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

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Merrick Garland

The choice of Garland is quintessentially Obama.  It's reasonable in the face of unreasonableness.  It's moderate in the face of immoderation.  It's self-denying in the face of selfishness.

I was of a mind that Obama should nominate a person who forced the GOP to make a demographic statement.  Srinivasan would have fit that bill.  Garland puts them in a tricky spot, because he is clearly a moderate, clearly not an appointment designed to break barriers.  He is the best the GOP could hope for, which makes their obstinate behavior all the more vivid.

But the problem with this is that they have taken a stand upon an invented "principle."  The person, said Mitch McConnell, doesn't matter.  This will play poorly for a bit, but eventually, the rank injustice and unprecedented nature of this will disappear behind the veil of "both sides do it" and "opinions differ."

And if - as I suspect - Hillary Clinton gets elected, hopefully with a Senate majority, if Garland's name is still out there, expect the Senate to quickly ratify his nomination before Clinton can nominate a younger, more liberal jurist.

I was hopeful that the Obama who is "out of fucks to give" would have picked a fight.  Instead, he has appealed to the better angels of men who are entirely driven by fear of their right flank and wedded to an ideology of delegitimizing the President.  We will see if this works to his advantage or not.  I'm not certain that taking the high road in 2016 is the proper move.

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