06 April 2017

Some observations on the stolen seat

As we now know, Senate Republicans have abolished the filibuster for Supreme Court nominations in order to confirm Gorsuch by a simple majority, for the seat they stole from Garland (thus also robbing Obama of his right to a nomination).  Some observations:

• Republicans must have felt under tremendous pressure, maybe even from Trump himself, to get something done.  From ACA repeal to Trump's budget to Flynn, it's been one fiasco after another.  They're desperate for a success, any success.

• Once the filibuster's gone, it's gone.  From now on, whichever party holds 51 Senate seats, or 50 plus the Vice Presidency, can do whatever it wants with Supreme Court nominations.  Why would that party ever vote to give up that power by reinstating the filibuster?

• For the 2018 election, the Senate is now of supreme importance.  A net gain of three seats would give us the majority.  It's a tall order since few Republicans are up for re-election -- but the President's party usually takes losses in a midterm, and this is the most incompetent and unpopular administration in living memory.

• If we do regain the majority, the power it brings must be used to the utmost.  In my view, if there is another Supreme Court vacancy, our Senators should refuse to consider any nominee Trump (or more likely Pence, by then) sends them.  Hold the seat for the next President as the Republicans did, even if that means a vacancy for two years.  Never mind that they claimed they did that because it was an election year -- we and they both know that's a flagrant lie, and there's no need to pretend otherwise.  It will be retaliation in kind, and well deserved.  Our Senators should make it clear that there is only one exception -- the only case in which we would confirm would be if the "President" re-nominates Garland, the man who should have been on the Court all along.  Otherwise, we wait.

• Expecting our Senators to have that much backbone might seem unrealistic, but my sense is there are a lot of people pretty angry about today's development -- mostly because of the seat Gorsuch will take being stolen from Obama's nominee.  That anger can be channeled into public pressure to stiffen our Senators' resolve.  Pressure has worked, even on Republicans, on issues such as the ACA repeal and the Congressional Ethics Office.  It can continue to work.

• Finally, what have the Republicans really gained?  They've replaced Scalia with -- another Scalia, and one who's not even as extreme as the original on some issues.  They've just restored the previous status quo, and not quite even that.  The seat should have gone to Garland, a centrist, who compared to Scalia would have represented a real shift our way.  But if we've gained nothing, neither has the enemy.

3 Comments:

Blogger Rational Nation USA said...

Thoughtful interesting post.

OT:You've been added to my link list at Rational Nation USA.

08 April, 2017 03:24  
Blogger Shaw Kenawe said...


From everything I read about him, Merrick Garland is a centrist, not an ideologue. Yet he wasn't given the normal courtesy of even bring his name up for a vote -- never mind a hearing. The McConnell senate majority even went so far as to promise that if Hillary won they would never ever allow one of her nominees for SCOTUS to be given a hearing.

The GOP senate, IMO, is nothing more than a Mafia-like group of ideological thugs who don't care a whit about the Constitution. Gorsuch will be sitting in a stolen seat.

As I said, the GOP is nothing more than a criminal group of Mafiosi-like thugs.

08 April, 2017 07:45  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Rational: Thanks, I appreciate it.

Shaw: They've shown they will use absolutely any tactic they can get away with, to get what they want. We need to treat them the same way. And Fight like hell to beat them in 2018 and 2020.

08 April, 2017 10:36  

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