So, the inevitable has happened. The octogenarian cancer patient (not just any cancer, pancreatic cancer, one of the worst kinds) is no longer among the living.
What happens next is that Trump will nominate a replacement, and the Senate will promptly commence the process of approving the nomination. No other scenario is even remotely plausible, sorry.
In response, Democrats need to announce a plan to unpack the Supreme Court that Trump has packed*, by expanding the number of justices on the Court, and to announce that they will put this plan in motion should RBG’s seat be filled before Inauguration Day.
Mind you, the most likely result is that the Republicans will fill the seat anyhow. If so, well, the Republicans can’t say they weren’t warned.
I must reiterate that all of this is not the path of least resistance, which is for Democrats to pitifully plead for the Republicans to be nice, the Republicans to give a middle finger in response, and for the Democrats to refuse to play hardball in retaliation. The Democrats will only do the right thing reluctantly, if compelled to by massive pressure; their specialty, and their natural inclination, is to bring knives to gun fights.
* And yes, this is how it should be phrased. As unpacking the court. Not packing it. Reject the Republicans’ narrative and put forth our own: A court with three justices nominated by a president who lost the popular vote and has never once been above water in the opinion polls is a court that has been packed.