Yesterday I was sitting around the crib reading, and reminiscing. I was congratulating myself on having become quite mellow in my old age. Mellow for me, anyway. I was pretty abrasive in my youth and my young adulthood. I had quite a temper, too, and I lost it frequently. None of that is true anymore.
I held grudges in my youth as well, and I kept up-to-date lists. I even had a “Death List,” people of whom I jokingly said that they would have three or four months to live after a doctor told me that I had six months to live. It was a joke, of course, the world is full of people that have long survived a doctor’s premature message of doom.
I was very happy, and a little bit self-satisfied, that I no longer had such a list. I no longer considered it to be amusing. Then I realized that there was still one person in the world whose death I would greet with a smile and an “about time!” One person whose death would give me joy. Only one! I thought that that was progress.
Well, I woke up this morning (February 14, 2016, in Bangkok) and CNN informed me that he had died, “in his sleep,” “of natural causes.” My six a.m. is about five p.m. on the east coast right now, and he died in his sleep period, so it seems that he died right around the time that I was thinking about him, thinking about how great it would be for America and the world if he would only die already. That’s pretty amazing. It’s enough to make you wonder if there’s an invisible web of electrical energy in the world that connects us all and that may serve as a conduit for information.
Justice of the Supreme Court Nino Scalia was hated by many people. That’s safe to say. You could hate him for the mischief that he brought to American jurisprudence. You could hate him for being such a pompous, obnoxious fool. You could hate him for being a condescending know-it-all. You could hate him for his anti-social decisions on matters that you had a stake in. Or you could hate him for some, or all, of those reasons. Now he’s gone, and you may forgive me if I find some solace in that. My Death List is officially down to zero.
Coming slowly to life this morning, before coffee, I realized that Nino was dead and I did smile, and I did say, out loud, “about fucking time!” But within a minute or two I became apprehensive about the aftermath. The thoroughly obstructionist Republican party has been blocking President Obama’s appointments for years already, and there’s no reason to expect them to suddenly become reasonable. On the contrary, they’re more likely to dig in their heels on this one, because so much more is at stake.
2016 could become known as “The Year of Eight Justices,” or “The Year of the Four v. Four Ties.” When there is a four to four tie in an understaffed Supreme Court, it goes down as an affirmation of the lower court ruling, thus removing the Supreme Court from the equation.
Mr. Obama will be the President of the United States, duly elected, until January 20, 2017. That’s another year, folks. He has the constitutional duty to appoint a Supreme Court justice to fill the vacancy, whatever all of the lunatic fringe of politics is now telling us. There’s no “Lame Duck” rule. The shit-storm has started; the Clown-Car has started to scream. Let’s turn on the crystal ball . . .
1. Republicans in the current Senate are likely to do everything that they can to block this nomination for as long as possible, if not all year;
2. It seems likely that Hillary will be elected president in November. If that happens, the Republican obstructionism will continue. For that matter, if Bernie Sanders gets elected it will also continue. I don’t foresee much chance of any of these Republicans getting elected. Some people have been fooled, but the fools are outnumbered;
3. It’s very possible that even if a Democrat is elected president, the Senate will go Republican. That’s because they’ve got the system rigged in their favor by this point. Gerrymandering only helps them in the House, but between fear mongering, social pandering and the new voter laws (“Anti-Voter Laws”), they end up with many more senators than the actual numbers of their voters would suggest as well.
So thanks, Nino, you bastard. Even dead, you find ways to gum up the works. See you in hell.