Shit Just Got Real

Well, if you thought the year 2020 couldn’t get any worse, you might have to reconsider that view with the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg Friday.

Clearly, the country — and the Supreme Court — has lost an icon with the passing of Justice Ginsburg, a champion for equal rights under the law.

In my view, Justice Ginsburg represents what is right about America, a noble yet imperfect exercise in representative democracy. Sadly, with her death, we’re about to witness everything that is wrong with this country: partisan bickering where the power brokers Inside the Beltway and elsewhere do what they can to advance their own agenda with the public be damned.

Well, don’t take my word for it. Here’s from an email that I received from Bernie Sanders over the weekend.

Rob –

First and foremost, the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a tremendous loss for our country. She was an extraordinary champion of equal rights and will be remembered as one of the great justices in modern American history.

That said, the right thing to do here is obvious, and that is to wait for whoever wins the presidential election to appoint the next Supreme Court Justice.

Unfortunately, we’ve already heard from Mitch McConnell that he has decided to go against Justice Ginsburg’s dying wish — and his own words from 2016 — in order to bring a judge nominated by Trump to the floor of the United States Senate.

McConnell’s goal, maybe above all others, is to pack the courts with partisan ideologues who will protect corporations at the expense of workers, will suppress people’s right to vote, and will allow the wealthy to buy our elections. And make absolutely no mistake about it, if he gets his way in this Supreme Court fight, that will be the end of Roe v. Wade.

IMG_0052

Unfortunately, Congress like the public in general is now split into two camps: conservative and liberal, with neither being willing or able to compromise on important issues. And when you throw the evangelical christians into the mix you have a devil’s brew that leaves a sour taste in the mouths of those who actually believe in individual freedom. 

Still realistically, nothing is more important than appointing a Supreme Court justice who can shape how we live in this country for years to come. Since Congress is impotent, the sitting justices essentially determine how we go about living our lives.

So to say that with Justice Ginsburg’s passing “shit just got real” is a classic understatement.

From now until the election and most likely beyond the issue of how and when to seat her successor on the high court will be the most important issue facing members of Congress — and voters.

Supporters of both parties — Republicans and Democrats — are so f*********g hypocritical that listening to them trying to take the high moral ground is enough to send most of us running to grab a barf bag. I would like to hear from even one elected official who argues that we should be doing what is in the best interests of the country rather than merely advancing the interests of one political philosophy at the expense of another.

I imagine that as I write this every Republican Senator who is running for reelection is locked behind closed doors with their campaign pollsters trying to figure out which way the political wind is blowing.

So I guess we’ll see how this plays out.

From the standpoint of this citizen journalist, it’s hard to see how the Republicans can hold on to enough votes to force the appointment of a new Supreme Court justice  either before the election or in a lame duck session. But I’ll admit that Moscow Mitch McConnell probably knows more about this than I do.

Sigh.

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Rob Jewell

I’m Rob Jewell and I live and write in Woodland Park, Colorado, the City Above the Clouds. I've been fortunate. I worked for 29 years at BFGoodrich in Akron, Ohio. I started editing employee publications and ended as vice president of corporate communications. Then I started a public relations consulting company before becoming a full-time faculty member in the School of Journalism at Kent State University. I taught courses in writing, public relations and mass communication ethics. And I supervised a student-run public relations firm, called Flash Communications. During my tenure at Kent State I was honored to receive the university’s Outstanding Teaching Award. During most of this time I've been a dedicated runner. OK, jogger, if you take speed into consideration. But while my times are not much to write about, I was and am committed. For almost 30 years I ran at least 1,000 miles each year. (Except for one year when I tore my calf muscle playing tennis. So much for tennis.) Being on the road most mornings at 5 a.m. gave me some time to think. It also led to some amazing friendships that now span more than three decades. And my longtime love affair with running helped me shape my first novel, Then We Ran, which is available wherever electronic books are sold. And just so you don't think that all I did was work and run, I have other interests as well, many centering on family. My wife, Mary, was a successful and highly regarded career teacher in the Akron public schools. She now devotes her time and energy to a host of social and athletic activities in Woodland Park. My son, Brian, teaches at Cheyenne Mountain High School in Colorado Springs where he is also the head soccer coach. And my daughter, Jessica, has completed her doctorate at Kent State University where she is also an administrator with the Wick Poetry Center. I've done a lot of writing during my career -- but Jessica is the real writer in the family. I'll try not to make too many errors in this blog. I'm sure she'll be watching.

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