Sen. John Thune joins a long list of hypocritical Republicans who have changed their tune about presidential appointments in an election year. When President Obama put forth a nominee to replace Justice Antonin Scalia in 2016, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refused even to consider it. Thune said: “The American people deserve to have their voices heard on the nomination of the next Supreme Court justice. … Since the next presidential election is already underway, the next president should make this lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court.” Sen. Lindsey Graham said in 2016, “Let’s let the next president, whoever it might be, make that nomination.”
Within hours of the passing of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Thune announced: “President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the U.S. Senate.” That is a classic example of a Janus-faced politician — a two-faced official trying to have it both ways who presents one face at one time and another face at another.
This unseemly spectacle exhibited by the Republican rapid response team on the eve of Justice Ginsberg’s death, even before Kaddish prayers for the dead were completed, evokes images of the old hags in the film Zorba the Greek. Dressed all in black, the dancing women crouched vulture-like while waiting for a woman to die so they could rush to strip her home of all her possessions.
This nearly sacrilegious act to hastily fill Justice Ginsberg’s seat one hour after her death, confirms the assessment that the Republican Party continues its “progress in degeneracy,” to borrow a phrase from Abraham Lincoln.
Voters should recall Sen. Graham’s advice to let the next president make that judicial nomination. For those on the fence, he added: “You could use my words against me and you’d be absolutely right.” Which Thune will voters hear in the ballot box?