From the Editor: RBG, BD’E


Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away last Friday night, the first night of Rosh Hashanah 5781. In the aftermath of her death, the country is in an uproar that is so forceful it pushed the ongoing struggle with the pandemic to the sidelines.

By Larry Gordon

Changes are always challenging to deal with, but I have to say, reluctantly, that in the aftermath of the death of Justice Ginsburg, Democratic pronouncements are downright alarming.

It is no longer just a matter of the preference for power and leadership, which is understandable. What we are witnessing today on the part of Democratic leadership is nothing less than a mad dash to enact extreme change for this country and to redefine America.

When you consider the items that are on the Democratic agenda, it can easily induce serious concern and even sadness for what might become of this great country should the Democrats achieve any success in November.

First of all, the current Supreme Court crisis is more the fault of Justice Ginsburg than anyone else.

Ruth Bader was born in Brooklyn and attended Madison High School on Bedford Avenue and Quentin Road. Her father was an immigrant from Odessa, Ukraine, and her mother was born here in New York. Her mother’s parents were immigrants from Krakow, Poland. While her family was not very observant, she often said her Jewish background made her sensitive to discrimination. Her family were members at the East Midwood Jewish Center on Nostrand Avenue in Brooklyn. She coauthored a book on women’s roles in the exodus from Egypt, and she had a framed photo on her office wall that read, from the Torah, “Tzedek, tzedek tirdof.”

She was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2009 at the age of 76, when Barack Obama was president. Justice Ginsberg could have retired at that time — or any time thereafter — and had a Democrat president appoint a replacement who shared her legal positions and philosophies. One of the main reasons Justice Ginsburg did not retire at the end of the Obama administration was because she was so certain that Hillary Clinton would win the presidency in 2016. It was a colossal miscalculation. During the 2016 campaign, Ginsburg commented about the possibility of Donald Trump winning the presidency by saying that if that happened, she would consider moving to New Zealand. She later apologized and said that those comments were “ill-advised.” Supreme Court justices, or any judges at any level, have no business inserting themselves into the electoral process.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg 2016 portrait
Credit: Supreme Court of the United States

According to news reports, she told her granddaughter prior to her death that she wanted her replacement selected by whoever is elected on November 3. Presumably, if she said that, she was assuming that Mr. Trump would not be reelected. That sentimental final request has no impact on the law or the ability for the president to go forward with a potential nominee and even Senate confirmation.

This evolving battle over selecting the next Supreme Court Justice seems to be yet another aspect of a magical presidency filled with an array of unprecedented events and experiences. On the downside is the ongoing national struggle with the coronavirus. On the upside is what many so-called foreign-policy experts thought was impossible for any president to accomplish — achieving peace between Israel and an array of Muslim countries in the Gulf.

Trump’s next great feat will be winning reelection on November 3. Democrats have long been counting on what they consider to be an aberrational presidency fading away after these four years. Part of that same magic, however, is that Democrats are strengthening the Trump campaign for reelection, the exact opposite of their intentions.

One of the most telling displays of Democrat intent was the appearance the other day of our senator, Chuck Schumer, not alongside his usual sidekick Speaker Nancy Pelosi, but instead with first-term congresswoman and one of the most visible agents of the radical left, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of the Bronx and Queens.

Our man Chuck, who has graced the dais of numerous Jewish organizations and yeshiva dinners, largely patronizing our community, is trying to lead the charge that reworks the direction of this country. Schumer might be salivating over the prospect of becoming Senate majority leader if Democrats managed to win the Senate on Election Day.

As Schumer perceives that his star is rising, for many of us that perceived star of his is descending. Not only has he been a disappointment time and again, but the person with whom he chose to hold a news conference the other day, Representative Ocasio-Cortez, will in all likelihood run against Mr. Schumer two years from now.

Schumer has been so wrong on so many things to the point that it is difficult to calculate. Recently, as President Trump continues to garner Arab signatures on peace agreements with Israel despite Palestinian obduracy, Schumer is still talking about a two-state solution — meaning a hostile Palestinian state, not just on Israel’s borders but directly within the Jewish state.

One of those new things that he is so terribly wrong about is the legal and proper way that vacancies on the Supreme Court are filled. The high court, as it is known, is about interpreting laws that flow from the Constitution, which is the blueprint and the guiding document that has been the bedrock of our democracy over all these years.

If the president is a conservative and if the Senate has a conservative bent, that is an expression of the will of the people. But, you say, that might not be the case on January 1 or on Inauguration Day, January 20. The response to that is that the president is obligated to deal with the here-and-now, not the maybes or what might be in the future, whether that is two years or two months from now.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the great jurist and daughter of Brooklyn, New York, served our country well. Her memory should be a blessing for this country and a tribute to a great life that was lived. Instead, Chuck Schumer and company have turned this into partisan political football. Talk about fumbling at the goal line.

