I see that Justice Antonin Scalia has once again been kind enough to advise us to get over Bush v. Gore. Fat chance.
I’ve got a better idea: why don’t you, Justice Scalia, try facing up to the fact that the disgrace of that decision — the raw partisan abuse of power — will stain you and the other four justices who made up the majority for as long as the history of this era is recorded.
Now, you get over that.
The comments that follow borrow extensively from something I wrote about Sandra Day O’Connor — a much more sympathetic figure, by the way — on the occasion of her retirement. But this updated version is just for you, Justice Scalia.
I’m sure you’re familiar with the old expression, popular both in retail merchandizing and neoconservative empire building, “If you break it, you own it.”
Well, you and your colleagues broke American democracy in December of 2000: Now you own George W. Bush.
As the people who put him into power, his legacy is your legacy.
You own it lock, stock and barrel.
You own the War in Iraq.
You own the foreign policy that’s left America hated throughout the world.
You own the incompetence of allowing Osama bin Laden to escape by refocusing our armed forces from Afghanistan to Iraq.
You own the corruption of the multi-billion dollar boondoggle no-bid contracts handed out like candy to Bush’s political friends.
You own the torture.
You own the ballooning national debt.
You own the lies.
You own the practice of using the Sept. 11 attacks for political gain.
You own Karl Rove.
You own the near complete disregard for our natural environment.
You own the dirty tricks.
You own the degradation of our civil liberties.
You own the slander directed against anyone who dares oppose Bush.
You own the failure to even try to address Global Warming, potentially the single greatest threat ever to confront humanity.
You own the tax giveaways to the super rich.
You own the outing a CIA operative, potentially placing everyone she’s ever worked with into danger, merely to score a little cheap political revenge.
You own the practice of filling up regulatory boards and commissions with industry insiders.
You own the near dictatorship level obsession with governmental secrecy.
You own the growing economic inequality in America.
You own the failure to even try to address America’s broken healthcare system.
You own the playing politics with stem cell research.
And you own the far right extremists Bush is appointing to the federal bench.
You own the betrayal of New Orleans.
You own the junking of the American economy.
You own the corruption.
All of this, and so much more, belongs to you now.
To be clear, your contribution to many of these sins goes far beyond Bush v. Gore. The infamy of your tenure on the Court has been anything but one-dimensional: but this is the one history will remember.
You see, Justice Scalia, you didn’t just put the losing candidate into the White House in 2000; you put there the worst president in American history. And that is something that will never be forgotten.