Dear President Trump,
I can’t wait for you to make the stunning move you’ve clearly been planning for months. In one fell swoop you will:
- Force the media to sing your praises, starting with The New York Times
- Watch your polling numbers leap up
- Slap down the Republican Senators who think you are beholden to them
- Show your White House staff who’s boss
- Inspire hope among Democrats
- Force those boring evangelical Christians to keep currying your favor
- Avoid a bruising, unnecessary battle over something you don’t care about
- And most of all demonstrate yet again The Art Of The Deal!
How will you pull off this miraculous feat? Easy. By nominating Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court. It’ll be the Art Of The Deal: Supreme Court Edition!
Others may scoff but some of us noticed when you brandished that list of potential Supreme Court nominees drawn up by those boring old farts on the far right. You said quite clearly you would nominate someone like the people on that list. You didn’t promise to nominate someone on that list. And that was no accident. You’ve been preparing for months to pull this switcheroo which gains you everything and costs you absolutely nothing. And why will you do it? Why not?
- You don’t really care about social issues like abortion — Let’s face it, you’ve been to the Playboy Mansion more often than you’ve been to Mass. So you don’t really care about the crap the Religious Right cares about. Gays? Whatever. Abortion? Please. Banning contraception? Yeah, these people are nuts. You just want a Supreme Court that’s friendly to Big Business and the dirty secret is that when it comes to Big Business this Court is already tilted way to the right. Merrick Garland is probably pro-business too. God knows he’s no weak-kneed liberal when it comes to criminals and their “rights.”
- Republican Senators don’t know how to negotiate — When was the last time you offered a deal you actually didn’t want to be accepted? When you were ten years old? Eight? Never? And yet the idiot Republicans offered a deal to Obama they didn’t want. He said, who would you support for the Supreme Court? They said, “Merrick Garland. Everyone knows he’s a great jurist with impeccable credentials but you’d never nominate him.” So Obama did. (Gotta respect that.) And what do you do when someone makes a mistake in negotiating? You make them pay. Every time. Just because you can. Make them pay and eat their own words. (Besides, the Republican Senators are already acting like they can push you around, hinting in the press that they’ll let you get all the blame for the mess they want to create and then kick you out when they think your usefulness is over. Make them pay for that if nothing else.)
- Your White House staff thinks they own you — Sure, they toady up to you but you know Mike Pence (what a snooze that guy is!) and Stephen Bannon secretly believe they can get you to do whatever they want. They think they’re pulling the strings and you’re some damned marionette. Show them who’s boss.
- The traitors among you will reveal themselves — When you pull off this coup, your loyal staff will applaud. (You know Kellyanne Conway will!) Of course, she will. If it helps you, it’s a good move. But others will get angry and upset: why didn’t you talk to us, why didn’t you share your idea so we could debate it, why didn’t you consult with the Senate blah blah blah. Who’s President here? Not Mike Pence or Reince Priebus or Stephen Bannon or Mitch McConnell or Paul Ryan, that’s for damn sure. They’ll show their true colors by complaining. They care more about access and control and manipulating you then doing what’s best for you. When they freak out and get offended that they didn’t even KNOW you were gonna nominate Merrick Garland, you’ll see. Your loyal staffers will praise you. The ones who get pissed off will be the ones to keep an eye on. Or just fire and get it over with.
- Keep the evangelical vote in your back pocket — Speaking of stupid dealmakers, the evangelicals handed over everything you wanted and got nothing in return. They lied through their teeth and pretended you were Born Again and a true believer. They campaigned for you. They pissed off an entire young generation of evangelicals who are a lot more liberal than they are (and a lot more fun). And what did they get in writing? What guarantees did they receive? A vague promise to nominate someone LIKE the list they scrambled to put together and considered a contract instead of a suggestion you could accept or ignore. In other words, they don’t know how to negotiate. You gave them the absolute minimum and got absolutely everything in return. But hey, you’re going to want their support in 2020. (Can you believe some idiots think you’d actually walk away from being the most powerful man in the world?) So keep them dangling and hoping and praying in their pathetic manner for another slot to open up (Nice Christians! Praying for a Supreme Court judge to keel over) and that next time you’ll actually give them what they want, a nasty, far right fire-breather. Maybe you will and maybe you won’t. But they better support you or the Dems will take back power and put in baby killers and they don’t want that.
- Why bother with all the uproar over a far right nominee? — Why waste any political capital on a bruising battle over a Supreme Court nominee? You can GAIN capital by nominating Merrick Garland. The left will be astonished, the poll numbers will skyrocket, the Republicans will gnash their teeth and you don’t have to actually lift a finger to get him on the Court. Leave that boring stuff to someone else. If the Republicans block him, you can mock the Dems or mock the Republicans for hypocrisy and tell America yet again this is the sort of crap you’re trying to change but those children won’t behave. And then nominate the Scalia 2.0 the Religious Right really wants and please your base all over again.
Besides, won’t it be sweet to watch the New York Times and CNN and everyone else fall all over themselves praising you to high heaven, reevaluating your place in history and realizing you really are a new kind of politician who will be remembered for generations to come? Now that will be the Art Of The Deal!
REGISTER TO VOTE!!
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Thanks for reading. Michael Giltz is the founder of BookFilter, a book lover’s best friend. Looking for the next great book to read? Head to BookFilter! Subscribe to their free weekly newsletter! Need a smart and easy gift? Head to BookFilter! Wondering what new titles just hit the store in your favorite categories, like cookbooks and mystery and more? Head to BookFilter! It’s a website that lets you browse for books online the way you do in a physical bookstore, provides comprehensive info on new releases every week in every category and offers passionate personal recommendations every step of the way. It’s like a fall book preview or holiday gift guide — but every week in every category. He’s also the cohost of Showbiz Sandbox, a weekly pop culture podcast that reveals the industry take on entertainment news of the day and features top journalists and opinion makers as guests. It’s available for free on iTunes. Visit Michael Giltz at his website and his daily blog.