Two Perhaps Not So Wild Thoughts

When in power Democrats often are reluctant to change things because they fear that Republicans will take similar actions to evil ends when they come to power. History has proven this to be a fallacy. That will be point one today. The other will deal with 1/6. Please come along with me.

Many liberals want President Biden and the current Democratic Senate majority to nominate and then confirm several additional Supreme Court justices to negate the current “conservative” majority. (The words conservative and crazy are not synonyms hence the quotation marks.) The first argument against it is that when the Republicans come back into control of both the White House and the Senate, they will simply further pack the Court.

In what I call Phase II of my retirement I have had the opportunity to do a lot of reading. Much of that has been history and political science (political science at its root is agnostic as to party or political philosophy.) One consistent characteristic of autocrats is that when they seize power they take over the judicial system rendering it a compliant rubber stamp.

Make no mistake, Donald Trump is a wannabe autocrat and if he finds his way back into office again with a Senate majority, he will make a full-blown assault on everything that is in his way. That very much includes the Supreme Court. That will include expanding and thereby packing the Court with sycophants. Trump will have no intention of leaving office other than upon his death so total control will be his lone agenda. If there is a further election it will be a sham. The term limits as outlined in the 22nd Amendment will mean nothing; his packed Court will somehow rule against them. Remember in an autocracy things like laws, rules and Constitutions are irrelevant if the leader finds them inconvenient.

With the anniversary of 1/6 last week my thoughts, and those of many other Americans, turned in that direction even more than normal. Based on publicly available information – and the 1/6 Committee knows much more – it is obvious that the event was part of a plot, one important aspect of which centered on then-Vice President Mike Pence nullifying several states’ electoral votes.

Now I’ll stipulate that Trump was at the top of the conspiracy and he is not exactly the brightest or most politically knowledgeable occupant the White House ever had. However evil they may be, several of his co-conspirators are both bright and politically knowledgeable. That they would leave effectively the last play of the game in the hands of one man – and one who was never really one of them – just didn’t sit well with me. The Trump inspired chants of “Hang Mike Pence” only made me think more in this direction. The question then becomes who was the second option if Pence were removed from the scenario?

On January 6, 2021 the Senate was still under Republican control and therefore Chuck Grassley of Iowa was the President Pro Tempore. If Pence, acting in his constitutional capacity as President of the Senate were to meet with an untimely demise (like being hung by a mob of domestic terrorists) Grassley would be his immediate successor.

Grassley will be 89 years old on Election Day 2022 yet he is standing for reelection. He is effectively applying for a job that he would be 95 years-old at the end of. On the surface that doesn’t make a lot of sense, especially for a guy who notoriously likes to go to sleep early. However, if he like many other Trump loyalists, and he is a Trump loyalist, is making all his political plans predicated on the assumption that Trump returns to the White House on January 20, 2025 and he was “Option B” it makes perfect sense. In fact, I would not doubt that Trump has dangled a possible Supreme Court appointment before Grassley. Grassley lacks a law degree but I’m sure Trump would justify the nomination based on Grassley’s years on the Senate Judiciary Committee. He would definitely be confirmed by a Republican Senate and that would provide him with a job until he died.

On the surface these thought might seem a bit far fetched; I beg you to give them a little thought before you dismiss them.

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