Predictably, there is a resounding quack, quack, quack, from those disaffected Obama supporters who are considering sitting out the 2012 election or doing something radically futile like voting for the Green Party. That is, of course, their choice. Who knows, maybe Ralph Nader will dust off his frumpy get-up and give it one more try. But there is one reason, and a very compelling one at that, for setting principal aside and supporting the re-election of President Barack Obama.
Sometime during the next presidential term, one or more Supreme Court justices will either retire or die. There is an exceedingly-small, but finite possibility that one could be impeached. Whoever is president at the time will nominate candidates to replace these individuals. Given the current makeup of the court, the thinly-veiled partisanship of the Conservative bloc, and the aftermath of the Citizens United case, a single judicial appointment could have more profound consequences than anything that happens in the halls of Congress. Many (not including me) consider the current Court to be evenly balanced with Anthony Kennedy as the swing vote. The retirement or demise of one Liberal or Moderate judge, and replacement by a true Conservative, would make the notion of a balanced court a thing of the past. One could then count on a steady stream of 6-3 decisions in favor of corporate America and against working America; in favor of the culture war waged by the religious Right, and against women and minorities. You get the picture.
With demographic factors weighing heavily against Republican domination in the future, the Conservative Establishment is desperate in its attempts to cling to power. One way is to elect their candidate for president and pray for the retirement or death of a Liberal or Moderate Supreme Court justice. If the past is any indication, weak-kneed Democratic senators cannot be counted on to have the resolve to oppose the nomination of extreme Conservative ideologues. The only reliable bulwark against an enduring, monolithic Conservative judiciary, is the election of Democratic presidents.
On this basis, it is imperative that Democrats unite to re-elect President Barack Obama. His Supreme Court appointments have been thusfar satisfactory to the majority. He knows what is currently at stake and no one is more aware of the palpable political leanings of justices Roberts, Alito, Scalia, and Thomas. The Citizens United decision is just the beginning. There is a laundry list of regressive policies that the GOP would like to put in place and undoubtedly, some of the legislation that they are likely to pass will have questionable constitutionality.
Think about who will ultimately make that call.