The rules of the game are thus:
If you are lower-income, and/or do not hold much power, then you must suffer the consequences of your actions, even death by execution without a trial for accusations of selling single cigarettes.
If you are wealthy and/or hold power, then you must NOT suffer the consequences of your actions, for doing so will be very upsetting to the children, who will lose all faith in everything as their innocence will be sullied (children, in this case, = the American public).
This was the stance of the Very Sensible and Serious People, both in the media and government, for decades. A prior glaring example is shutting down the Iran-Contra investigation, because my goodness, another giant scandal so soon after Watergate? The poor dears in the unwashed masses would break down and no longer respect the flag and family and God and apple pie and become less George Washington and more George Carlin.
There was even an argument floated several years ago that going after Short-Fingered Vulgarian (credit: Spy Magazine) Donald Trump would oh so very bad for the sanctity of the Oval Office. That leads up to where we are today, a time when the august Supreme Court seems to be open for business to the highest bidder. The “but you’ll hurt the feelings of the children” argument has been trotted out here as well, including last year when Pay-to-Play Justice Clarence Thomas lamented that the leaker of the opinion that later overturned Roe v. Wade was surely harming the Court’s stellar reputation.
It is remarkable that a vortex of irony didn’t suddenly appear and transport Thomas off into another dimension. In case you have forgotten what Thomas looks like, he is the guy holding a cigar while holding court amongst high-level Republican lawyers and a certain GOP donor named Harlon Crow in the painting below. Ol’ Harlon, as you may recall, paid for 20 years worth of vacations for Thomas and his Crazed QAnon Trumper wife Ginny.
Lest anyone thinks that I am picking on Clarence to be a big meanie, I will point out that Neil Gorsuch is fishy too, and by the way, Sainted and Celebrated Reasoned Chief Justice John Roberts has his own wife issues. Poor Justice Roberts simply wants what is his God-given right as a powerful white man, an upstanding legacy without the effort of actually being upstanding.
And by the by the way, to all those people who yelled at us very unreasonable lefties who were very unreasonable when we suggested that the SCOTUS might be a little corrupt by DARING to point out that Antonin Scalia died doing what he loved most: enjoying a trip paid for by a very wealthy businessperson…the apology line forms here, please line up in an orderly fashion. Thanks!
If you want to bring back faith in the Supreme Court, which has tanked to all-time lows in recent years, you might want to consider actually holding them to ethics. No, dammit, this is not okay and Brian Beutler is correct here:
Just putting money in the pocket of a judge who rules on their cases, and the judge is willing to obscure the transaction. Straight up pay-to-play corruption.
— Brian Beutler (@brianbeutler) April 25, 2023
And this is not a good response. I love our liberal justices, but holy crap, this is institutional arrogance at its worse and likely will be yet another thing about the Glorious Glory of Our Glorious System (*Angelic Choir*) that will not age well.
How did we get to this point? Well, from the link in the prior paragraph:
More than a decade ago, amid a similar wave of headlines alleging misconduct by several justices, Roberts worked to fend off a similar political push for regulation.
“I have complete confidence in the capability of my colleagues to determine when recusal is warranted,” Roberts wrote in his 2011 year-end report on the federal judiciary. “They are jurists of exceptional integrity and experience whose character and fitness have been examined through a rigorous appointment and confirmation process.”
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAAHAHA oh stop it, John, you’re killing me. This level of lack of self-awareness is almost superhuman.
Also, all you Dems who argued in the past that “the Federalist Society is good, actually, we had a lot of really rigorous debate when I took my speaker gigs at their luncheons,” my goodness. You could not have been a bigger mark if you were a rube walking around New York City with a tourist map staring gap-jawed up at all the big buildings.
I will also add that another go-to defense of bad behavior, the “they are a lovely person” defense so popular among the well-heeled when one of their own is under threat, no doubt based on the number of Georgetown cocktail parties they’ve attended with other powerful people.
It's not a tribute to evil or something to be mocked. It's an attempt commemorate the horrors of the 20th century in the spirit of "never again." Harlan Crow is a deeply honorable, decent, and patriotic person. He's not the strawman Thomas haters are trying to make him.
— Jonah Goldberg (@JonahDispatch) April 8, 2023
Harlan Crow surely has enemies but, as far as I can tell, they consist exclusively of people who don't know him. Everyone who does know him may disagree with him on some issue, but they universally recognize his decency, integrity, and kindness. Including people of the left. https://t.co/OZV2rKdCO6
— Charles Murray (@charlesmurray) April 8, 2023
If you have not sipped Macallan with a man, do you REALLY know him?
Enough of this nonsense. Push hard for hearings, Senator Dick (Durbin). Not wishy-washy hearings, but do Jan. 6/Watergate-type hearings. The kind of hearings that could result in resignation, that would make arrogant people who believe they are above the law shake with rage that their God-given gravy train is being taken away from them. It won’t lessen our faith in the system, it will restore our faith in the system.
Because these days, a standard reply I hear when the latest right-wing scandal hits the media is “who cares, nothing will be done about it anyway.” And that, my friend, is the consequence of years and years of protecting bad actors. It’s not a result of the American people being delicate flowers that cannot abide myths being shattered. The American people are not that, despite years and years of media coverage that turned Supreme Court justices into a holy order untouched by earthly desires (kinda too culty for me and I think many other Americans).
And as the Penn State Sandusky and Catholic Church sex abuse scandals have taught us, it is better to ACTUALLY be ethical and address wrong-doing, instead of just protecting a reputation of ethics by sweeping rot under the rug. Because eventually, that rot can eat you alive, even if you think you are above it all.
The last word goes to Mr. James Osterberg, you may know him by his other name.