With a naked power grab by Mitch McConnell, the Republican Party has now declared itself to be an openly criminal organization. No sentient human being can pretend that McConnell’s refusal to let Obama appoint a nominee nine months before the election, coupled with his intent to fill a vacancy with barely over one month to go is anything but criminal. (Justice Scalia died in February, 2016. Only hours after Scalia’s death was announced, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell declared any appointment by the sitting president to be null and void. He said the next Supreme Court justice should be chosen by the next president — to be elected nine months later.)[1] 

The GOP openly scoff at the Rule of Law; they consider themselves above any law, not bound by the U.S. Constitution. McConnell’s actions comprise a declaration that the Republicans have taken power and will never relinquish it. We may vote or not — it makes no difference to them; they do not accept the will of the people. We no longer live in a democracy.

Led by a president who claims absolute power, with a lickspittle attorney general who agrees that the President has absolute power, the Republicans have declared open war on American Democracy. 

Their urgent desire to stack the Supreme Court before the election serves three nefarious purposes: In the long game, it means that corporate and fascist interests in the U.S. will prevail in the judicial system for decades to come. More immediately, it ensures that even when Trump loses the election, he can manufacture any ridiculous argument that the election was unfair. The installment of DeJoy to sabotage the U.S. Postal System gives Trump the opportunity either to directly steal and destroy mail-in ballots, or at minimum to delay delivery until they can be invalidated for being late. 

Trump has no intention of leaving office no matter what the outcome of the election. But he has an even stronger reason to stack the Supreme Court. Trump and his cronies have committed numerous felonies before and during his presidency. The Mueller Investigation documented 11 Class 4 felonies of obstruction of justice. Barr’s ludicrous claim that as president, Trump is immune from prosecution even for first-degree murder will vanish when he is no longer president. 

If he were subject to the same laws the rest of us obey, Trump could serve several lifetimes in prison for his crimes. He loves power and publicity, but he really hates the thought of jail time. 

Tom DeCoursey

Oak Park

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