburg is complete dismissal. We need not unnecessarily attack Ginsburg at this point, but we cannot amplify or lend credence to a blatantly undemocratic and unconstitutional suggestion. When Antonin Scalia stated before he died that he would like to be replaced by Judge Frank Easterbrook, neither Democrats nor Republicans gave that suggestion any serious thought. Republicans did not accuse Obama of not caring about a man’s dying wish. The media didn't paint Democrats as villains for nominating Garland instead. In short, people acted like adults. The same cannot be said this time around.
Supposed Republican Hypocrisy
Since Friday night, CNN and MSNBC have practically played videos of Republican senators arguing against the confirmation of Merrick Garland in 2016 on loop in an attempt to portray the GOP as nothing more than power-hungry hypocrites. You might think that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell argued against confirmation in an election year when he spoke four years ago, but this is simply not the case. Take a look at McConnell’s actual words from 2016: “Remember that the Senate has not filled a vacancy arising in an election year when there was a divided government since 1888, almost 130 years ago.” It is clear from just a simple glance that McConnell was only arguing for a confirmation delay when there was a divided government between the Senate and the White House. The Senate Republican leadership did not stray from historical precedent four years ago, and they aren't doing so now. There have been 29 Supreme Court vacancies during a presidential election year in American history. In every single one of those cases, the president nominated a successor. Think about how Trump has been portrayed in recent days, and consider the fact that he has done the same thing as every single one of his predecessors. Perhaps a more accurate portrayal of precedent is needed. Also keep in mind that in the 19 cases where the Senate was held by the same party as the White House, the nominee was confirmed in an election year in 17 of those 19 times. In summary, a Trump nomination, and even a confirmation of said nominee, is well within the realm of precedent.
Democrats’ Court-Packing Threat
In a thoroughly predictable move, several Democrats threatened to pack the Supreme Court if a Trump nominee is confirmed, and in a similarly predictable move, some members of the media decided that such a threat was more than appropriate for the circumstances. Court-packing is a technique most associated with Democratic President Franklin Roosevelt, in which the party in control attempts to load the court with several new justices who align with the party politically. It is nothing short of a perversion of our democratic institutions. Yet somehow, these threats have been treated with a dose of happiness from members of the media. CNN Host Don Lemon, commenting on the supposedly “unprecedented” Republican actions, exclaimed, “We are gonna have to blow up the whole system.” Lemon, a major CNN personality who is not listed as an opinionist but as a news anchor, actually endorsed actions going as far as amending the U.S. Constitution to abolish the electoral college along with court-packing. It is a shame that our media is in such a state, but we must at least attempt to call out such blaring dishonesty. You might have read that it is the GOP taking the unprecedented steps recently, but a look at history says the opposite.
The Anti-Religious Attacks On Amy Coney Barret
It has been widely speculated that President Trump would nominate 7th Circuit Appeals Court Judge Amy Coney Barrett to replace Ginsburg. Barrett is deeply admired in conservative legal circles, and many social conservatives wanted Trump to nominate her instead of Brett Kavanaugh for Justice Anthony Kennedy’s empty seat two years ago. Yet it seems that like they attempted to do to Robert Bork, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, and more recently Kavanaugh, Senate Democrats are going to drag Barrett’s character through the mud in an attempt to label an honest woman as unfit for any judicial position. When Barrett was up for confirmation to the 7th circuit three years ago, Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein said this: “Why is it that so many of us on this side have this very uncomfortable feeling that dogma and law are two different things, and I think whatever a religion is, it has its own dogma. The law is totally different… and I think in your case, professor, when you read your speeches, the conclusion one draws is that the dogma lives loudly within you. And that’s of concern.”
Even before Barrett was a candidate for the Supreme Court, Democrats took a familiar turn: accusing a religious individual as unfit for judicial service because of a perceived conflict of interest. But those attacks pale in comparison to an absolutely ridiculous hit-piece that has recently been shared by the media. Barrett’s husband is listed as a member of the Christian group People of Praise, although her exact involvement is unclear. On Monday, Newsweek published an article titled “How Charismatic Catholic Groups Like Amy Coney Barrett's People of Praise Inspired ‘The Handmaid’s Tale.’” For those unaware of the reference, “The Handmaid’s Tale” is a dystopian TV series set in a misogynistic world where women are enslaved and abused. Of course, Barrett has not even a remote connection to such a worldview, but that is of little importance to the goal of destroying her, and by extension many Catholics, in the eyes of the public. In order to maintain some semblance of accuracy, Newsweek published the following note: “Correction: This article's headline originally stated that People of Praise inspired ‘The Handmaid's Tale’. The book’s author, Margaret Atwood, has never specifically mentioned the group as being the inspiration for her work.” In essence, Newsweek admits that the entire article is a lie, but they are hoping you aren’t diligent enough to read the note at the end. In the pursuit of blindly following their Democratic allies, much of the mainstream media has forgotten their obligation to the truth, or at least relegated it to small notes that they know will not be read.
These examples should be troubling to any American who believes in honesty and integrity both from our government and media institutions. In a year marred not only by tragedy but by extreme controversy, it just might be that the coronavirus, the George Floyd protests, Donald Trump and Joe Biden will all have to take a backseat to what is shaping up to be the nastiest political fight of the decade. It's time to buckle up.
Photo Caption: The Supreme Court building
Photo Source: Pixabay