So… Trump made the decision, while meeting with the leader of China at Mar a Lago (yet another $3 million a weekend on your taxpayer tab), because apparently he needed to prove that his hands are a completely normal size and there’s no problem “down there” at all, so he fired off a bunch of fireworks in the general direction of an airbase in Syria. It’s curious that the 59 Tomahawk missiles that were launched from destroyers in the area – missiles that at least one Army general-turned-pundit stated could be programmed to “hit the target’s living room window from a thousand miles” – didn’t damage that airbase’s runways, or target the chemical weapons stockpile that clearly exists in the area. Sure, we blew up some Syrian planes. No military personnel were killed or wounded, because apparently the Syrian and Russian troops in the area were given two hours warning. And according to reports, the Syrian army was back running flights out of that airbase the next morning.
New presidents are always presented with a challenge early in their first term. It’s just become a global given that some renegade douche halfway around the world is going to see what our new leader is made of. And some people are applauding Trump’s $30 million adventure, others (John fucking McCain, at the top of that list) are looking at the strike as an open door to a declaration of war against Syria.
Who knows where this goes from here. We could be looking at another war. We could also be looking at a staged event, as some are speculating, coordinated between Vladimir Putin and Bashar al-Assad to give Trump some military bona fides. I don’t think it matters in the grand scheme of things.
What matters more than this kabuki theater that we’ve witnessed over the past few days is what’s going on at home. After the Republicans “went nuclear” by eliminating the rule that requires 60 votes to confirm a Supreme Court justice, Neil Gorsuch was confirmed by simple majority vote (some wise person once said “elections have consequences”).
Justices sometimes surprise their nominating president by operating under a different ideology, but from all accounts Gorsuch will be a one-for-one swap for Antonin Scalia, the dead asshole he’s replacing. You might be asking yourself: “Didn’t Scalia die a long time ago???” And the answer is: yep. Last February, to be exact. He just had the unmitigated gall to die while the Black Muslim Kenyan Socialist Fascist was still president. Obama did what he had every right to do under the Constitution: he nominated a replacement. And by all accounts, Merrick Garland was everything you want in a Supreme Court justice, regardless of what side of the aisle you’re on. He’s a moderate, a centrist – hell, he could’ve even surprised Obama as much as Gorsuch could surprise Trump. But we’ll never know, because the guy never even got a committee hearing in the Senate.
Scalia’s seat on the court sat vacant for almost fourteen months. And by leading the charge to block Garland’s confirmation hearings, Mitch McConnell, after failing on his promise to make Obama a one-term president, fully succeeded in preventing Obama from winning a third term.
So at best, we’re back to where we were before Scalia shuffled off this mortal coil. But there are several problems with this. First, the president who nominated this guy is surrounded by people who are under federal investigation for possible collusion with Russia. Just this afternoon, we have confirmation that one of his campaign advisers, Carter Page, was the focus of a FISA warrant. These warrants are very difficult to obtain, and require a reasonable suspicion that the subject may have committed a crime such as espionage.
Page isn’t the “big fish” the Senate, House and FBI investigations are looking for, but the fact that he was surveilled under FISA is an indication that these investigations might be closing in on the big one. And that’s the reason the Gorsuch appointment is so significant. A lifelong appointment was just given to a man who was nominated to the position by a person who may not finish his first term, and may well end up in prison.
Elections do indeed have consequences. And it is up to us to make sure that the last presidential election has consequences: every House election, every Senate election – hell, EVERY election from here on out needs all liberals to participate. The Tea Party started this shit in 2009-2010, which led to the bloodbaths in ’10 and ’12. It’s time to flip the script, because Gorsuch might not be the only vacancy on the Supreme Court that this incompetent gets to fill: Anthony Kennedy, a moderate and often the “swing vote” on the court, will be 81 in July. Ruth Bader Ginsburg – The Notorious RBG – is staunchly liberal and is 84, with recent health issues. It is not out of the realm of possibility that Trump could fill three vacancies before the end of his first term. Let’s wish all of our Supreme Court justices good health, and that when it comes to these investigations, there’s a there there.