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The Democrats Should Fight Fire with Water

With the Republican Party fully beholden to a demagogue who is bent on dismantling American democracy, it is understandable that the Democrats would countenance radical measures like increasing the number of Supreme Court justices if they return to power. But any reform that undermines institutions will be self-defeating.

CAMBRIDGE – When US President Donald Trump spoke of “American carnage” during his inauguration speech in January 2017, few could have known that he was offering a preview of what would follow over the next four years. Now, on the eve of the US election, right-wing militias and neo-fascist groups like the Proud Boys are roaming the streets and “monitoring” polling places on Trump’s behalf.

Witnessing all of this, Democrats and independents are right to be dismayed and angered, not just at Trump, but at the entire Republican Party. Having absorbed Trump’s agenda, the GOP is now wholly complicit in his war on American democratic institutions and the electoral process.

After refusing even to consider President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland, in March 2016, Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is currently forcing through Trump’s nominee to fill the seat vacated by Ruth Bader Ginsburg when there is only a month to go before the election. This cynicism has convinced some on the left that it is time for the Democrats to fight fire with fire, including by increasing the number of Supreme Court justices if they reclaim the Senate and the White House.