A few months back, Washington Post ran a contest called, “America’s Next Great Pundit.” I entered. But rather than do as prompted and write about the issues currently before us, I decided to have fun with the future. I got rejected.
Take some of the cast of characters with a grain of salt. But as to the other characters, turn over your hourglass and pay heed to how the grain of salt turns into a sturdy pile of sand.
Justice Antonin Scalia, the 85-year-old senior member of the Supreme Court, held a press conference yesterday to announce his retirement. Stooped over and weakened by three heart-attacks, he symbolized the conservative Court’s decline.
The iconic jurist had hoped to retire upon the election of Senator Eric Cantor (R-Va) to the Presidency. The votes, however, weren’t there.
“Now I know how [former Justice] Bill Brennan felt,” the Justice chuckled, alluding to the liberal lion Scalia often battled during his early years on the Court. Thirty years ago, the elderly Brennan suffered a stroke and promptly sent his letter of resignation to a President on the opposite end of the political spectrum.
Sources close to President Cory Booker report that he will make good on the campaign promise to nominate Barack Obama to the first vacancy on the Supreme Court. Booker’s declaration relegated his Democratic Primary competitors to meek “me too’s” and helped catapult the former New Jersey Governor over incumbent President Biden at the polls.
At a dinner in Tehran with former Iranian President Mousavi commemorating the tenth anniversary of the fall of Ayatollah Khamenei, Obama told reporters that after five years of democracy promotion abroad, he’s ready to return to Washington for a new challenge should Booker nominate him.
“Iran is our ally and has helped make Iraq and Afghanistan the stable states they are today. Global nukes are approaching zero. Israel and Palestine are partners in peace. We’ve gotten a lot done. But look, the law is my first love. And I’ve got a legacy to protect back home.”
But those hoping Obama will unite with Justice Diane Wood, his second Court appointment, to reconstitute the long-lost, full-throated liberal wing of the court will be disappointed.
“My health care legislation has been turned into a money pit. My Wall Street regulations have turned into financial straitjackets. After Justice Kennedy retired, my economic-based affirmative action reforms and abortion-control legislation have been in danger.”
Cantor’s quixotic campaign and its landslide defeat finally nailed the coffin on Scalia’s brand of conservatism, but the contested Democratic nomination points to Booker and Obama as the new vanguard of restraint against the Biden administration’s excesses.
If Obama can get his Tehran comments past the progressive members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Scalia can satisfy himself with the irony that the liberal messiah of 2008 will be resurrected as the figurehead of new conservatism.