Monday, July 2, 2018

Susan Collins, abortion and the Supreme Court

Ignore Susan Collins.  You may have read that she won't support any Supreme Court nominee who will overturn Roe v. Wade.  As I said, ignore her.

First, I'm not really a fan of theater.  I love many of the arts, but theater?  Not my thing.  And you know what I really hate?  Pretense.  Pretentiousness?  I'm all over that, but I hate pretense.  That means I detest Supreme Court confirmation hearings.  They are nothing but theater with an extra helping of pretense.

Here's how the theater goes.  Every (Republican) nominee reads the exact, same script:
I cannot tell you how I would rule on any matter that might come before me should I be confirmed because prejudicial something something legalistic blah fucking blah.  I believe that it is important for a Justice to respect precedent.  It is the primary responsibility of the Supreme Court, though, to interpret the Constitution, and not rule based on [snore...]
Groan.  Here's the plain truth.  Every Supreme Court nominee knows exactly how they would rule if given a case that centers on the necessity of striking down or upholding Roe because they all know whether or not they believe it was correctly decided.  They just have to go through this stupid theatrical bullshit to avoid getting Borked.  Conservatives, though, have been burned before.  By George H.W. Bush's selection of David Souter.  And it ain't gonna happen again.  When Bush the Younger chose his little flunky, Harriet Miers, the conservative revolt wasn't over her lack of qualification.  It was uncertainty that she would be a staunch abortion opponent.  Miers withdrew, and Bush picked Samuel Alito.  Alito read the script above.  You know who voted for him?

Susan Collins.  The same Maine Senator currently telling people that she won't vote for an abortion opponent who would vote to overturn Roe v. Wade.  She also says that neither Plagiarist-Gorsuch nor Roberts would.

Ignore Susan Collins.  She is an idiot.  Neil Plagiarist-Gorsuch absolutely will vote to overturn Roe v. Wade, and while I wrote the other day that there is a non-zero probability that Roberts would get squishy (after NFIB v. Sebelius, you can't be sure about him), you really have to bet that he'd overturn.  And Collins has no record of either opposing Republican Supreme Court nominees, or outsmarting anyone.  Remember the Miers/Alito incident.  Who got the better of that-- Collins or the conservative faction?  If Collins lost that, and voted for Alito anyway, why will she do better now?

And let's go back to the tax bill.  Remember how Collins was supposed to be upset about all of the Obamacare sabotage?  Remember how she would only vote for the tax bill, which repealed the individual mandate, if she got a guarantee of a vote for Alexander-Murray or one of the other bills intended to undo some of the Obamacare sabotage the GOP has been pulling to counteract the damage of repealing the individual mandate alone?  Remember how that never happened because it was obvious all along that Collins was an idiot who got snookered?  And I said so at the time?

Collins has no credibility here.  Trump will name a Federalist Society-type with enough of a guarantee to satisfy the Senate conservatives that he's a straight-down-the-line conservative who will overturn Roe, but without enough of a written record to get Borked.  He'll spout platitudes, like the script above, and those platitudes will be enough to satisfy Collins, just like every other Republican nominee has.  Even Alito.

Collins and the Senate conservatives can't both get their way.  When has Collins ever beaten the conservatives?  And don't say "healthcare," once you remember that she voted for a tax bill that included "skinny repeal" in exchange for what was obviously an empty promise.  Do you think Trump is going to cave to her?  Has he ever, so far?

Ignore Susan Collins.  She'll get conned.  Again.

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