Kelso: Too many people think politics comes first

Updated Feb 20, 2016

For some, nothing takes precedence over politics. Not death, not taxes. Did I say death? Yep, even death.

Scarcely an hour after it had been announced that Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia had approached the final bench, so to speak, out in Marfa, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., announced he’d stop President Barack Obama from picking his replacement.

I’m thinking the EMS guys are trying to find a pulse, and McConnell’s first thought is to mess with Obama.

Why? Maybe McConnell is afraid Obama will pick Jon Stewart or Bill Maher to take Scalia’s place. Anyway, McConnell made it clear that we’d have to wait until a new president was elected before anybody was nominated, if he had his way.

Where are our priorities here? Isn’t this sort of behavior a bit tacky? Shouldn’t there be a three-day waiting period on politics when somebody, you know, shuffles off to Buffalo? I’m hoping when I croak somebody doesn’t call from the newspaper to tell me I’m missing deadline.

But certainly no time was wasted in Scalia’s case. No in lieu of flowers. No we are gathered here today. No fond memories of the sharp-tongued litigator.

OK, so McConnell was grieving. He was grieving about losing a conservative advantage at the Supreme Court.

See, Scalia was a bit, uh old-fashioned when it came to interpreting the Constitution. Look at it this way: If Scalia had been a plumber, we’d still be using the outhouse.

My friend Robert Falcon, who has two funeral homes, one in Waco and one in Austin, says he’s never seen people “posturing themselves” this quickly after a death. To hear him tell it, this may have set some kind of funereal land speed record.

“Goodness, the body hadn’t even got cold yet,” Robert said. “Out of respect for Justice Scalia, let the family have a little bit of time.”

And it wasn’t just the politicos, Robert added. He has a couple of Facebook pages. He says that as soon as Scalia’s death was reported, people were discussing the conspiracy.

You’re asking, “What conspiracy?” There’s always a conspiracy, right? And this one was ripe for it.

A Supreme Court justice who holds the balance of power dies in Marfa, in the middle of the boondocks. And there’s no autopsy? That close to the Marfa Lights, those mysterious twinkles that dance on the horizon right after sundown?

Maybe Hillary sent a spaceship and kidnapped the body, right? There must be some sort of foul play.

Robert told everybody on his Facebook pages to chill out.

“There’s a bunch of people who are upset that the body wasn’t autopsied,” he said. “There doesn’t have to be an autopsy if the judge sees fit, if there’s enough evidence from a doctor that an autopsy is not necessary. And this guy wasn’t showing up at the gym and looking up on Facebook to see if he’s doing the workout of the day. Too many people watch CSI and too many crime shows on TV.”

Yep, and there too many people who think that no matter what, politics comes first. It doesn’t.