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  1. B’H
    Two days after my introduction to Ms. Anna Franses, the woman whom I didn’t suspect will become my beloved wife 11 days later (8/29/1970), and after her consent to follow me to New York (the drama was taking place in Volos, Greece, on my maiden trip to my homeland from which our family fled 14 years earlier, and when I was 12 years-old! Leaning back, my thumbs inside the vest I was wearing, I “confessed” that I was in love before. Impressed with my honesty, she admitted, “of course, you’re so tall, and handsome, a real catch.” Of course, I smiled at the repeated ironies, “playing me,” yet going along. Until, I saw that she wouldn’t have it, assuming that another member of the fair sex would always have hold a portion of my heart. Getting up to leave, ending any prospect for tying the knot, nevertheless, stopped at the door, and turning to me, desiring to satisfy her curiosity, she demanded to know what woman could command such hold over me; besides, why would I want to marry her? Pulling the string to its maximum limit, for I had not mentioned a person in blurting out my prior deep affection, I blurted, “the English language!” “Ah,” Anna cried in delirious satisfaction, “is that it, continue to be in love with the language of Shakespeare!”
    This introduction , serves to underscore my impatience with people who should know better than to misuse English diction, style, and sow confusion between adjective and noun. The perpetrator-in-chief — as in so many violations of law, morality, Constitutional norms, ensconced in the executive mansion that he has turned into the whites’ house — has also modeled the mangling of our precious tongue; nowhere more obvious than Trump’s insistence to call the Democratic Party, the Democrat Party; a tick that the publisher-editor Larry Gordon of the grossly misnamed 5T (un)Jewish Times exercises in yet another unprofessional hatchet job. The subject of his misbegotten attention is the recently-departed distinguished, and honored trailblazing Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader-Ginsburg, z”l.
    In his pea-sized understanding of the firestorm created by Trump’s insistence to hurry the nomination of her successor, 40 days before a pivotal national election, wrongly placed by the editor on the Democrats’ ledger; they, wishing to have the slim Senate Republican majority, where the nomination must be confirmed, abide by the devious rule pronounced in early 2016 by the same Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), that a President should await the outcome of a scheduled balloting, before such a consequential decision is made on a lifetime appointment! Only a person further being enabled by his cultists to undermine in our precious democracy 244 years in the making, would have the chutzpah to often declare that neither is he inclined to accept the results (unless favorable to him), nor assure us that he will cooperate in the smooth transfer of power, were he to lose! Here’s something to be truly alarming, and I so assert as a moderate-progressive-liberal Republican, in league with the growing Lincoln Project — a GOP group pledged to resist and oppose Trump’s reelection — and the much larger United States of Anxiety, acute, now more than ever, due to such shenanigans as illustrated by the deficient reporting as contained within the pages of the 5TJT, and not only! This pretentious editor claims that the Democratic leadership is intent “to enact extreme change for this country and to redefine America.” Without a sound historical perspective, Gordon doesn’t appreciate that a dynamic society changes organically overtime, to expand the “common welfare,” while becoming inclusive of people previously left behind. There’s little doubt, in their time, Gordon would have opposed Social Security as being Socialist — or, worst, Communist — Medicare, Medicaid, the Affordable Care Act, all related to improve health, and eliminate the fear that attends serious illness. Of course, no mention of the welcome strides in Civil Rights, correcting the fundamental wrongs that attended America’s original sin, slavery, begun in 1619, now part of a Project so named to finally overcome the neglect, and inherent systemic racism. The small-minded editor becomes unnecessarily nervous, concerned and saddened “for what might become of this great country should the Democrats achieve any success in November.” Does he say anything about the unique occurrence at the Republican National Convention where, for the first time, no programmatic planks, making a platform were issued; instead, a la examples of sociopaths, and narcissists who have brought misery wherever they traversed, it’s Trump’s Party now; and the non-existing plans for a second term (or even a third, and fourth), will be whatever this incipient despot will define them to be — running our glorious nation by the seat of his increasingly baggy bags. There’s a point which we can agree, however, more the result of vanity, than nefarious ill-intention. During our scandalous-free, celebrated, blessed President Barack H. Obama’s second Administration the eminent jurist — a champion of women’s rights and equality in opportunity, remuneration, reproductive decisions — and with her health beginning to waver, was gingerly suggested that she retire, and make possible the ascension of a similarly-minded individual. With the likelihood of a Hillary Clinton victory, she clearly waited too long, as the unexpected results placed a person singularly unfit-incompetent-ignorant-intolerant-bigoted-disloyal (to spouse and nation) in the Oval Office. Her wish, expressed by her daughter, and given how near we are to a Presidential choice, was that the next President be able to pick her successor! Casting aspersions on the deceased for being a Conservative Jew — as Gordon does by also excluding Sephardim, Reform, Reconstructionist, and unaffiliated coreligionists from his pages — Justice Ginsburg, z”h, had Trump well-pegged; for thinking that New Zealand would be a good place to relocate were he to win four years ago. That impolitic statement was later withdrawn. Scattered-brained, the publisher, then refers to the unrelated Abraham Agreement, where two Arab statelets, never in combat with Israel, exchanged diplomatic relations. No mention of the need to settle the Palestinian issue along a two-state plan, available since the UNGA voted in Resolution 181 for precisely this Solomonic decision; it has always been there, and the coming Biden-Harris Administration, enjoying more popular trust and confidence, will be better positioned to deliver a long-for peace. But first, let us vote, and in a predicted landslide, end the aberration that has embarrassed and shamed our glorious America since 2016. Inshallah.
    With fraternal affection, Asher


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