I Will Miss Ruth

This is a political post. Please scroll down if interested.















Today, an extraordinary person died.


And decent people around the globe are utterly devastated.

Which brings me to Mitch McConnell. During Obama’s last year in office, Mitch refused to have hearings on Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, making up a new rule that no Supreme Court nominee could be considered during an election year.

Every person with a brain knew what Mitch really meant: no Democratic Supreme Court nominee could be considered during an election year.

And now we have proof of this evil.

With the loss of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Trump will nominate somebody to replace her, less than two months before election day. And Mitch has already put out a statement that there will be a vote on the Senate floor.

Because “rules” only exist for Democrats.

This makes me want to vomit.


The only thing keeping from from spiraling into a deep depression are two things:


Newton: For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

We saw this play out in 2018, during the Kavanuagh hearings. Decent people across the land were appalled by Kavanaugh, appalled by how the GOP acted, and appalled by how the GOP treated Dr. Ford. Including many many many Republicans, who voted Blue in November, helping to create the largest Blue wave since 1974.

I expect a shitstorm over any new nominee. Decent people across the land will be livid over Mitch granting Trump the very thing he denied Obama. I also anticipate that the nominee will be another profoundly unqualified person.

So, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Thus, I anticipate all this will help not just create a Blue wave, but a Blue tsunami.

Fasten your life jackets!


Decent people across the land are not just devastated tonight, but are also feeling profoundly doomed.

I sympathize, and also feel punched in the stomach. But I don’t feel doomed.

To explain: I’m a historian, and one of the things I enjoy is buying books from the past which are full of predictions about the future. I have a book published in the 1920s that predicted XYZ happening in the next decade. Well, XYZ didn’t happen, but RQK did, which nobody predicted.

I have books from each subsequent decade, and all predicting stuff. Stuff which never happened. But other stuff happened, none of which was foretold.

I have a book from the early 1990s, written by highly qualified and respected economists, which predicted that, without question, America would go bankrupt by 1995. That also didn’t happen. In fact, the exact opposite happened, in part due to something nobody saw coming in 1992: the internet. By the end of the 1990s the deficit had vanished and the biggest surplus in my life was created. Thanks, Bill Clinton!

After the 2000 election shitshow, and the likely theft of the 2004 election, I was CERTAIN the GOP would steal 2008. But…some Black man with a funny name won.

In short, I have learned that it’s hubris to predict the future.

Tonight, decent people across the land have been dealt devastating news. But what seems sure to happen…might not. Because history proves, over and over, that things have a way of unfolding unpredictably.

So, while I feel punched in the stomach tonight, I’m gonna press pause on predicting What Will Unfold.




  1. Cindy Belanger on September 18, 2020 at 9:41 pm

    I will miss Ruth too, her legacy is one to be honored. It will take a special person to replace her integrity and wisdom. I hope to God McConnell doesn’t get his way and appoint his pick for a Supreme Court nominee. If Obama wasn’t allowed to do it, neither should Trump/McConnell. Ruth told her granddaughter days before she died, “My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new President is installed.” Hopefully we can honor her wish.

  2. Lisa on September 19, 2020 at 8:56 am

    I agree with all of this, Ross.

    I am very much looking forward to a blue tsunami!

  3. Beth H. on September 19, 2020 at 10:07 am

    Thank you for this, Ross – you sound almost like my (much older) father-in-law, whom we lost in early 2019. He was also a historian, and even taught classes in history once he retired from business. He could pull me back from the edge whenever depression threatened over the state of our country ‘under’ trump’s boots. I’ve missed his historical perspective on things so much – he had lived through the Depression, WWII, the Korean War, McCarthyism, the unrest of the ’60s and the Civil Rights movement, Vietnam, Nixon… all of it, and he always provided the perspective that the country ALWAYS recovered.

    I’ve had trouble feeling that perspective, myself… and last night did send me into a tailspin. I’ll admit I cried as though I’d lost a friend – and in many ways, it feels like that.

    The thought that trump and McConnell were all but tap-dancing last night at the loss of this incredible woman makes me want to vomit.

    I am deeply worried for my daughters, coming of age in a country that, more and more, seems to want to take away their rights and choices. Add in the fact that they are not white and Christian, and I worry for them in everyday situations… every time I hear the POS “president” say things like “China virus” or “kung flu”, he paints a target on my Asian daughters’ backs. I fear a backslide in LGBTQ rights (also something that will affect my family), reproductive choice, voting rights… everything that makes an enlightened, liberal society a good place in which to live.

    And the hypocrisy of McConnell makes me hope there’s a REALLY fiery hell waiting for him… with a room on the level where they keep the hottest part of the fire.

    I’m lately finding a strong need to believe in hell and karma, even though I am not a religious or spiritual person by nature, at all. I just want to feel better, hoping that there will be some payback for those who’ve damaged our country this badly already.

  4. Karen Spencer on September 19, 2020 at 11:26 am

    Thank you for this dear Ross. This happened on the eve of Rosh Hashanah. Jews all over the world were dipping round challah bread and apples into honey, praying and hoping for a sweet year to come. There is symbology in the round shape…full circle…the nature of the seasons. It is the year 5781. I was really praying for a sweet new beginning for all of us.

