By: Brian McKay
With the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia on Saturday, a political reaction has come about that could dramatically re-shape the coming year in politics and possibly the makeup of the Supreme Court.
Justice Scalia was an extreme constitutional originalist, that felt the only interpretation of the Constitution was as it was originally written. The funny thing is that deciphering how it was originally written required interpretations on his part with which I often greatly disagreed with. Along with Justice Clarence Thomas, they comprised the ultra-conservative side of the Supreme Court. Needless to say, Antonin Scalia was the embodiment of what the Tea Party side of the Republican Party believes and one of their heroes.
A court replacement nominated by President Obama would most likely be a moderate that appeals to his Democratic Party constituents and cannot be argued by moderate Republicans to be too liberal (although reality might be liberal at this point). It would change the Supreme Court in such a way that it becomes more likely the court allows the Constitution to be a flexible document, as I believe the Founding Fathers intended. This is the last thing that the radical Right wants to see.
And so the fight begins.
Republicans have vowed to block any Obama appointment. While this will certainly appeal to the Evangelical Christians and Tea Party affiliates that make up their base, it will once again show a party that has lost its way and is unwilling to compromise. Essentially, they are going to screw themselves. Is it any wonder that the approval ratings for Congress are lower than that of the approval ratings of jet engine noise from people that live next to an airport?
It isn’t any secret that President Obama has dealt with more political obstructionism than any president ever. Seriously. Ever. Shutting down the government, not confirming Federal appointments, voting 60+ times to repeal the Affordable Care Act; it’s a long list.
This time might just be too much for voters and it will be like handing the Democrats a political favor on a solid silver platter with a cherry on top. Shit, they may as well include an expensive bottle of wine to wash it down with.
I have always said the best thing the Democrats can do is just sit back, chill and let the Republicans fragment and argue themselves into irrelevance. The difference in the recent party presidential nominee debates has shown this more than anything. A side show is fun at a music festival. I think you can figure out when it might just be a disaster with a few morons on a stage.
As much as a loss of life is never something to be celebrated, this is also one of those times I will not mourn. The guy lived to 79 and made an impact (whether good or bad, it doesn’t really matter because my crazy mom liked him). The funny thing is, his biggest contribution will probably be in setting up the eventual fall of the party that shared his beliefs.
In the meantime, I am planning a party on a wall paid for by Mexico. Maybe I should wait to send out the invitations?
Brian McKay is a co-founder of zenruption. He has a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Gonzaga University. As he was unhappy with the potential future of flipping burgers, he got an MBA from Boise State University. He is very proud of surviving the potential end of the world at least 20 times so far.