brian_clareyby Brian Clarey

I strongly suspected there would be a fantastic October Surprise in the 2016 election season, but I had no idea it would come in February.

I thought the October surprise this year would be the indictment of Hillary Clinton, which still might come to pass whether she’s done anything wrong or not. Or maybe that a birther movement inside the GOP would neuter the campaign of the Canadian Ted Cruz — excuse me, I mean Rafael Eduardo Cruz — or a Michael Bloomberg candidacy that would throw all the math into sparsely charted territory.

Long money had Trump slapping someone during a town hall meeting, which I believe still might come to pass.

But who could have foretold the passing of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia — I mean, besides anyone familiar with the general lifespan of husky Italian-American men? Seriously, the guy was just a few weeks shy of his 80th birthday, and definitely next in line on the SCOTUS deathwatch, because the over/under on Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the only justice older than Scalia, has got to be 100.

It’s a tricky spot for the strict constitutionalists of the right wing who like the idea of the Barack Obama appointing three of nine justices to the highest court in the land even less than they like the idea of the Big O himself.

I’m watching my conservative friends squirm on social media as they run through worst-case scenarios — most of which involve a repeal of the Second Amendment and other serious delusions.

I like the one where Obama gives the seat to Hillary Clinton, which is why she had Scalia killed in the first place.

Of course the Republicans will try to run out the clock on Obama’s appointment, which would make it the longest such circle-jerk in history — but that’s a serious gamble, too. One could only speculate who a President Donald Trump would appoint to the court. Rudy Giuliani? Regis Philbin?

And if we have either another Clinton presidency or a Sanders administration, each would have to consider the constitutional lawyer with Oval Office experience for the job.

African-American men as a rule don’t live quite as long as Italian-American ones do, but we would still have a good 20 years of Justice Barack Obama. By then, there will be nothing left of Donald Trump but a few tufts of hair.

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