Donald Trump
Credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

There’s not much to be said here that isn’t already obvious, but I would be remiss to round out the weekend without mentioning this latest outrage from Donald Trump, in which he speculates on the possible demise of Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor. In it Trump not only demonstrates his debased deficit of character and his vindictiveness, but also by extension his bizarrely inflated opinion of himself:

“OK,” one source told Trump, “so that’s two. Who are the others?”

“Ginsburg,” Trump replied. “What does she weigh? 60 pounds?”

“Who’s the fourth?” the source asked.

“Sotomayor,” Trump said, referring to the relatively recently-appointed Obama justice, whose name is rarely, if ever, mentioned in speculation about the next justice to be relaced. “Her health,” Trump explained. “No good. Diabetes.”

First, speculating on the deaths of public servants for political dignity is beneath basic human dignity, to say nothing of the dignity of the President of the United States.

Second, Trump is once again assessing women by their physical characteristics. Ginsburg must have one foot out the door because she is skinny. Sotomayor…well, we all know what’s going through Trump’s head when he thinks about Sotomayor. In reality, Trump himself is in far worse physical shape than either of the two justices mentioned.

But beyond all that, let’s say that through some calamity of fate Trump were to be able to nominate four justices. That would be no accomplishment of his own doing. Pushing a Supreme Court justice through a friendly Senate majority of one’s own party is one of the easiest things a President can do. Trump would get kudos from historians for doing so–it would be an accident, not an achievement. But it’s clear that in Trump’s mind this would count as a real coup for himself.


David Atkins

Follow David on Twitter @DavidOAtkins. David Atkins is a writer, activist and research professional living in Santa Barbara. He is a contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal and president of The Pollux Group, a qualitative research firm.