This year appears to have a rather sadistic bent as it relentlessly piles on melodramas and anxieties. It’s not bad enough that we are suffering through a deadly pandemic that is being dreadfully mismanaged by Donald Trump. We are also having to deal with an economy in recession and civil unrest triggered by systemic racism. And all in an especially contentious election year.
Adding to those national migraines is the tragic passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Not only has America lost an iconic figure who has made innumerable contributions to civil liberties and equal justice, but it thrusts the nation into a bitterly partisan battle to replace her. Republicans are shamelessly contradicting their previous insistence that the president shouldn’t nominate a Justice during an election year. Apparently that principle only applies to Democratic presidents. The GOP is perfectly OK with nominations by an impeached president who still has multiple criminal and civil indictments hanging over his head.
Making matters worse is Trump himself (as usual), who was “interviewed” twice in two days by Fox News. In a sit-down with Fox’s Mark Levin on Sunday night Trump whined that Fox News wasn’t sufficiently worshipful, and that they catered too much to Democrats. Are we sure that Trump even knows what channel he’s watching?
On Monday Trump visited the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends. This is apparently his new regular gig that he leaked last week. It was there that he unleashed some wild speculations and disturbing revelations. When the subject to Ginsburg’s replacement came up, Trump led off with a thoroughly disgraceful allegation maligning the integrity of Ginsburg and her family:
Ainsley Earhardt: Then you have Ruth Bader Ginsburg who told her granddaughter on her death bed, allegedly, that her dying wish was to have the next president choose her successor. How do you think all this plays out?
Trump: I don’t know that she said that, or was that written out by Adam Schiff and Schumer and Pelosi. I would be more inclined to the second. Okay, it came out of the wind. It sounds so beautiful. But that sounds like a Schumer deal or maybe a Pelosi or Shifty Schiff. So that came out of the wind. Let’s see. I mean maybe she did and maybe she didn’t.”
"I don't know that she said that, or was that written out by Adam Schiff, Schumer and Pelosi," @realDonaldTrump said of Ruth Bader Ginsburg's "fervent" last wish. pic.twitter.com/LBsSGEpnqX
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) September 21, 2020
Trump’s assertion is entirely without foundation – or decency. He is of such weak character that he can’t help politicizing this tragedy by invoking the names of his favorite foils in Congress. Rep. Schiff replied on Twitter, telling Trump that “This is low. Even for you.” But how difficult would it be to believe that Ginsburg had such feelings. She said so many times before. Unfortunately, Trump has an insatiable need to drag everything down to his loathsome level, even if it means desecrating the memory of a universally respected and honorable American. Even if it means despicably disparaging Ginsburg’s last wishes as a Democratic hoax.
Perhaps Trump can’t believe that Ginsburg would make what he curiously concedes is a “beautiful” statement (that “came out of the wind,” whatever that means) because it so far outside anything he is capable of. But he went on to expose his true agenda that reeks of the totalitarian aspirations for which he is well known:
“The bottom line is that we won the election. We have an obligation to do what’s right and act as quickly as possible. We should act quickly because we’re gonna have, probably, election things involved here, you know, because of the fake ballots they’ll be sending out. A terrible situation.”
Oh My! Our infamously inarticulate president is recognizing the threat of “election things” involved here. Never mind that those “things” are manufactured lies about mail-in voting that Trump has been telling for months without ever bothering to provide a scrap of evidence.
More importantly, Trump is confessing that his obsession with confirming a new Supreme Court Justice is rooted in his determination to steal the election. He is anticipating a legal battle for which he wants to make sure that he has a majority on the Court to rule in his favor and, if necessary, declare him the winner. This is the sort of court manipulation that is more common under dictators who pack their courts with subservients and sycophants.
What’s more, this is not an aberration or careless misstatement. Trump made similar remarks on Saturday at his latest cult rally and Super Spreader event in North Carolina. Worried about the prospect of there not being a declared winner on election night, Trump expressed his nefarious desire to put the decision in the hands of a court system that he has packed with allies:
“Now we’re counting on the federal court system to make it so that we can actually have an evening where we know who wins. Not where the votes are going to be counted a week later or two weeks later.”
This is Trump’s way of disenfranchising citizens who vote by mail. If their ballots are postmarked on or before election day, but the ballot processing and counting is not completed until some time after, Trump wants all of those votes to be invalidated. He is literally calling for the suppression of voter’s rights. And since more Democrats vote by mail, it’s easy to see why Trump is pursuing this. It is just the logical progression of his yearning for unchecked tyrannical power. And it must be vigorously challenged if America is to remain a free democratic republic.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.