Scalia’s death causes backlash

A day after Scalia’s death, a sizeable segment of the so-called compassionate Left took to the Internet to celebrate the passing of one of the most prolific wits who has ever staffed the Supreme Court.

Among them was Salon’s Katie Halper, who published a collection of his quotes for which she provided commentary, and – must have, because nobody is that stupid – took every single one of them out context.

She then authored “In defense of grave dancing: It’s true that Scalia was a human being, but I still refuse to mourn a-holes like him politely,” wherein it seems she congratulated herself on the process of writing her original anti-Scalia piece. It’s a progressive victory.

To be fair, it’s not exactly new or newsworthy. When former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher died, a good deal of people took to the streets, channeling the Munchkins of Munchkinland and representatives from the Lollipop Guild: “Ding dong, the bitch is dead.”

The song reached the UK top singles charts, showing that sexism is cool as long as certain ideologues practice it.

Watch the original rendition on YouTube and you’ll find that most of the top comments are about Scalia. Nothing there has changed. What’s more curious is Sen. Bernie Sanders’ commentary, who found the entire debate about whether or not President Barack Obama would nominate the next associate justice boring, likely because it wasn’t about income inequality, and that’s pretty much all he knows how to talk about with anyone he’s ever met: “The Constitution is pretty clear. The president makes the appointment, the Senate confirms. Let’s get on with that business.”

No doubt it would be the case that if Obama chose an originalist, someone like Scalia, to send to the bench, the Republican Senate would gladly oblige. But where Sanders goes wrong is thinking that the Senate acts as a rubberstamp in the process. Send a liberal who vomits words like “dignity” and “compassion” as if they mattered as constitutional doctrine and expect the court to stay even in number. It’s that simple.

Seemingly stuck in the year 2009, New York Times editorial writer Brent Staples lamented the unfairness on Twitter, not so tactfully employing the race card: “In a nation built on slavery, white men propose denying the first black president his constitutional right to name Supreme Court nominee.”

Well, Obama has already sent two associate justices to the bench, so it’s not as if he’s been robbed of the opportunity. But more importantly, this isn’t a racial issue.

On Feb. 18, the NYT reported as front-page news that some people think Republican opposition to an Obama-appointee has been fueled by racial animus, demonstrating that the paper’s slogan, “All the news that’s fit to print,” is actually referring to the opinions of a few morons in the state of South Carolina:

“I guess many of them are using this in the strictest construction that Barack Obama’s serving three-fifths of a term or he’s three-fifths of a human being, so he doesn’t get to make this choice,” said Bakari Sellers, a former state representative from Denmark, South Carolina. It’s as coherent a legal interpretation as anything Justice Anthony Kennedy has ever authored. But Sellers needn’t take Republican opposition so personally. It’s in the conservative interest to staff the court with a legal scholar as competent and faithful as Scalia was, so he’ll understand why Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell believes Obama will likely fail in doing so.

In the meantime, the Democrats can get over it. There’s a debate to be had, and Sanders’ boredom and others’ racial con- spiracy theories aside, it’ll be a long one.