1. Ed Seedhouse says

    Mitch doesn’t have principles. He has desires and will do anything necessary to fulfill them, including pretending to have principles.

  2. nomdeplume says

    “Something, something, we have a Republican President who might get re-elected, something, something…” It wasn’t a chain of thought that could be followed.

  3. Ichthyic says

    the problem is not in recognizing and calling out hypocrisy in the US. the problem is… nobody is PUNISHING the hypocrites.

    and I no longer believe america is even capable of doing so.

    enjoy your feudalism.

  4. wzrd1 says

    Well, it’d be a shame if all conservative candidates had accidents until Jan 20. It never ceases to amaze me how many urinals have become electrified at random all over the world…
    Hey now, don’t look at me! I was busy eating dinner with a judge.
    And I most certainly have no laser wielding sharks and have been fresh out of security androids as of this very afternoon.

    In other news, the Trump administration argued in court that the US Census does not need to be accurate. Apparently, the census can read whatever the Emperor decrees, so there are only Republicans in all 50 states, so the House should reflect the numbers that he insists upon…

    There are times that I’m tempted to cut every elevator cable at Camp David. A camp notorious for being single floor buildings and no bunkers below ground.

    Or even better, configure my new Pi4, then make it work crazily too hard, just to see how hard I can press my luck before it’s unstable. Got two camera ordered, one regular HD camera, the other the visible/IR cut out model.
    Then, onto another project. Anyone have a recommendation for a good optical microscope, hopefully with a stage manipulator and polarized light source? Kindof lost track over the decades on what’s on offer for a decent price.

  5. says

    @#7, Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    The man is evil.

    All Republicans are evil. This has been true since the 1990s.

    And, frankly, while there isn’t a lot that non-Republicans can do about that, we could have nominated some people who would actually stand up to the Republicans. Instead it’s been a series of cowards, traitors, and enablers. The Democratic insistence on backing Hillary Clinton gave us Trump; the Democratic insistence on backing Joe Biden may well give us 4 more years of Trump, but why back down from a plan that already failed repeatedly?

    @#8, Ichthyic

    the problem is not in recognizing and calling out hypocrisy in the US. the problem is… nobody is PUNISHING the hypocrites.

    Yeah, it’s almost as though protecting war criminals and puppets of the financial sector in 2009-2010 in order to avoid any blowback to the likes of Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden was a huge, ineradicable mistake. What a shock. Nobody could possibly have seen that coming.

  6. nomdeplume says

    Imagine if in the Ted Cruz Court in 20 years time a conservative judge dies and a Democratic President proposes a liberal/progressive replacement. The Republicans, and their media cheer squad, would scream loudly about “politicising” the Court. And yet, substituting Cruz for Ginsburg is presented as perfectly normal.

  7. Ariaflame, BSc, BF, PhD says

    Has anyone told the Orange one that once the GOP have their stacked Supreme Court they’ll drop him like a hot potato?

  8. unclefrogy says

    while that is probably correct in that usage the GOP (see the Lincoln project) is the party but not the voter base. at this stage I can not imagine what it would take for the base to turn on that guy.
    uncle frogy

  9. brightmoon says

    He’s already murdered 100s of thousands with his lies . That hasn’t made his base turn on him . I suppose I’ll have to get used to living in a 4th world country with pogroms if he wins.

  10. says

    Actually, I think Trump might use this to his advantage: “elect me and I’ll give you another conservative judge.”
    That might sway some of the conservative Christians who are otherwise fed up with him.

  11. fishy says

    I like the foot stomps as punctuation.
    It reminds me of something, I’d rather not be reminded of.

  12. F.O. says

    He’ll get votes for this.

    They’ll be happy he seized power “on their behalf”, that’s exactly what they want him to do, what they voted him for.

    To the right, “whatever side I identify with wins” is the only value that counts, the only principle that matters, the only moral that is actually enacted.

  13. says


    Is the court forced to have only 9 members?

    No. However appointments are for life, save in the case of impeachment or voluntary resignation. This makes it very difficult to lower the number of justices on the court. Expanding is much easier, obviously, since you don’t have to wait for justices to die or resign.

    One of the checks or balances (as you prefer) upon SCOTUS in the constitution is that Congress is given the power to specify the number of justices on SCOTUS (and judges on the appeals courts, and trial court judges). A united congress could easily change the number of justices, but there is a political norm in place that this is not to be done. Since Democrats, who might benefit from such a change under Biden, tend to respect norms, and Republicans, who are willing to trash norms, benefit from the status quo, the chance that the court’s membership will be expanded under Biden is somewhere between slim and young earth creationism.

  14. birgerjohansson says

    So….the Republicans can opt out of norms whenever they want, and the Democratic congresscritters are fine with it. I am sure that will make the voters enthusiastic to go out and vote.

  15. birgerjohansson says

    There is this episode of Sherlock Holmes (the new version) where a Norwegian archvillain has the goods on everyone in the British establishment. He goes aroung, doing whatever he wants. He literally urinates in Sherlock Holmes fireplace, he he flicks his fingers in Sherlock Holmes eye…and nothing happens to him.
    This is the Democratic party.
    You need to do what Sherlock Holmes finally did- shot his bloody head off.

  16. davidc1 says

    Very strange way of doing things over there ,supreme court judges being appointed by political parties .
    I know over here in GB the judges are all barking mad wackaloons ,who tend to tory ,but on the whole they uphold the law ,or i might be wrong about that .

  17. birgerjohansson says

    Davidc 1 @ 24
    This is why Dominick Cummings and his subordinate, BoJo, are working hard to subvert the remaining legal restrains of the British government.
    They do not even need to burn down the parliament building and seize emergency powers to do it.
    This is the advantage of Britain’s ‘unwritten’ constitution. No need for messing about with matches.

