Within an hour of the announcement that Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was dead, the political world kicked into high gear, and those with a vested interest in replacing a man whose body had not even been interred began their cynical games.
For example, we have this from Ted Cruz:
Justice Scalia was an American hero. We owe it to him, & the Nation, for the Senate to ensure that the next President names his replacement.
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) February 13, 2016
Ah yes, GOP obstruction never rests! Cruz was soon echoed by the Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, who said:
“This vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president.”
Why? Is there something wrong with the President we already have? Oh yeah, I forgot: He’s black and Republicans think he’s a Muslim. My bad.
If it were not eminently clear to this point that the 2016 election is one of the most consequential of the past fifty years, then the death of Justice Scalia has now clarified it perfectly. And this country has a choice to make: Do we go forward or fall back to the 1950s? Ted Cruz sure as hell knows which direction he wants to go in:
“We are one justice away from the Supreme Court concluding that nobody in this room and no American has an individual right to keep and bear arms. We are one justice away from the Supreme Court striking down every restriction on abortion, and mandating unlimited abortion on demand, up until the time of birth, partial birth, with taxpayer funding, and no parental notification whatsoever.”
It would take hours to separate out and parse all of the lies in that statement. But here’s what is at stake in November:
- A woman’s right to reproductive freedom and choice
- Whether or not we allow this country to permanently and irrevocably become the private domain of the rich and big business
- Civil rights for all minority groups
- Fascism vs. freedom
Justice Scalia, may he rest in peace, was just to the right of Atilla the Hun on the issues I just enumerated. And with his passing, President Obama has a chance to reshape the Supreme Court in a progressive direction. I believe the President should immediately nominate a qualified candidate who now sits on the federal appellate bench and was confirmed without objection by Senate Republicans. And to more fully test the resolve of the Do Nothing Party on the right, I think that nominee should be a Hispanic woman.
As the finishing touch, the President should then give an Oval Office address and challenge the GOP to a little game of political chicken. Let’s see who blinks first.
But most importantly, no matter who wins the Democratic nomination, all of us who consider ourselves to be progressives must get out and vote. The future of this republic lies in our hands.
This article was originally published by the same author at LiberalAmerica.org.