TV

Judge Judy Thinks Revolution Is "Fiscally Impossible"—It's Actually Inevitable

In an appearance on MSNBC on Tuesday, Judith Sheindlin made a weak case for Bloomberg and against Biden and Sanders

Judge Judith Sheindlin—better known as Judge Judy—appeared on MSNBC on Tuesday to advocate for her preferred "Democratic" candidate, Mike Bloomberg.

As well as being an actual judge, Judge Judy has won over 25-years of daytime TV viewers by dispensing no-nonsense "justice" in a "small claims court" that essentially awards small cash prizes to people willing to air their dirty laundry in public. It was recently announced that this year will mark the final season of Judge Judy, but that doesn't mean that Sheindlin is done inflicting her pithy opinions on the public. Until her new show Judy Justice arrives next year, she will have to content herself with appearances on cable news in which—in her signature fashion—she can dispense with any suggestion of nuance and reduce complex issues to gut reactions and snarky quips.

judge judy smarter

Using those methods on MSNBC on Tuesday, Sheindlin quickly dismissed the candidacies of Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden. Sanders, in her view, only offers "a fantasy," and Joe Biden is "a really nice guy" who will be vulnerable against "a street fighter" like Donald Trump. According to her, as soon as Trump gets on stage with Joe Biden, he will "bring up all the things that the other Democratic candidates at debates did not" and likely tank his candidacy. That may be true. Joe Biden is older than Donald Trump and has a history of supporting racist policies and interacting with women in ways that make them uncomfortable. Trump could use that ammunition to deflate enthusiasm for Joe Biden and undermine many of the strongest arguments against Trump himself. But what about Mike Bloomberg?

Somehow Sheindlin seems to have overlooked how all of these criticisms apply just as well—if not more so—to her favorite candidate, whom she refers to as "a man who knows how to see a problem and incrementally get it fixed." Not only can Bloomberg be attacked on the basis of a record that suggests both racism and sexism, he is also an out-of-touch Wall Street elitist who banned soda in NYC. On top of that, he has already shown himself ill-equipped to respond to those criticisms coming from the likes of Elizabeth Warren—so he's not exactly a "street fighter."

Judge Judy umm

So why has Sheindlin decided to endorse a presidential candidate for the first time in her career? Maybe Sheindlin, who makes around $50 million a year as the star of Judge Judy, has another motive in supporting the only ultra-wealthy candidate who is still running as a Democrat. Hmm… Perhaps her opinions on Bernie Sanders will clarify things.

What would it mean if Sheindlin referred to Bernie's policy proposals as "fiscally impossible" and claimed that it has failed "wherever it's been tried on a large scale"—despite the fact that similar policies can be found functioning in nearly every developed nation on Earth? Could it be that Sheindlin is out of touch with the ordinary struggles she pretends to adjudicate in a fake court room for a salary of tens of millions? Is it possible she's just promoting the candidate she thinks will defend her nearly half-a-billion-dollars of wealth against the grubbing hordes she lords over on TV and in life?

Sheindlin went on to cite Bernie's limited electoral accomplishments as proof that he can't get things done, because he has only passed "seven bills in 30 years … [which] is not a really great track record." Having pushed for decades for the kind of sweeping change that was anathema to the political establishment, it's true that Sanders' name appears on far more amendments than full-fledged bills. While his supporters see this as an argument for giving him the power to force the establishment to grapple with his progressive ideas, to Sheindlin it means that Bernie is "fooling the people out there who are struggling into thinking that he's the answer. He's not the answer."

Judge Judy shut up

Whatever the case, 2016 proved that voters are not particularly impressed with people who "get things done" within a system the public sees as corrupt and diseased. While Sanders' electoral and political "revolution" may not come to pass, revolution of one form or another is far from "impossible"–it's inevitable.

During her appearance, Sheindlin noted that young people always seem to want revolution. As long as there is injustice, and as long as young people are divested from the status quo, that will be the case—as it was in the American colonies of the 1770s, France of the 1780s, Russia of the 1910s… Young people push for revolution, and every once in a while revolution actually happens. It's inevitable in every culture, and it's been creeping closer around the world. Short of political change on at least the scale of the New Deal, a generation faced with the prospects of catastrophic climate change and a lifetime of economic serfdom will not quietly settle for business as usual.

Revolution—in one form or another—is coming for your wealth, Judith. And Mike Bloomberg can't save you.

