His friends and supporters keep telling us what a good guy Neil Gorsuch is. How humble and unassuming he is. Please. This is Douchebag Archetype 101. The jaunty little way he sits sideways in his chair, one arm on the witness table, so comfortable, so open and honest according to the body language consultants on his prep team. His gargantuan ego is about to pop the Capitol dome off its bolts.
Man, oh man, do I hate Neil Gorsuch. I want to punch that pretty face so hard. I’ll bet you a hundred bucks there’s a family portrait over the fireplace back in Colorado of him and his wife and his kids all in matching perfect starched white shirts and blue jeans. Gorsuch is tall, handsome, a perfect gray coif on his pointy head, and he’s a cold blooded killer.
Gorsuch is a sanctimonious SOB with an ideology as goofy as it is evil, where justice is not only blind, it’s also deaf and dumb and has its head up its ass. The Supreme Court, by very definition, is the LAST place we want an ideologue. Neil Gorsuch is the ideologue’s ideologue. He is straight out of central casting. He is a poster boy, the quintessential American archetype of the self-confident and charming asshole.
He proudly brags about how 97% of his panel’s decisions were unanimous and that 99% of his decisions were with the majority. “That’s how we do things in the West.” (What the fuck does that even mean? A John Wayne version of Sarah Palin’s “Real America” meme?) Lower courts are often unanimous and many judges would have similar numbers in regard to panel majorities. Because in lower courts, compared to The Supreme Court, 97 percent of the cases are relatively cut and dried, and only about three percent of them are really tough nuts to crack. Guess what? Those are the three percent that get to The Supreme Court where things are a little tougher. Sometimes, like in those three percent of cases, you have to actually “judge.”
When a SCOTUS decision is not unanimous, does it mean that those justices in the minority don’t know the law? They don’t know what the fuck they’re doing? Of course not – it means interpreting the Constitution is hard, it’s messy, it requires nuance and wisdom and experience and humility and yes, “judgement.” You don’t have to be, in the political sense, a capital-L Liberal to be on The Supreme Court, but you sure as hell have to be small-l liberal as a human being. (Oxford: “Willing to respect or accept behavior or opinions different from one’s own; open to new ideas.”)
This “strict interpretation” and “originalist” bullshit is so goddamn fucking off the point it makes me want to scream at my live stream. If it were that easy your iPhone could do it. “Siri, what is the level of educational benefit that school districts must confer on children with disabilities to provide them with the free appropriate public education guaranteed by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act?”
Gorsuch has written harsh criticism of Liberals “using” the courts to advance their agenda. Fuck yeah, they did. The most shining example is Thurgood Marshall’s brilliant, strategic, and laborious march through the courts to overturn local and state Jim Crow laws that were ultimately found unconstitutional. The more recent example is a similar path taken by lawyers to gain Constitutional recognition of same-sex marriage. Why the fuck does a nominee to the Supreme Court have such a low opinion of the Judiciary, an EQUAL branch of government with the Legislative and Executive.
Liberals and conservatives come down to one fundamental difference and it regards empathy. The Liberal’s heart bleeds for people they will never meet, for strangers on the wrong side of the tracks and on the far side of the globe. The Conservative’s heart bleeds too, maybe even more, definitely even more. I’ve got conservative friends who will give you the shirt off their back – the nicest folks you’d ever want to meet. But they don’t give a shit about strangers. They can all go fuck themselves. The Conservative’s heart bleeds, but only for their family and personal friends (and of course the soldiers they send off to war, but that’s another rabbit hole).
Most especially in the Gorsuch archetype, his heart bleeds for himself. He is so goddamn humble and upright, so pure and put-upon by his critics. Oh my god… the hand on the chest and the little catch in his voice to show real emotion and empathy… the confused look of disbelief in his dreamy watery eyes when a Democratic Senator dares to question the actual results of his fucked-up ideology.
If you missed Al Franken lay out the case of the trucker who disobeyed company orders because he was literally dying on the job, you’ve got to see it. Watch Franken plaster him. Gorsuch squirms and stammers like Nathan Thurm, and finally Franken hit him with the punch line: “It makes me question your judgement.” Fuck, yeah it does. And maybe that’s important here!?
This trucker’s story is not a cherry-picked case to make Gorsuch look bad. It is the perfect case study that demonstrates exactly why his ideology is evil to the core: Strict, black and white interpretation of the law, no nuance, no humanity, no wiggle room, even with a man’s life at stake. But according to the Gorsuch ilk, if you don’t like the law, then Congress can change it. In the meantime, you’re screwed. Again, this is NOT how it’s supposed to work. This fucker is going to sit on the highest court in the world and he doesn’t understand the basic definition of the word “judge.” …”Judge.” Your job description is the same as your goddamn title! Seriously! Shit.
Charles Bursell is a writer, performer, host and commentator heard nationally on SiriusXM, National Public Radio, and The Pacifica Radio Network. He currently hosts the podcasts Stream of Consciousness Talk Radio Theatre and Conversations With Charles Bursell. Both shows, and more, can be found on several platforms, including Apple Podcasts (iTunes) and Libsyn.com.