Charlie’s Golden Ticket, or Articles of Confederation, Part II?


Is RBG* glaring outside my window on former Mayor Bloomberg’s scroll doing anything — 731 Lexington Avenue?  Will Trump’s nominee (will take me quite a while to name names here, especially since one ABC commentator went so far as to say nothing was her fault. She accepted the nomination, that is how it goes) recuse herself if it gets to the Supreme Court like Gore v. Bush (2000) (which is doubtful)?

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Trump thinks she won’t.  Had I been Trump’s Jared or Ivanka, I would advise him to hold up the Golden Ticket.  Don’t make the Senate Republicans pay the price (or should they, they should read Atlantic Monthly‘s A. Applebaum).

The Supreme Court is SO heavily conservative that do they even need her?  Well, I suppose yes they do, since with her nomination — the ol’ “foxes in chicken coop” approach — and Trump’s last card — we not only ensure women’s right to sovereignty over their own bodies is likely gone; universal health care, even if it varies a lot from state to state, is gone, and every conservative issue the conservatives in the Federalist Society has been preoccupied with since 2000 is gone.   

Watch the New Jersey election. If cannabis becomes recreational under New Jersey state law, we’re back in it — the Articles of Confederation, which caused the first government in the United States to fall apart less than 20 years in.  Governor Cuomo is not going to like all those New Yorkers taking PATH; think of all the state revenue he will have lost.  The tri-state area will become a tri-state mess.

The 2000 election did count (unabashedly shameful self-interest that contradicted the conservatives going for Bush, though they had long, long professed states’ rights, since it suited them as being anti-New Deal til they flipped), combined with the Seattle uprising, all over a year before 9/11, not only are we in partisan politics, but it’s the two-against-one game, not the Unitary Executive Branch that counts.  When the President and Congress work well together, bills become laws.  When the President and the federal judiciary get together, it leads to many different kinds of political equations.  No need to worry about Congress and the Supreme Court separating against the Presidency — 545 + 9  members means they never get along or move in a consistent direction.   

The U.S. Constitution has created only one national office and that is the office of the President.  

Separation of powers, federalism, states’ rights, different kinds of sovereignties are all variable and up for interpretation, depending upon the politician.  The definition of a politician is that they serve one constituency and harm another.  Is Trump doing anything different?  No, of course not. 

We’re in this jam, as what I used to teach as the “Theory of Rotting Republics.”  Most ancient political thought would tell you — you’ve got 250 years — and then it rots, from within.  I hate to say it but has American representational democracy been irradiated like fruit in the United States?  Bite into an apple in July, it’s not crisp.  Chances are the fruit experienced irradiation or is rotting from within, it’s only the skin that looks properly ripe.

* Written before we knew about Trump’s 750 dollar per year, at most, tax bill.

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About Professor Ruth O'Brien

Professor Ruth O'Brien, The Graduate Center, The City University of New York (CUNY) & Honorary Unaffiliated Academic Book Series Editor for The Public Square, Princeton University Press & Heretical Thought, Oxford University Press, USA Last book: Out of Many, One: Obama & the Third American Political Tradition (U of Chicago 2013). Nickname: Professorette by Rush Limbaugh (see http://www.gc.cuny.edu/Faculty/Core-Bios/Ruth-O-Brien)