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OPINION

Christopherson: When your word means nothing

Mike Christopherson
Crookston Times

    This is what our current president and his enablers want to happen: Those who disagree daily on a visceral level with him and his enablers on an endless myriad of issues and everything else that they supposedly stand for get beaten into submission and they just kind of give up.

    Well, maybe not actually give up. But after a daily barrage for almost four years, you just get worn down and weary of mustering up the outrage. How many times can you yell into the abyss before you lose your voice?

    But this, today, in this space, it’s not about sexually assaulting women and bragging about it. It’s not about making fun of a disabled reporter. It’s not about a lie tally that needs to be updated by the hour. It’s not about being a racist. It’s not about denying climate change. It’s not about kids in cages. It’s not about a “very stable genius” and “covfefe.” It’s not about cheating others through business dealings. It’s not about multiple bankruptcies. It’s not about bone spurs and dodging service in Vietnam. It’s not about openly soliciting foreign oligarchs to interfere with our nation’s system of electing people. It’s not about buddying up to those oligarchs while openly ripping America’s longtime allies. It’s not about all that golf. It’s not about serial violations of our constitution’s emoluments clause by making money for yourself and your family off the government’s dime. It’s not about denying a pandemic and 200,000+ deaths. It’s not about denying science. It’s not about pretending to be a person of faith when you’re not. It’s not about surrounding yourself with criminally corrupt people. It’s not about ordering federal troops into U.S. cities to beat up on protesters. It’s not about looking at discouraging poll numbers and trying to shut down mail-in/absentee voting by crippling the U.S. Postal Service that is overseen by an ally who’s donated millions of dollars to your campaigns. It’s not about trying to buy votes by giving billions more to farmers and billions to Puerto Rico a few weeks before Election Day. It’s not about a Twitter presidency. It’s not about “Person. Man. Woman. Camera. TV.” It isn’t about lending credibility to an online conspiracy theory about Hillary Clinton and “deep state” elites running a worldwide pedophilia and cannibalism (eating babies) cabal out of the basement of a pizza joint.

    This is about the Supreme Court, openly going back on your word, and caring not that you’re going back on your word. Trump’s biggest enabler, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, couldn’t even muster more than a couple of sentences of modest praise for Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg a few hours after she died last week before he announced that because American voters charged the Senate to do so in the 2018 mid-term election, the Senate would vote on Ginsburg’s successor nominated by President Trump before Nov. 3.

    Many months earlier in an election year, in March 2016, President Barack Obama nominated Merrick Garland, viewed widely as a moderate, to fill a vacancy on the nation’s highest court created by the death a month earlier of conservative firebrand justice, Antonin Scalia. But McConnell blocked any Senate action on Garland, saying to fill a Supreme Court vacancy in an election year was simply wrong because it would silence the voices of American voters. A loyal chorus of Republican lawmakers openly echoed McConnell’s sentiments, led by Senator Lindsey Graham, who told anyone and everyone in a speech that year on the Senate floor that a Supreme Court vacancy should never, ever be filled in an election year. If Trump was president in 2020 and a high court vacancy opened up, Graham said, the Senate would not move to fill it in an election year. Graham went on to urge others to use his words against him in 2020 if he ever went back on what he was saying.

    Meaningless words from an empty vessel.

    Now, since Ginsburg’s passing, a steady stream of Republican senators who four years ago said that absolutely, positively should a high court vacancy not be filled in an election year are now betraying their word and grasping at any justification whatsoever to rush a nominee to succeed Ginsburg to the Senate floor for a confirmation hearing and vote before Nov. 3. When longtime Republican Senator Lamar Alexander on social media over the weekend laid out a paper-thin case to fill the high court vacancy now, there was Graham, expressing 100% agreement.

    If a pre-election bum-rush isn’t possible and Trump loses to Joe Biden on Election Day and Republicans lose their majority in the Senate, these same Republican senators are also open to voting on a Trump nominee in a so-called “lame-duck” Senate session after the election and before the presidential inauguration in January 2021.

    You can’t make it up.

    You’d think a party populated with pedophiles and cannibals would be better at playing this dark, dark game, but they’re somehow not. Democrats lack the intestinal fortitude to act with such callous disregard for truth, justice and the American way. Or maybe they’re clinging to an American way that’s been pulverized, obliterated – pick whatever similar word you want – in less than four years with Donald Trump as president, buoyed by allies so somehow beholden to him that their word, their truth, carries no more weight than a dust particle in the wind.

    To continue to support this behavior by simply saying everyone else is lying and that your guy is brash and plays by his own rules – and to dismiss every word of this column’s third paragraph as fake news and/or a hoax – is impossible to fathom.

Mike Christopherson