The way of all flesh.

I’m pretty good at holding my tongue when public figures I don’t care for die. The Ronald Reagan death orgy went on for days and days and reached a level of hysteria close to that of Princess Diana’s. I finally cracked when his daughter, Patti, took time from her grieving to publish some awful thing in People magazine about how her father emerged from his Alzheimer’s in his final moments to gaze in to Nancy’s eyes and…something. I forget. It seemed to cross a line to the point that I no longer felt the need to hold my tongue, although at that point, what is there to say? Everyone’s going where Scalia is now, and in the end, all will be revealed.

Anyway, I can’t keep up and have no special insight. To my mind, Scalia was a retrograde Catholic, unworried about the rights and lives of anyone who wasn’t. But his kind is going away, the way old ways yield to new ones. The next week will be difficult, and once he’s planted after his Mass of Christian burial, the nomination will happen and the rest of it will be an e-ticket to Crazytown. We live in interesting times.

Couple of pieces here, first Charles Pierce, stating the obvious:

In 2012, the “American people” decided that Barack Obama should appoint justices to the Supreme Court to fill any vacancies that occurred between January of 2013 and January of 2017. Period. Just because Mitch McConnell is a complete chickenshit in the face of his caucus doesn’t obviate that fact. The 36 percent of eligible voters who showed up for the 2014 midterms, the lowest percentage in 72 years, don’t get to cancel out the expressed wishes of the majority of the 57.5 percent of eligible voters who turned out to re-elect the president in 2012. And before this meme really picks up steam, 17 justices have been confirmed during election years, including Roger Taney, which sucks, in 1836, Lewis Powell and William Rehnquist, who were appointed in 1972, and Anthony Kennedy, who was appointed in 1988.

(And it should not be necessary to point out that any argument made by this Congress on the basis of political tradition or legislative politesse inevitably will cause Irony to shoot itself in the head.)

That whole piece is good. Read.

One of our locals, Stephen Henderson:

In 2003, when the court ruled that sodomy laws – long used to persecute gay Americans — were unconstitutional, Scalia penned one of the most fiery and petulant dissents in court history. It turned, rather cruelly, on the notion that gay equality could not be lawfully embraced by the court because the founders had not envisioned it, and the people had not voted to make it so.

The court, he said, had signed on to the “homosexual agenda” aimed at overturning the “moral opprobrium attached to homosexual conduct.”

That happened at the end of my first term covering the high court. Like many others, I sat in the courtroom, listening in disbelief and disgust as Scalia angrily read his dissent. In the four subsequent court terms I spent in Washington, I never again looked at him, listened to him thunder in court, or read his decisions without that day in my mind.

Hell, there are probably a million smart Scalia pieces out there. Post your own.

I leave you with this bit of sparkling genius from Ben Carson. It seems an appropriate way to start the week.

Posted at 12:15 am in Current events |

23 responses to “The way of all flesh.”

  1. Dexter said on February 15, 2016 at 2:45 am

    John Oliver’s show on HBO is brilliant. He has a great take on the now-famously dredged-up “Strom Thurmond Rule”.

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  2. Linda said on February 15, 2016 at 5:58 am

    The Repubs are so scared of the base, whose paranoia they carefully ginned up over the last several years, that they shot themselves in the foot. They should have pretended to welcome judicial candidates, then nit picked them to death and run out the clock. Republicans used to be good with the soft stiletto, keeping their opposition to some issue quiet but then unobtrusively cutting off funding, but now they noisily oppose stuff and look like nut jobs even to people not paying attention.

    Then Obama shows up–right before their debate shit show–and acts authoritative and presidential, the only grownup in the room, followed by squabbling children. Obama has had his period of tough times, but is fortunate in this enemies.

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  3. David C. said on February 15, 2016 at 6:04 am

    The Rs won’t care one little bit that Stalin didn’t say what The Amazing Doctor Token said he did. Like my friend Don once said when I called him out on some made up quote from Obama, “It may not be factually correct, but it’s essentially correct”.

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  4. Suzanne said on February 15, 2016 at 7:31 am

    David C, I have a former co-worker who posts articles all the time from bogus news sources. When called out on it, that’s his response: “Well, this COULD happen, the way things are going, so we need to think about this [topic of the day] and be prepared.”

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  5. Linda said on February 15, 2016 at 7:37 am

    Better than that, Suzanne. I refuted a fake bit of “truthy news,” and was told, “Well, it probably will happen someday.” Even once got told, “I know it’s not true, but I still like my version.”

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  6. alex said on February 15, 2016 at 7:52 am

    Retrograde Catholic sounds about right. Scalia always impressed me as someone who’d led an unexamined life and probably regarded human empathy as a weakness to be stifled at all costs. He should have been an archbishop.

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  7. beb said on February 15, 2016 at 8:04 am

    The most we can say about the late Justice Scalia is that he never shot someone in the face. But then he died on a hunting party before they went out in the field. So we have to add an asterik to that observation since we don’t know what he was planning to do that day of shooting. Scalia also didn’t lie us into an land war in Asia like a certain heartless, un-dead Republican did. So, by that standard Scalia was an OK kind of guy.

    If McConnell says we should delay a Supreme Court nomination until the next president is sworn in, and if that next president is a Democrat shouldn’t that mean that the Senate will automatically approve of the (Dem) president’s nomination?

    Of course it won’t and since there’s no umpire to throw a cheating Senator out of the game, Republican hypocrisy will just go on unabated.

