It’s Not Only Good Intentions that Pave the Way to You Know Where 

Ronald Turovsky
Partner with the law firm Manatt Phelps & Phillips in its Los Angeles office.

Hell appears to be filling up quickly these days.  And not just with members of the political class, although if you follow the news, political types apparently will make up a good portion of travelers there.  But given the mixed crowd that could end up in the same place, there will be some awkward moments.

Ivanka Trump said “there’s a special place in hell” for people who prey on children.  By that she referred to Alabama Senate Candidate Roy Moore, expressing her belief that he fell into that category.  White House Legislative Affairs Director Marc Short reportedly agrees with the premise, though not necessarily the conclusion, when he said there’s a “special place in hell” for people who commit sexual crimes against children, but noted that Judge Moore had not yet been “proved guilty.”  Since those who decide between heaven and hell presumably are not limited to the outcome of a jury verdict, and instead know for a fact whether he did it or not, Judge Moore may well be there either way, based on the premise.

What may make it awkward is that Judge Moore could find himself in the same place with Ivanka’s father and Marc Short’s boss, President Donald Trump, at least according to opinions expressed.  Many have noted that, based on certain allegations, he may fall into Judge Moore’s category of behavior.  But either way, if you believe Lin-Manual Miranda, for example, he will be there anyway.  After  President Trump launched a twitter attack on San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz, Miranda tweeted “You’re going straight to hell, @realDonaldTrump.  No long lines for you. Someone will say, ‘Right this way, sir.’ They’ll clear a path.”

He will need the clear path because the lines will be long.  According to Former Secretary of State Madeline Albright, “There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other.”  She apparently made this comment many times.  For a time at least it appeared on a Starbuck’s cup.  Notably, she said this at an event where she introduced then candidate Hillary Clinton.  It was widely reported that this was a reference to women who did not vote for Hillary Clinton.  According to Pew Research, 42% of women voted for Donald Trump.  42% is a lot of women, so plenty of room will be needed for this group of Trump voters.

And that is not all.  Several others have invoked that same phrase credited to Albright in other settings and swept more in.  According to Maureen O’Conner in The Cut, Taylor Swift applied this phrase to Tina Fey and Amy Poehler when they joked about Swift’s love life.  So that would bring in these two as well.  At least there could be some humor to offset Mr. Trump and Judge Moore and to entertain all the millions of female Trump voters.  Reportedly Amy Poehler responded to Swift’s comment by saying, “Aw, I feel bad if she was upset. I am a feminist and she is a young and talented girl. That being said, I do agree I am going to hell. But for other reasons. Mostly boring tax stuff.”  If we roll in tax issues, who knows how broadly the number will swell?  Taylor Swift reportedly clarified that her statement was not meant to target Poehler and Fey but was meant for “mean girls in general.”  That’s pretty open ended and might really swell the ranks.

In the movie Inglorious Bastards, a character played by Michael Fassbender says “there’s a special place in hell reserved for people who waste good scotch.”  The number this would include is uncertain, because what constitutes waste and good scotch are both subjective and the number does not appear to be quantified.  The twist is that Harvey Weinstein was an executive producer on that movie.  Many have noted that there is a special place in the same location for him.  And of course according to recent reports, he is not alone.  Others have noted there is a special place in hell for the female executives that allowed him to operate.  And of course many have compared Weinstein’s conduct to the President’s.  And so it goes.

Add all these people up and it could be a huge group.  The bad news is that Hell is being flooded with demand.  The good news is there will be plenty of controversy, many awkward moments given the mix, and plenty of talent to entertain the ever-expanding group.

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