The actual doing of the disgusting, vulgar, disloyal and dishonorable in Washington by Republicans has become so ennui-inducingly commonplace that the mere appearance of doing the disgusting, vulgar, disloyal and dishonorable can sometimes slip under our radar. But when it comes to the decision to retire at the end of this month by Supreme Court Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy there can be little doubt something very sleazy is afoot.
While it might be argued one way or another that Anthony Kennedy is de jure a Republican, there can be little doubt he’s acting as one de facto. Kennedy’s retirement happens to be about six months too early. Had he waited another six months, an undoubtedly Democratic Congress would be duly sworn, serving and empowered. His decision to retire now plays right into Republican hands and he knows it.
We won’t tire you with the many suspicious ties between Kennedy and his family and Trump and his family, as these can be easily read about and gleefully speculated about elsewhere. What we do know and must remind everyone of is one of Trump’s campaign promises to his bigoted, misogynistic base was the repeal of Roe v Wade. With Kennedy gone and a court ready to be heavily stacked against this most prominent protection of women’s rights, this clear and present danger to women’s rights is suddenly on the table.
It’s doubtful that Donald Trump is subtle or clever enough to pull off a scheme like this on his own. He doesn’t need to be. Whatever dark forces lurk behind him, be it Stephen Miller or John Bolton or Sean Hannity or some Machiavellian character yet unnamed, the eventual repeal of Roe v Wade is inevitable unless things change. Preposterous, you may think? Perhaps, but a scant two years ago the very idea of a Trump presidency was also preposterous.
Robert Harrington is an American expat living in Britain. He is a portrait painter.