On Friday night, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the second woman to serve on the Supreme Court, died after a long battle with cancer. The ink had barely dried on the press release announcing her passing before the Republicans began angling to pick and seat her replacement before the election.
Within an hour of the announcement of Ginsburg’s death, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that he intended to hold a vote on any replacement whom Trump appointed.
By Saturday morning, Trump got in on the act, issuing an ex cathedra tweet demanding that the Senate confirm whomever he chooses to replace Ginsburg.
Never mind that the nation hasn’t had a chance to mourn Ginsburg. Never mind that she hasn’t had a proper burial. Never mind that there is a presidential election within 44 days. Trump and McConnell appear bound and determined to ram her replacement through. Let’s not beat around the bush–this is ghoulish behavior.
Indeed, this is even worse than McConnell’s hypocritical line on replacing a Supreme Court justice in an election year. Remember, McConnell refused to even give Merrick Garland a hearing when Barack Obama tried to pick him to replace Antonin Scalia. But imagine what the outcry would have been had Obama announced his intention to nominate a replacement for Scalia within 24 hours of Scalia’s death in 2016. Remember, Obama waited a month before announcing his nomination of Garland.
It’s bad enough that Trump and McConnell launched the effort to replace Ginsburg before her body has gotten cold. But this gambit is a model of decency compared to the reaction from Congressman Doug Collins of Georgia, who is running in a special election to finish the Senate term of fellow Republican Johnny Isakson.
Collins is running well to the right of Kelly Loeffler, whom Governor Brian Kemp appointed to the seat after Isakson retired late last year due to health reasons. That’s the only way to explain why he saw fit to take a cheap shot at Ginsburg for her support of abortion.
Wow. Scalia was as much of a four-letter word for liberals during his three decades on the Court as Ginsburg was for conservatives over the last quarter-century. But with few exceptions, no prominent Democrats attacked Scalia in the manner that Collins attacked Ginsburg. So it came as no surprise that Collins got pummeled on Twitter.
But Collins wasn’t backing down even an inch. While at a rally near his hometown of Gainesville, Collins told WSB-TV in Atlanta that he was merely being “honest about what the president is going to do.” He claimed that he wasn’t “celebrating a death,” but “making a statement.”
Okay, Doug. We know you weren’t celebrating a death. But what you were doing was taking a cheap shot at someone when it is nowhere near the time or place to do so. And it looks like you’re still doing so. How else do you explain this call for Kemp to lower all flags in Georgia to half-staff in memory of the fetuses that were aborted during Ginsburg’s tenure on the Supreme Court?
Collins claims that this is a personal matter for him. On Saturday, he told his Facebook and Twitter followers that doctors advised him to abort his oldest daughter due to her having spina bifida–advice that he and his wife considered a non-starter.
Collins claimed that there were times when there was “a place for polite,” but there was also “a time to be right.” He saw this as a time to “choose right.” Well, Doug, with few exceptions, taking a cheap shot at someone who hasn’t had a decent burial isn’t “choosing right.” Ginsburg’s views on abortion don’t even come close to being an exception to that rule.
For those who don’t know, Collins represents Georgia’s 9th district, which stretches from the north Georgia mountains to the outer northern suburbs of Atlanta. It’s one of the reddest pieces of real estate in the country. With a Cook Partisan Voting Index of R+31, it is the fourth most Republican district in the nation. Trump won this district by a punishing 78-19 margin over Hillary Clinton, his fourth-best showing in the nation. Collins himself has been elected four times from this district with well over 70 percent of the vote; indeed, only one Democrat has even garnered 30 percent of the vote in the last quarter-century.
Apparently Collins must think that he’s running for a fifth term in this congested-red district. After all, this cheap shot at Ginsburg might play well in his congested red district. But he’s running to represent all of Georgia in the Senate. Georgians, regardless of political shade, deserve better than someone who takes cheap shots at someone who has recently died.
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