It is so easy to get lost in the headlines, especially when they’re negative. Voting rights, police reform, the BBB act, immigration. All failures. And then you can throw in supply change problems, rising inflation, and Covid-19. All of which can leave Biden looking like some sorry sad sack that can’t even tie his own shoes in the morning. And the polls show it.
But there’s a reason why they say A week is a lifetime in politics. Our national attention span is short, and issues ebb and flow on a daily basis. It’s easy to get caught up in the moment.
But some things are far more consequential than the daily ebb and flow of headlines. There are decisions that President’s make that last long after a cycle, a year, or even a term. They become a legacy.
And nowhere is a decision more consequential and long lasting than when it involves the judiciary. Ronald Reagan left office on January 20th, 1989. But there are still, to this day, Reagan appointed federal judges determining our lives. George HW Bush only served one term, but Clarence Thomas is still a national nuisance.
For decades, the Democrats either misunderstood or ignored the GOP and the Federalist Society’s obsession with the federal courts. In this, the GOP wisely decided to play a Chinese style long game, and work silently in the shadows. And it paid off. The federal district courts are the fodder for the federal appellate courts. And the appellate courts are the fodder for the Supreme Court. And the GOP and the Federalist Society set out to pack them at all costs.
And it worked. It all exploded when Justice Antonin Scalia died, and the traitor to the union, Bitch McConnell held the seat open for more than 300 days, so that an illegitimate President Trump could fill the seat. And then Trump got two more picks in 4 years, and suddenly the Supreme Court was a 6-3 GOP supermajority. And only then did the Democrats realize how short sighted they had been in the importance of the court, when Roe v Wade was in mortal peril.
But one dude did. Papa Joe Biden was once the Chair of the Senate Judiciary committee, he ran hearings for confirmations of judges. He well knew that the legacy of a President was the number of judges he put on the bench, because they would be around long after he was gone.
And President Biden has aggressively moved to tip the scales back towards justice again. Lawrence O’Donnell reported that in his first year, President Biden had confirmed 42 federal district court and appellate judges, more than double what Trump accomplished in his first year. You have to go all the way back to 1961, when JFK was president to find more judges approved. And that was in an era when judges were normally confirmed by unanimous consent, as long as they had green cards from their two home state Senators.
Take my word for it, this is something that the Democrats have to turn into a national issue for 2022. They spent decades ceding the courts to the GOP, and only mobilized when women’s rights were finally threatened. And with the country on court watch for the Mississippi abortion ban decision, it’s time to turn up the heat.
And remember one thing. This country is full of white suburban women voters, sick of Trump, who don’t want to see their reproductive rights compromised either. And as every GOP legislative state rushes to emulate Texas and Mississippi, this could lead to some serious surprises in November.
The Democrats need to immediately start a national ad campaign, highlighting Biden’s record of elevating judges to the bench. They can talk about abortion rights, LGBTQ rights, workers rights. Biden has at least another full year to keep appointing judges, and cut into the disparity. Democrats only seem to become motivated by panic, and nowhere has there been a better time. Both LGBTQ as well as reporductive right poll as incredibly popular. In their endless thirst to play to their dunderheaded Evangelical base, the GOP is leaving itself wide open. Time to pay the piper.