What a country

Feb 14 2016 Published by under General Politics

A Supreme Court Justice has passed away. The Pesident has promised to nominate a replacement, per his Constitutional obligation. The Republican controlled Senate is insisting it will not confirm any nominee he proposes, in violation of their Constitutional and traditional role (advise and consent, not "nominate who we want"). The Republicans are also in violation of their own protestations about the President getting his way with such matters and how at the very least an "up or down vote" is required, back when George W. Bush was the President.

What a country.

Obama will now proceed to nominate the most moderate candidate that he can live with so that Dems can bash Repubs for obstruction. Supreme Court politics will be used all up and down the ticket for November.

Repubs will say that this failure for a sitting President to nominate a Justice completely antithetical to the will of the people who voted for him twice is some sort of horrible crime.

What a country.

22 responses so far

  • Jonathan Badger says:

    I suppose it would be futile appealing to the Republicans that the best memorial to a Constitutional Literalist would be to let the President make his choice and only serve in an advisory role, as per the Constitution

  • drugmonkey says:

    It is "advise" when a Republican President nominates and "consent" when a Democratic President nominates, JB.

  • Philapodia says:

    If they delay the nomination until after Jan 20, 2017, then either Hillary or Bernie should Obama up for nomination. THAT would really put the republicans knickers in a twist. He's still pretty young and I can't see him retiring to Crawford Texas to paint.

  • DJMH says:

    Sadly, it just makes me wish that Kennedy would pop off also, so that we would have a 4-3 majority and the Rs would be fucked if they do, fucked if they don't. Depressing.

  • k elliott says:

    "What a country". That's DM the sentiment that many citizens around the globe are expressing in the face of similar situations in their own country. Unfortunately!.
    It seems as if the true political sense in people feeling a call to serve has vanished. And to serve has evolved into me, me, me, me, and always me and my partisan interests!.

  • Microscientist says:

    Philapodia, he doesn't even have to wait until January. If the senate stalls on hearing through election day in November and the Dems win, I bet there will be rapid action to give Obama his moderate pick, rather than let either Bernie or Hillary pick someone else. If the Dems win back some senate seats, Obama could then after election day pull the moderate pick and send up someone really liberal. It's a dangerous game the Republicans seem to want to play.

  • odyssey says:

    The Rethuglican establishment has it's eyes on the end game. They're faced with a high probability that their nominee will not be palatable to many in the party and that will cause issues with voter turnout. Ensuring a SCOTUS appointment is on the line will stimulate R's to vote, even if it's for Trump or Cruz.

  • PaleoGould says:

    TBH, I think right now my home country is worse then yours on the "what a country" scale.

  • drugmonkey says:

    It's not a race to the bottom, PG. enough head shaking to go around. What are your politicians up to?

  • PaleoGould says:

    Drugmonkey: I know. But one of the advantages of checks and balances is that your guys can bluster w/o it turning to action. In our parliamentary system, when the conservatives get a majority in the house, there is literally almost nothing to stop them except the speed at which they can implement change.

  • DJMH says:

    WH - except that Schumer was vowing to "fight" any hypothetical nominees...nowhere in there does he suggest that nominees should not be voted on. Which is the nasty approach that the R's are threatening to take.

    It should also be pointed out that Schumer was saying this without there being any upcoming nominations at stake--it was in reference to new SC decisions overturning desegregation etc. So it wasn't being issued as a threat as the current McConnell pronouncments are.

  • WH says:


    To use Schumer’s exact words in 2007, “we should not confirm any Bush nominee to the Supreme Court.” While the optics are different, that would have the same effect as not voting on a nominee at all. It’s also worth noting he said that in the year *before* a Presidential election year. Furthermore, that same Senate began the use of pro forma sessions to block Bush nominees and also refused to pass a budget in 2008 until after the inauguration of a new president.

    All of those actions - along with the current Senate threatening to not vote on an Obama nominee - are awful. But this would play out the same way if the parties were reversed - except the opposite groups of people would be doing the complaining.

  • DJMH says:

    Not confirm is a world of difference from "filibuster or prevent them from coming up for a vote at all." It's not just optics, and you know it...it's precedent. Sure, Schumer shouldn't have said that, but it was an idle threat at the time, and remained so. Whether he would actually have pulled the BS that the Rs are pulling now is unknowable. You are making false equivalence.

  • WH says:

    I'm not sure how it's a "world of difference." In both scenarios, no nominee is confirmed. Seems like the exact same result to me.

    And do you honestly believe Ds wouldn't do the same thing Rs are now, especially in light of the instances I posted above?

  • DJMH says:

    Debate followed by voting down is very, very different than not allowing a candidate to be put forward. It is the difference between democracy and shadow government.

    Can't say what the Ds would or wouldn't do now, I suppose. But they never *have* done this. Even Bork, who carried out the firings that Nixon's top lawyers would not, got a vote.

  • drugmonkey says:

    Republicans believe in democracy the same way they believe in free markets.

  • Susan says:

    McConnell has been declaring Obama null and void since day 1. His stated goal was to prevent O being elected, then prevent him being re-elected, and a dozen other shut-him-downs in there including the ACA. There's nothing new to see here.

  • E-rook says:

    I think the Republicans will pay a political price if they truly obstructed for over a year in the confirmation of a Supreme Court Justice, the "common sense" talking points are just not in their favor. They can bluster in the short term to gain media attention, but I think their advisors will eventually tell them to allow a vote to confirm someone. I don't think the electorate will take it for too long.

    I think there'll some turning point where the obstructionism causes all of the head to head polls (any Republican vs Clinton ; any Republican vs Sanders) will be low enough that they will allow a vote to happen, the betting line is over/under on where that will be.

  • E-rook says:

    ...I should confess that my curiosity about human nature makes the unfolding of the story above more interesting for me to watch than it is to listen to anything that is currently coming out of their mouths.

  • drugmonkey says:

    Perhaps at some point the Republican calculation turns to the value of letting Obama have a moderate (and thus evading the obstruction charge) which they can then use to return to full-throated "we need a GOP Pres for the *next* one" rhetoric?

  • jmz4 says:

    I think it will hinge on how much of a disaster they expect in the fall. If it looks like they'll retain the Senate, they won't deal, even if another Dem is taking up residence in the WH.
    It was actually a little silly of the Republicans to tip their hand like that, because of course, Obama is going to play politics with this nomination as well. He's just going to nominate the most qualified and charismatic Latino he can find, and watch the Republicans sabotage themselves again. I half expect him to nominate Mr. Fluffy Paws, the Senator from the State of Rainbows and free pizza.

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