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NBC 'Historian' Tells Leftists How to Sell 'Court Packing' Scheme



On Saturday’s AM Joy show on MSNBC, NBC News presidential historian Michael Beschloss sounded more like a partisan Democratic activist than an allegedly neutral analyst as he fretted that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had “stolen” a Supreme Court seat from President Barack Obama, and that President Donald Trump might steal the Ruth Bader Ginsburg seat, as the NBC News analyst also advised liberals on how best to sell a plan to “pack” the Supreme Court with liberal justices by refraining from calling it “packing.”

As he began, Beschloss suggested that the Founding Fathers failed to foresee that an officeholder like McConnell would “not do the right thing” and that the Founders had therefore “let us down” when they designed the federal government: “John Adams … said that, in a republic, there has to be a government of laws, not of men. …but he wasn’t entirely right, and the Founders somewhat let us down because our system is not invulnerable to people who do not do the right thing.”

He then took aim at Senator McConnell as he added:

 

 

Let’s say that someone else had been the Republican leader other than Mitch McConnell in February of 2016 — you might not have had a Supreme Court seat stolen from Barack Obama almost a year before he was going to leave office. And I think we may be seeing the same thing right now — one more stolen seat that may — historians may think in the future — may belong to the next President if there’s a new one after Donald Trump in November.

He soon advised Democrats to “pack” the Supreme Court with additional seats held by liberals, but advised them against calling it “packing” to make it an easier sell. After recalling that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt tried unsuccessfully to add seats to the Court to make it more liberal in the 1930s, he added:

It was called “court packing,” by the way, in a derogatory way. And so I’ve been hearing, actually, the last couple of hours, some people saying we should “pack” the courts. I think let’s call it “court reform.” I think what we are always looking for is something that makes the Supreme Court and other institutions more responsive. The Founders lived in an age when the average age that people lived was about 40 years. They didn’t anticipate that people might live until 90 and have these enormously long Supreme Court terms.

Host Joy Reid then hyperbolically suggested that the United States government is headed toward a political imbalance similar to Apartheid South Africa as the country’s population trends toward concentrating disproportionately in a smaller number of states:

 

 

I am concerned about the pre-current South Africanization of American politics, meaning that, you know, before Apartheid ended, a very small percentage of people in South Africa — white South Africans controlled, you know, the 15 percent controlled the 85 percent. We are getting very close to a time when 30 percent of our population will get 70 of the 100 Senators and will have more power essentially than 70 percent of the country who will live in about 15 states.

Beschloss voiced agreement with her concerns and reiterated his belief that President Trump would be improperly stealing Ginsburg’s seat on the Supreme Court if he succeeds in filling it this fall.

This episode of AM Joy was sponsored by Chevrolet. Their contact information is linked.

Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Saturday, September 19 AM Joy on MSNBC:

11:15 a.m. Eastern

MICHAEL BESCHLOSS, NBC PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: John Adams — as you well know just as well as I do — said that, in a republic, there has to be a government of laws, not of men. Now, he would say men and women, but he wasn’t entirely right, and the Founders somewhat let us down because our system is not invulnerable to people who do not do the right thing. Let’s say that someone else had been the Republican leader other than Mitch McConnell in February of 2016 — you might not have had a Supreme Court seat stolen from Barack Obama almost a year before he was going to leave office. And I think we may be seeing the same thing right now — one more stolen seat that may — historians may think in the future — may belong to the next President if there’s a new one after Donald Trump in November.

(…)

BESCHLOSS: And in 1937, Franklin Roosevelt was frustrated by some of the same things that we’ve been hearing about, you know, the last day, the Supreme Court’s inability to change, and he said the Supreme Court should be expanded. His plan was turned down by the Senate. It was called “court packing,” by the way, in a derogatory way. And so I’ve been hearing, actually, the last couple of hours, some people saying we should “pack” the courts. I think let’s call it “court reform.” I think what we are always looking for is something that makes the Supreme Court and other institutions more responsive. The Founders lived in an age when the average age that people lived was about 40 years. They didn’t anticipate that people might live until 90 and have these enormously long Supreme Court terms.

JOY REID: Yeah, and the other thing, you know, and I am a bit obsessed with this concept. You know, the country was founded, you know, by men who presumed that only men who looked like them would ever govern. Not even their wives or daughters, right? It was just going to be men like them. And so much of what history has done has proven how right — how short-sighted they are, right? I am concerned about the pre-current South Africanization of American politics, meaning that, you know, before Apartheid ended, a very small percentage of people in South Africa — white South Africans controlled, you know, the 15 percent controlled the 85 percent.

We are getting very close to a time when 30 percent of our population will get 70 of the 100 Senators and will have more power essentially than 70 percent of the country who will live in about 15 states. That’s where we’re going population-wise. Is it time now for, you know, if Democrats get the opportunity and have the Senate and the House and the White House to rethink the structure of the way that we govern, meaning adding D.C. and Puerto Rico as states, expanding democracy in terms of the Voting Rights Act in a very aggressive way because I’m not sure how we can survive this way if we pre-you know, the end of Apartheid South Africanize our politics.

BESCHLOSS: Yeah, I think all those things should be explored, and I think it’s inevitable that they will be. And also something like, you know, one remedy is maybe 18-year term limits for Supreme Court justices so that if Donald Trump decides to help himself to a Supreme Court seat this fall that many historians in the future might think actually belongs to a next President if there is one, that person will not be sitting on the Supreme Court necessarily for the next 50 or 60 years.



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