This Sunday morning, I snapped open my copy of the Los Angeles Times to see yet another “everyone says [U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice] Ruth Bader Ginsburg should retire ZOMG now now NOW!!!!” story. (The online version of the story’s headline today says “she has no plans to retire soon,” but the headline of the paper edition gave voice to her critics who are trying to shoo her off the bench.) If she retired today or in December, do any of these so-called liberals or leftists seriously think President Obama would get any judge remotely similar to her through the U.S. Senate’s “advise and consent” process?
Who do you think President Obama could appoint at this very day, given the boundaries that we have? If I resign any time this year, he could not successfully appoint anyone I would like to see in the court. [The Senate Democrats] took off the filibuster for lower federal court appointments, but it remains for this court. So anybody who thinks that if I step down, Obama could appoint someone like me, they’re misguided. As long as I can do the job full steam…. I think I’ll recognize when the time comes that I can’t any longer. But now I can.
In the unedited interview transcript, she said “But now I can, motherf^(kers, so step off.“
(I actually just made that up. I have no evidence that she said motherf^(kers, so step off, but then, neither do I have any evidence that she did not say that. Quite frankly, I think it’s irresponsible not to speculate how very irritating these screams for her to go away are to the Associate Justice in question.)
The calls for her to go are just damned disrespectful, and put me in mind of the frantic, shrill screams of Obamatrons for Hillary Clinton to drop out of the Democratic primary now now NOW!!!!! in April and May of 2008, because staying on ballot through the primary season was somehow going to cause irreparable damage to the Obama 2008 campaign. You remember that general campaign, don’t you? The one in which it would have been possible for Barack Obama in fact to be a Kenyan anti-colonial Muslim socialist and still win the election because he wasn’t the Republican? Yeah, Hillary Clinton’s demonic powers were imagined to be so great that she’d blow the general for Obama, but somehow they weren’t powerful enough for her to win the Dem primary. Go figure.
Isn’t it funny, and by funny I really mean infuriating, how eager so-called liberals are to toss aside the women who have worked on their causes for decades, and even lifetimes? Think of what the right wing and the left wing together have done to the reputations of Margaret Sanger or Mary Daly. Somehow Americans still have room for Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt, and Martin Luther King in the American Pantheon, although they recognize that their views on race and gender were of their time rather than our times. It’s only women activists whose every utterance and political position is held up to scrutiny, mostly for the purposes of undermining their entire lifetime’s work.
R.B.G. is swinging for the fences at age 81. She’s got her eye on history. She’s pretty sure her side is going to win, if not in her lifetime, eventually. Let her lay out her case so that succeeding generations can appreciate her dogged, persistent resistance to the revanchist Rehnquist and Roberts courts.