    My wife and I are home from Indiana. My Dad is doing great and my daughter has been doing a great job to looking after his needs. Just after we left my brother came up to visit for a few days. More company for our Dad, which is a good thing.

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  8. Deborah said on February 15, 2016 at 9:12 am

    The guy who is reported to be at the top of Obama’s short list to replace Scalia, Sri Srinivasan, was born in India and according to Wikipedia his religion is listed as Hindu. That ought to rile up the evangelicals. Even though he got a 97-0 vote to be on the DC court of appeals.

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  9. Pam said on February 15, 2016 at 9:50 am

    We should not delay the supreme court nomination until the next President is elected because Hillary would likely nominate someone the Rs wouldn’t approve of either. Scalia was poisonous, good bye.

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  10. Peter said on February 15, 2016 at 10:14 am

    Suzanne and Linda, that stuff just drives me up a wall. Don’t ever want to let truth get in the way of a good story.

    Well, I’m glad little Antonin didn’t let the door hit him in the butt on the way out.

    If you follow the “logic” of Mitch and the boys, you could argue that a president doesn’t have the right to nominate someone to the court the day after the mid terms, because for all you know he’ll be a lame duck. Or for that matter, the day after the presidential election, cause who knows if he’ll be re-elected. I swear these yutz’s don’t think before they speak.

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  11. Icarus said on February 15, 2016 at 10:19 am

    it’s early but I nominate Beb #7 for the thread win today

    “Of course it won’t and since there’s no umpire to throw a cheating Senator out of the game, Republican hypocrisy will just go on unabated.”

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  12. Bitter Scribe said on February 15, 2016 at 10:26 am

    The Republicans seem to think that Supreme Court justices can name presidents, but presidents can’t name Supreme Court justices.

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  13. Bitter Scribe said on February 15, 2016 at 11:33 am

    Ben Carson also thinks that Noah’s Ark constitutes evidence that we should trust amateurs over professionals.

    When did the ability to make stuff up become a qualification for president?

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  14. ROGirl said on February 15, 2016 at 12:38 pm

    If your opening gambit is to say that the president can’t fulfill his constitutional duty, where do you go from there?

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  15. Snarkworth said on February 15, 2016 at 1:01 pm

    Bitter Scribe@12: Oh, my!

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  16. Sue said on February 15, 2016 at 2:00 pm

    Apparently Dana Bash noted yesterday on CNN that Obama is still ‘technically’ the president.

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  17. Jolene said on February 15, 2016 at 2:06 pm

    Unfortunately, Chuck Schumer is on record as having made the same “no lame duck appointments” claim in 2007, when GWB had several months more to govern than Obama has now. Doesn’t mean the idea isn’t outrageous. It is. But, like the rain, partisanship falls on the just and the unjust.

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  18. Deborah said on February 15, 2016 at 2:19 pm

    I finally gave up on a Marylynne Robinson book, this time a collection of essays called, “When I Was a Child I Read Books”, which I got in hardback at a used bookstore. It was cheap and sounded terrific but I found myself reading page after page and not having any recollection of what I’d read. She knows how to string words together but these essays are a bit too god bothering. I much prefer the fiction even though those are pretty god bothering too. Today I got “The Night of the Gun” by David Carr at the used bookstore. I’ve been wanting to read it for a long time.

    I’m already tired of the GOP antics about the SCOTUS appointment that hasn’t even yet been made. What a bunch of whiney babies.

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  19. brian stouder said on February 15, 2016 at 2:32 pm

    Jolene – word.

    Presumably, some irritated Republicans back in the day went after Schumer (et al), and there should therefore be some useful sound-bytes to utilize against them.

    Meanwhile, the D’s should take a page from Harry Truman, and overtly run against the ‘do nothing’ Congress – and this whole notion that their “governing” philosophy is to simply shirk their responsibilities. If “nothing” is better than anything they might do, then we (the voters) should fire the lot of them, yes? (and indeed, Schumer presumably made whatever remarks he made as a member of the majority party – which might also illuminate how a majority share of the Senate shrinks into a minority share)

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  20. Suzanne said on February 15, 2016 at 3:25 pm

    I tried Robinson’s book of essays, The Death of Adam, but couldn’t get through it. Some parts were brilliant bits of writing and in other parts, I had no idea what she was trying to say. I read Housekeeping and Gilead and wasn’t wild about either one. I had When I Was a Child on my list of wanting to read, but think maybe I’ll skip it.

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  21. Charlotte said on February 15, 2016 at 3:53 pm

    I love Robinson, but I find her forays into the thickets of Calvinist/American Transcendentalist Protestantism difficult to follow — I never feel more Catholic than when confronted with that stuff.

    I’m very grumpy about Scalia, who represented the very worst of his tribe as far as I’m concerned — did so much damage, and was always SO convinced he was the smartest, rightest, most holy … my childhood was filled with those guys, and I just hate them. And he gets to die peacefully in bed, in a luxury resort in Texas … I’m still deep in the “fuck him” weeds.

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  22. Deborah said on February 15, 2016 at 3:55 pm

    I’ve read her fiction “Housekeeping”, “Gilead” and “Lila”, I still have “Home” to go, which I have, but I’m giving myself a little break from Marilynne Robinson while I’m perfectly entertained with David Carr.

    Yay, the second season of Better Call Saul starts tonight!

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  23. Deborah said on February 15, 2016 at 8:02 pm

    This made me feel better, sorry I thought I had copied a link to the latest Gin and Tacos post but somehow lost it. Anyhoo, we Dems can’t rest on our laurels but it’s not as dire as the whiney, baby Republicans would hope to have us believe.

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