Monday, September 21, 2020

The Most Boring Week of Theatrics Ever

The last decade has essentially been a 24/7 Ruth Bader Ginsburg death watch, and she had been ever-increasingly elderly and in ill health for more than 20 years (the first of her five run-ins with cancer began in 1999).

Donald Trump has been president for nearly four years. He's already appointed two Supreme Court justices and has been waiting impatiently the whole time for Ginsburg to give up her seat, or the ghost, or both.

And yet:

President Donald Trump said on Monday he would unveil his selection to replace Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg by the end of the week after spending the weekend fielding advice and floating potential nominees to a wide orbit of advisers.

If Trump had said something like "out of respect for the late Justice Ginsburg, I'll be waiting a week to nominate her replacement -- let's give this week to her memory, not to fighting about the composition of the court," that would have been polite.

But there are only two ways to translate the above into a notional public statement from Trump.

Notional Public Statement #1: "I've been fucking around for four years and just never got around until now to seriously thinking about replacing a Supreme Court justice who's been at death's door the whole time."

Kind of puts a dent in the whole "we really need Trump in office because he'll pick the best SCOTUS justices" argument, doesn't it? That's basically an admission that he's just winging it.

Notional Public Statement #2: "Yeah, I've known since the week after my inauguration that if Justice Ginsburg died or retired I'd be nominating Amy Coney Barrett to replace her, but I'm wasting a week to try and heighten your suspense."

In which case remind me never to hire him to direct a suspense film.

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