Following the passing of Justice Antonin Gregory Scalia of the SCOTUS there’s been no shortage of incandescent hypocrisy as Liberals demand that the Senate must put to a vote POTUS Obama’s forthcoming nomination for a successor. That’s a Constitutionally reasonable demand, albeit one which is at odds with the Senate’s tradition of deferring the nomination to the next POTUS in an election year.
On that, I’ll say this: Liberals will always take whatever position suits their interest in terms of the benefits it provides them, and will provide whatever historical precedents, legal justifications, and ethical arguments can be had to buttress their case. As I wrote on EoT in “The Pretext of Principles“, as their self-interests dictate a swing from one polar extreme to the opposite, so do their historical precedents, legal justifications, and ethical arguments follow suit, and never expect them to remind you of their positional shift by explaining why they’ve changed their mind.
My answer to them is this: You First. The restoration of respect and civility in our governing process must depend a demonstration of good faith and trust-building measures. The right-wing cannot play by rules which the left always changes to their own benefit. If the left will forego their naked partisan self-interest then they may look to the right-wing to follow suit. It’s simple game theory: reciprocity in-kind.
Moving along, I was amused this morning (2016-02-18) to find an article front page and center in the NYTimes (“The Potential for the Most Liberal Supreme Court in Decades“) which helpfully explains how the political alignment of the SCOTUS could be shifted leftwards by a leftist nominee by leftist POTUS Obama. No, really, this is front-and-center news for The Gray Lady:
[Note also the typically race-baiting grievance-mongering story beneath it – Oh, NYTimes, don’t ever change. Stay exactly the same, keep losing market share, bleed out, and die.]
Also included in the article are graphs, which make it so much more sciencey!
Way to scoop Weekly Reader. To be fair, they do their best to accommodate their content to the intellectual capacity of their readership. Hey, if you wanted clickbait cartoons & puppets, you should have gone to the HuffPo (clickbait also sold separately in the WaPo).
Both of the above charts are premised on the the supposition that the ideology of SCOTUS judges can be quantified numerically. If that wasn’t laughable enough, the University of California, Berkeley (!) website for both the data and the GIGO algorithmic analysis provides this LOL YMMV caveat, “Because estimation takes place using simulation, it is likely you will get slightly different results between runs and across different platforms.”
[Note also the article in the lower left of that front-page screenshot, “Mainstream G.O.P. Field Faces Brutal Delegate Math“, which reminded me of the 2016 New Hampshire primary in which Sanders had a landslide 22pt victory over Clinton but ended up getting about the same number of delegates (delagates + superdelegates). How did the NYTimes headline that robbery? By focusing on Clinton and her struggles. No, really: “After New Hampshire, Hillary Clinton Struggles to Find Her Footing” (NYTimes – 2016-02-10).]