I did not watch the State of the Union last night. Aside from the late hour, I had no interest in watching commentators congratulate Trump for not flinging poo at the audience. The thing is, events like the State of the Union are the quintessential shiny objects that reporters love focusing on while the stuff that matters - like yesterday's confirmation hearing for an attorney named Neomi Rao to something called the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals - are far more consequential.
The federal judiciary is being altered in ways that most people do not understand or appreciate, but will have significant consequences for all of our lives for the next 20, 30, or even 40 years. In ordinary times, the rotating possession of the White House between a Democrat and a Republican results in (rough) balance on the federal bench, but Trump, along with Senate Republicans, threaten to tilt that balance severely to the right because they are pushing through judges at a record rate. If Trump only serves one term, it may not be catastrophic, but if he sticks around for eight years, it could result in the greatest change in our jurisprudence since the New Deal. But none of that matters to the "serious people" in D.C. All they care about is that Trump said some nice words last night.
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