  18. wsierichs says

    But surely Susan Collins and other moderate Republicans will refuse to violate the McConnell rule about not appointing SC justices in a presidential election year! And Trump won’t nominate someone because he learned his lesson in the impeachment! If they should try to rush a justice through, Collins and all those other good moderate Republicans will block them.

    Do I hear someone snickering? Did someone just call me ‘naive’? I resent that. Who couldn’t trust Collins and other moderate Republicans to do the right thing? Surely they will wait until after Jan. 20! Why, they would have to be real Republicans to engage in such hypocrisy. It just won’t happen. It can’t.

    Can it?

  19. numerobis says

    Mitch is totally consistent with his principles.

    Democrats can’t name judges. Only Republicans can.

  20. wzrd1 says

    @wsierichs, interestingly, Susan Collins did suggest waiting for the election results and allowing the elected incoming or reelected POTUS decide, because of the mess that went on with blocking Obama that way.
    Lindsey needs to get poked in the ears and eyes by his own quote during that mess as well, given his open invitation to do so.

    @numerobis, utterly untrue! Only Putin can give a go-ahead.
    Oh, was that my outside voice? My bad…

  21. PaulBC says

    @28 It seems like a ready-made campaign ad for Jaime Harrison, though I don’t know how realistic it is to expect him to win. The GOP has demonstrated repeatedly that only raw power matters to them. Nothing else. That should have been clear in 1994 if not earlier.

    I am sure they laugh themselves silly in private over the explanations they come up with that some “rule” applies here but not there and just coincidentally it always works in their favor. Democrats think hypocrisy is something shameful. Republicans simply don’t give a damn. They are laughing at us.

  22. canadiansteve says

    It’s pretty obvious what comes next – much hand wringing about principles and while, for the next two years, democrats have a united senate, congress and presidency, they choose to “take the high road” and get all reasonable reforms challenged and eventually cut down in the supreme court. Any charges of Trump reach the Supreme court and also get dismissed. After two years the democratic voters say to hell with it, it doesn’t matter anyway, and don’t bother showing up at the polls and the Republicans retake the senate. (Almost a certainty regardless). Then when the next supreme court vacancy comes up, it gets held up for the next Republican president, regardless of the number or years. Democrats can’t pass anything through the senate, so there’s nothing they can do about it. 65% of the population supports court packing or impeachment of judges but it’s too late. By the time they figure out what hit them it’s too late. Fed up voters angry at Democrats don’t win, and Don Jr. becomes President for life in 2024.

  23. canadiansteve says

    lost sentencing….
    Fed up voters angry at Democrats don’t show up to vote and Republicans win….

  24. jrkrideau says

    The furor over the replacement of a US Supreme Court Justice seems to suggest a country one small step from a failed state.

    This is terrifying.

  25. PaulBC says

    @32 We crossed the “failed state” line when GOP senators nullified an impeachment early this year without contesting the facts or calling witnesses*. Some will argue we crossed it a lot earlier than that. In fact, the 2000 election is another good demarcation point.

    *I have never been a fan of the “not my president” trope, but I feel entirely confident in my assertion that the United States does not currently have a legitimate POTUS. If this illegitimate leader is given affirmation in the next election (or “election”) we will have entered an entirely new form of governance. But we’ve been a failed state a lot longer than that.

  26. consciousness razor says

    jrkrideau, in some ways, that happened a long time ago. (Where have you been? Canada, eh?) For one thing, our SC has always been like this. I don’t think it should matter how often people are tempted to look the other way, because it’s still there when you’re not looking.


    The Fund for Peace characterizes a failed state as having the following characteristics:
    — Loss of control of its territory, or of the monopoly on the legitimate use of physical force therein
    — Erosion of legitimate authority to make collective decisions
    — Inability to provide public services
    — Inability to interact with other states as a full member of the international community

    Having trouble with the first one? Then consider all the things our corporate overlords get away with on a regular basis, our extensive use of private prisons, our vigilantes posing as “militias” who murder and terrorize people with impunity, and so forth. I’m not sure what should count if those things don’t.

    Maybe the only one worth disputing is the last item. If we didn’t have such a powerful military, it’s hard to guess what the international response would be like. But that criterion sounds like it depends more on what other countries are willing/able to do and less about our own inabilities. Should it only “really” count once others are willing/able to intervene? If so, then when might that be and what would it be like?

  27. PaulBC says

    @34 That list is a great reference! In fact, you could probably create a timeline of specifics to see how we got where we are now: inability to provide public services, dating at least from Reagan. The notion of legitimate force started disappearing when the militia movement took off, and now armed thugs can freely intimidate local governments as long as they are white thugs. Trump has done wonders in turning us into an international pariah, but George W. Bush was there already, and he wasn’t the first either.

    I have been pretty sure that we are a “failed state” since around the time of the impeachment nullification (and the pandemic only made it a that much more dramatic) but I hadn’t given quite enough thought to how we got here. It is a lengthy process.

    On a similar note, I found this point interesting–and-now-the-pandemic–show-how-americans-dont-believe-in-the-social-contract/

    The way I would put it is that the pandemic has proven that we are ungovernable, and the failures are not limited to one part of this whole failed society. Our federal government has failed us. Parts of our culture have failed us. Our courts and our legal professionals have stepped in to do their best effort of accelerating the process.

  28. PaulBC says

    @35 I think we often disagree more on expression than on substance, but I’ll leave that for you. We also probably disagree on the action to take in response.

  29. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    I assume the chances of a Democratic 2/3 majority in the senate, required for impeachment of SCOTUS judges, is basically nil, but I wish. I wish for a lot of things, including a pony.