Penalty on the Senate Floor — Excessive Celebration

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I’m not sure what kind of Win you think it is that a supreme court justice nominee had zero notes during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings today.

I gave a presentation to my own Rotary club tonight via Zoom. It was about branding and online outreach. And I had notes to make sure I didn’t forget anything. The stakes couldn’t be more different. But you can be damn sure I brought notes to every job interview I’ve had since college.

Amy Coney Barrett’s smug performance with blank paper doesn’t read that differently than Trump’s pitifully staged photo op when he appeared to be sharpie-ing his own name onto a blank piece of paper at Walter Reed last week. She might as well have held up a Bible she’s never read if we’re just recycling Trump props this week.

Was she bragging that she’s unprepared or proving that she knows this hearing is pure local theater?

If it’s not beltway farce for TV is anyone supposed to believe that she’s a savant with every possible answer filed in the database of her virtuoso mind?

You don’t have to Rainman-memorize everything in order to adjudicate skillfully and fairly. In fact, notes might help. That’s why justices have law clerks. Use them.

Coney Barrett’s premature celebration and the proliferation of smirky memes are just more preemptively triumphant “owning the libs” middle fingers while we’re all still throttling around on this tilt-a-whirl of deadly disease, economic crisis, police brutality and voter suppression.

But these Senate Republicans aren’t about doing right or being good, let alone better. It’s not about demonstrating superior qualifications, experience or expertise. For Mitch McConnell it’s just about turning any knife in the side of any liberal. For political sport.

This hat trick isn’t the Gotcha! they think it is. But when the court-packing Senate Republicans control the legislature they don’t need a Gotcha. So skip the stunts.

They’re just going to hand their puppet her participation trophy and continue to expedite appointments of as many conservatives to federal judgeships as possible.

As former Trump press secretary Anthony Scaramucci tweeted, we are only two Scaramuccis away from the presidential election.

Let’s make like the Georgians and vote, knowing that our lives and democratic secular liberty depend on it.

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