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Happy Birthday, Elliott Smith: The Indie Rock Legend's 10 Best Songs

The singer-songwriter would have been 51 today.

JJ Gonson

Today, August 6, 2020, Elliott Smith would have turned 51 years old.

Smith was born in Omaha, Nebraska, raised in north Texas, and spent a good portion of his life in Portland, Oregon before settling in Los Angeles. Before his sudden and mysterious death in 2003, the prolific singer-songwriter released five studio albums of poignant, rootsy indie rock, with his sixth studio album and a compilation of rarities being released posthumously. He became known for his dismal lyrics—often referencing his mental health and substance abuse habits—and his distinctively whispery vocals, which he often double-tracked to create an eerie, textured ambiance.

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TV

My Secret Crush: Judge Judy

I'd often fantasize about the stability Judge Judy might be able to instill in my disjointed life.

CBS

After 25 seasons, Judge Judy⁠—the TV courtroom show starring the eponymous Judge Judith Sheindlin⁠—is coming to an end.

While discussing this monumental event, I let slip a deep, dark secret to my co-workers, a secret that I've never dared utter before: I might have a crush on Judge Judy.

My editor said I should write about it but then quickly retracted her approval. "Don't be creepy about Judge Judy," she said.

"The other day, we published an article about John C. Reilly's hot son," I said. If commenting on the hotness of John C. Reilly's (grown man) son isn't at least a little bit creepy, then me talking about my very real emotion-driven crush on Judge Judy shouldn't be creepy either.

Judge Judy has been a mainstay on daytime television for the vast majority of my life. She's 77 years old and has been presiding over her televised courtroom since 1996; I'm not even 30. I'm also in a committed relationship, and to be clear, I'm absolutely not saying that I would give up everything for the chance to date Judge Judy. Moreover, Judge Judy is married, so I doubt she'd be interested in dating me, anyways. No, my crush on Judge Judy isn't a youthful, naive, "throw caution to the wind" kind of crush. Rather, it's the kind of crush that develops almost out of necessity.

Judge Judy CBS

As a senior in college, I interned on a TV show called The Soup that centered around comedian Joel McHale making fun of humorous clips from other TV shows. While higher-ups on the totem pole mined current TV shows that viewers actually cared about, interns were tasked with finding "evergreen" content from daytime TV that could be used anytime, because nobody actively watched any of it. Thus, I got saddled with Judge Judy.

So for five months, I went into an office every other day, brewed myself a cup of coffee, and strapped in for six-to-eight hours of Judge Judith Sheindlin's no-nonsense judging.

Now might be a good time to note that I'm a deeply indecisive person, to the extent that my indecisiveness borders on pathological. Deciding what to order on Grubhub or picking a TV show to watch on Netflix is more than enough to send me spiraling into decision paralysis. Oftentimes, we're attracted to people who possess traits that make up for our own shortcomings, so naturally I was drawn to Judge Judy's perpetual sense of conviction.

Judge Judy had the uncanny ability to look at a case and know within minutes—sometimes even seconds!—who was right and who was wrong. Some defendants might have walked in with a smug demeanor and an "I didn't do anything wrong!" attitude, but Judge Judy always made sure that the bad apples got what they deserved.

"Don't pee on my leg and tell me it's raining," Judge Judy would say to slimeballs who attempted to lie in her courtroom.

As I watched episode after episode after episode of Judge Judy, I'd often fantasize about the stability Judge Judy might be able to instill in my disjointed life. If she could pinpoint an abusive ex-spouse with a single glance, she could also say, "We're ordering Chinese tonight" without a second thought. And if she was capable of discerning lies practically before they were even spun, she could definitely say, "Just put on The Office." There could never be nonsense on Judge Judy's watch. Judge Judy's time was precious—so unlike my own, as I spent day after day witnessing the carousel of liars, cheats, and thieves in her courtroom.

Eventually, my internship ended, and I never watched an episode of Judge Judy ever again. And yet, anytime I hear the name "Judge Judy," I'm hit with a strange sense of comfort. Perhaps my feelings are not directed at Judge Judy, the person, so much as the idea of Judge Judy, an almost mythical figure representing competence and conviction. Maybe amidst a life plagued by indecision and insecurity, the presence of Judge Judy feels like a bedrock of sorts, like no matter how hard things get, someone will know the right thing to do. Perhaps that someone is Judge Judy.

Or maybe I just think Judge Judy is kind of hot.