    I think everyone was particularly devastated by Justice Ginsberg’s passing on this holiday. Her family will always feel a sadness on Rosh Hashanah.

    But I am still praying for a sweet start to a new and much better cycle.

    We can all take a cue from RBG‘s energy, and keep fighting like she did her entire life.

    Let’s all be at the march for RGB outside the Supreme Court tonight in spirit if we can’t be there in person.

    And most importantly, vote!

  5. Pat on September 20, 2020 at 10:55 pm

    Ginsberg could have retired under Obama, but didn’t. Hardly Trump’s or the Republican’s fault that a vacancy happened right now. And we can thank Harry Reid that 60 votes are not longer required for confirmation. The chickens are coming home to roost.

    • Ross on September 20, 2020 at 11:47 pm

      Hi, Pat!

      In a previous post, you did the same thing: classic whataboutism. This is when one hopes to deflect action from X by pointing at something someone else did. Whataboutism is particularly associated with Soviet and Russian propaganda. Whataboutism is a favorite with Republicans. “Who cares what I did! Look at what Obama did!”

      And this makes me so very sad.

      This post is, in part, about the utter perversion of democracy by Mitch McConnell. Eleven months before Obama’s term ended Mitch refused to have hearings on Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, making up a new rule that no Supreme Court nominee could be considered during an election year.

      Yet, less than two months before the 2020 election, Mitch has stated that that there will be a vote on the Senate floor regarding a Trump nominee.

      This is SHOCKING hypocrisy. This is a SHOCKING perversion of democracy.

      Yet you ignore this and instead blame Ginsberg! “Ginsberg could have retired under Obama.”

      This makes me so very sad.

      You also blame Harry Reid, who has nothing to do with my concerns addressed above.

      This makes me so very sad.

      How Ginsberg lived her live, and anything Reid did, are not the issues here. The issue is McConnell stealing a Supreme Court seat from Obama by making up a “rule” and then flouting that very “rule” when a Republican is president. Can’t you see this? If so, why are you unwilling to stay on topic rather than shout “Squirrel!”?

      Pat, do you think it’s OK for standards and rules to be applied unevenly for Democrats and Republicans? Or do you believe that both parties should play by the same standards and rules? If the latter, you, too, should be shocked by McConnell’s actions. But you don’t appear to care.

      Mitch will grant Trump the very same thing he denied Obama. THAT is the issue but, rather than address this, you are pulling, again, a Russian propaganda trick.

      So, yes, I am sad about this. And what you are doing is something every Republican I know does: ignoring or rationalizing the profoundly undemocratic actions of the Republican party by pointing at something a Democrat did and shouting SQUIRREL!

      I feel like crying.

      • Beth H. on September 21, 2020 at 8:46 am

        Exactly, Ross… and well-said. It’s ridiculous that Republicans can look at what McConnell is doing and say “It’s all YOUR fault!” The outrageous hypocrisy of making a rule that only applies to one party and not the other probably has our founding fathers spinning in their graves. These corrupt GOP senators will do whatever they want to keep power clutched in their dirty hands. If this was happening in any other country, we’d be looking at it from the outside and shaking our heads… and we’d be watching massive demonstrations in the streets. It will probably come to that here.

  6. Linda A. on September 21, 2020 at 6:36 am

    You hit the nail on the head, Ross. Well said as always. Facts are facts. The truth the truth.

    • Ross on September 21, 2020 at 10:31 am

      Thank you, Linda.

      I became all too aware of the Republican tactic of whataboutism during 2016.

      In talking with a Republican, I would ask: “How can you cast a vote for a man who is on tape bragging about sexually abusing women?”

      Without exception, the answer: “But Clinton got a blow job!”

      Every time, I would gasp. Then I would reply: “What are you talking about? Clinton had consensual sex. Trump sexually abuses women. These are sooooooooooooo not the same.”

      They didn’t care. And cast their vote for a sexual predator.

      I’ve never encountered whataboutism with a Democrat. Also in 2016, Hillary said something about another candidate. I fact-checked it and found out it wasn’t true. Rather than shrug and say Well, Republicans lie, I emailed her campaign and complained. I also stopped donating for two months.

      And this is why so many millions of Republicans manage to still support Trump and the GOP. They rationalize the almost daily horrors. I can’t help but think of Germany in the 1930s when many millions rationalized the horrors of the Nazis, thus allowing Hitler’s reign of terror.

      In short, if you see something awful, and look the other way, you are complicit. “There are none so blind as those who will not see.”

  7. Linda A. on September 22, 2020 at 11:52 am

    A very nice manager at a little shop that I frequent ( who is a Trumper) told me, ” I know what I know, so I don’t read anything or watch anything political”.

    That pretty much sums it up.

    They don’t want to know or learn anything. Or hear ( and maybe have to face up to) all the lies they are being spoon fed.

    My other Republican friends give the same rebuttal about Trump being a sexual predator by yelling about the Clinton affair too.

    I actually had (a friend) but also a client in my chair the other day who very vehemently declared that Hilary is a lesbian!! Well, I burst out laughing!!! For a long time!! Then I negated that statement and followed it up with, “And so what if she is?”

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