Blog Credo

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Sunday, February 14, 2016

The Politics Of SCOTUS

Mitch McConnell has already stated that the Senate will not fulfill its constitutional responsibilities and even hold a vote on Obama's replacement for Antonin Scalia.  Let that sink in for a moment.  The "argument" they make is completely scurrilous, but since when has that mattered for them?  They aren't even having a hearing on Obama's budget this year.

All of this creates a political opening for the President and the Democratic party.

If the GOP is going to mindlessly obstruct every possible nominee, then cycle through two or three sacrificial lambs.  And make the politics hurt.

I would start with Godwin Liu.  He's quite liberal and probably would have been rejected by the GOP Senate even if they were willing to hold a vote.  But OK, start with him.  Let the GOP reject the first Chinese-American Supreme Court justice because he's...what exactly?

Then move on to Sri Srinivasan.  He's the favorite anyway, but you send him up after the Senate shot down Liu.  Now the GOP will be in the position of rejecting the SECOND Asian-American justice, because he's...I'm sorry, what's the problem with him again?

If they follow through and block Srinivasan, then you throw out a Jane Kelly, Amy Klobuchar or - if you're feeling really fiesty - Pam Karlan.  By this time, it will be the fall and the third rejection by the GOP of a candidate - this time a woman - will feed into all the retrograde things the candidate is saying about the GOP.

And I can't help but think that this battle will play to Clinton's advantage in the primaries.  The composition of the SCOTUS was always the primary prize in this election for the Democrats.  Bernie's "revolution" isn't happening.  But here is a salient issue for Clinton to point to and say: "We can't afford to gamble on a Sanders nomination.  There is a vacancy staring the new President in the face on January 21st.  We can't let Trump or Cruz or Rubio fill that vacancy."

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