Packing the Court: A Modest Proposal
As we wait for the fray over the Supreme Court nominee to commence, it’s proving hard for politicians, pundits, and prognosticators to suppress the urge to speculate on the eventual lucky contender.
“Lucky,” wiser heads are thinking, is a poor word choice. Sure, there is an upside to being tapped on the shoulder to serve--it’s a chance to get a job for life. One in which your primary duty is to sit on your ass and pretend to pay attention.
Most Americans don’t care what you do, or even know who you are. You can mock lawyers and they don’t dare talk back to you. And you can go commando under a swanky dark robe while pulling in more than $160,000.
I’d consider minimum wage for that kind of opportunity.
On the other hand, the eventual candidate will have his or her life sliced and diced like no one since Jeff Gannon. Remember Clarence Thomas? We learned more about pubic hair “jokes” than we cared to know. Remember David Souter? We found out that he was closer to his mom than Oedipus. Remember Robert Bork? We were treated to reports about his video rentals, of all things. (Surprisingly, the revelation of his utter lack of taste in renting “Ruthless People,” starring Judge Reinhold and Bette Midler, was NOT the turning point of his nomination hearings.)
Let’s just say that if the press and the party hacks had this much fun tearing folks apart in the 1980s and 1990s, it’s not going to be a cake walk for any Supreme Court nominee this time around.
Thus, I propose that the President consider nominees who are unlikely to receive this level of scrutiny, who will please both sides of the aisle. How about folks without a long history of legal opinions to be savaged on the Senate floor? Why not candidates who lack the ideological “liabilities” that the talking heads swing at like political piñatas?
So without further ado, behold this writer’s humble suggestions:
1. Britney Spears. The poster child of the left five years ago--for promoting sex with minors who dress as prepubescent eye candy for horny middle-aged men--our little Brit has gone and got all growed up. She’s now married and is procreating while still young, which should please the religious right.
2. Tom Cruise. He’s handled both British pranksters’ cruel squirting microphones and Matt Lauer’s brutal interrogation techniques with aplomb. He speaks with authority on issues ranging from the dangers of America’s ignorance about drugs to America’s obsession with drugs to America’s reliance on drugs. And “Cocktail” proved that he will be able to handle his liquor as well as anyone in Washington (except for Ted Kennedy).
3. Will Ferrell. “Kicking & Screaming” solidified his place as one of the finest actors of our generation, perhaps of all generations, and a seat on the high court would place him in the same high stratum of comedy-actors-turned-public-servants as Congressman Fred Gandy. He gets bonus points for being able, in coming years, to recruit to service on the federal bench his SNL buddies Jimmy Fallon, Tim Meadows, and Horatio Sands--thus reducing the nation’s unemployment rate.
I’ll be the first to admit that other, more mainstream candidates may have better “credentials” and more impressive “jurisprudential experience.”
And I have no doubt that voices in the Senate, in the media, and in my head will claim that inserting pop culture into the Senate would be dangerous, placing our nation on a slippery slope.
And maybe they are right. This trend might lead us to something truly preposterous--like a pro wrestler or a bodybuilder movie star becoming governor somewhere.