By MICHAEL DAVIDOW, Radio Free New Hampshire
Every time I try to write my next column, that sherbet-faced clown in D.C. defeats me.
Okay, drinking bleach — that made it easy. But since then, he has stormed out of a press conference, after spewing rage at an American newswoman who happened to be of Chinese descent. His hand-picked Attorney General has chosen to drop all criminal charges against a confessed perjuror.
His son has called Joe Biden a pedophile. He himself has ranted about “Obamagate,” which exists exclusively in his own mind. He has spoken of defunding the postal service. He has spoken of defunding world health efforts. He has claimed that Covid-19 is a Chinese plot. And meanwhile, that virus has continued to kill thousands of people.
Naturally, then, my thoughts turn to summer, playing catch with my son, and Merrick Garland.
Those first two things speak for themselves. Summer exists for fathers to play catch with their sons; all other uses pale in comparison. But speaking of pale: Merrick Garland.
Garland was the spectacular patsy chosen by Barack Obama to serve on the Supreme Court in the year before our last presidential election. Mitch McConnell refused to consider him. The Republican-controlled Senate gave him the bum’s rush. And when the fat man won his election, in that special technical way that Republicans choose to win elections these days, by losing the popular vote, but scoring big in the middle of nowhere, he nominated some Republican hack in his stead, and that hack took the seat.
His name was Gorsuch. But he could have been any guy, just like Garland could have been any guy. They were a pair of ciphers.
Garland was a classic Obama choice. He stood for nothing, except success, American-style; he was avocado toast, daily exercise, gender sensitivity, and CNN. He was highly educated, though I doubt whether he could tell you the cost of a gallon of milk.
As a lawyer, I would not have trusted him to negotiate a speeding ticket at your local district court, but I would have trusted him to manage the takeover of your local neighborhood multinational corporation and then let go half of its employees. I assume that he would have voted in favor of abortion rights, and I doubt whether anything else mattered to Obama.
He was no great loss to American jurisprudence; he was no Earl Warren (a Republican, by the way) (I know — I love to remember when dinosaurs still walked the earth). But his treatment by the Senate was disgraceful.
As for Gorsuch: he was every bit as privileged as any Obama appointee could ever have been. So perhaps that’s why he accepted that seat as his due. Perhaps that’s why he lacked the decency to turn it down and explain to his party that it belonged to someone else: to Garland. He was too busy punching his own ticket to care.
McConnell and Gorsuch. Attorney General Barr. Vice President Shadow. Any dozen state governors, any fifty United States senators, any hundred United States representatives, any million American voters: the problem we have is not Donald Trump.
He will go down in history as the destroyer of many things, and I pity his children, and his grandchildren, who will live with the stain of that name until the end of the story of America. The problem we have is that one entire political party in this country– and we only have two– has divorced itself from the main stream of American thought and become the champion of rule by minority; the champion of rule by propaganda; the champion of rule by hate.
I both abhor and respect this virus, which kills people in a cruel yet impartial fashion. I admire those who are fighting it in our hospitals and our grocery stores and our streets and our homes. But there are things I abhor neat, straight-up: they range from how giddily Justice Gorsuch smiled, when he took that seat from Merrick Garland, to how coolly Mitch McConnell made that happen, to how the American bar stayed silent when the highest court in this land became a political football.
McConnell and his crowd got away with that, and they haven’t stopped taking more, not for one minute. And now people are dying because incompetence has become sacrosanct and the man with the orange face has been given free rein.
One party in this country stops at nothing to get what it wants; three years after this was made pellucidly clear, the other party in this country hasn’t even realized there’s a fight.
Michael Davidow is a lawyer in Nashua. He is the author of Gate City, Split Thirty, and The Rocketdyne Commission, three novels about politics and advertising which, taken together, form The Henry Bell Project. His most recent one is The Book of Order. They are available on Amazon.
Views expressed in columns and opinion pieces belong to the author and do not reflect those of InDepthNH.org.