It’s really sad to read the script for the latest–and most heinous–capitulation by the GOP-controlled Senate, knowing you’ve read this story before. It’s sad until you realize how angry you are that this is about to happen all over again.
Daniel Horowitz has seen this movie before and here’s the spoiler.
Yesterday, the dominos began to fall. While Sens. McConnell, Hatch, and other senior leadership members were still talking tough, liberal Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV) announced his support for Obama to put forth a “consensus” nominee. And although Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), the Majority Whip, reiterated his desire that the next president fill the vacancy, he said that holding hearings is entirely up to the Judiciary Committee Chairman and scheduling a floor vote is entirely up to McConnell.
These might sound like insignificant chinks in the armor, but remember we are only a few days into this battle and Obama has yet to put forth a name. There is no doubt he will nominate a “consensus” pick. Unlike on the right, the liberal legal field has a plethora of candidates with high commendations, a successful career, a thin record on the bench, yet the full confidence of Democrats that they will rule our Constitution unconstitutional upon assuming office.
We’ve seen it again and again. Debt ceiling, Planned Parenthood funding, Obamacare, Iran. The cast never changes, and the script is predictable, and we keep falling for it.
At that point, it will become a slow bleed. You will see Sens. Murkowski, Collins, Kirk, and other liberals join with Heller and call for “fair hearings.” (How eerie that just two weeks ago, I called for Sen. Grassley to be replaced because his spot on the Judiciary Committee Chairman is too vital for someone so fickle.) Grassley will undoubtedly cave to pressure and that will get the ball rolling. And once the nominee goes through the meat grinder of confirmation hearings, how can he not get a floor vote? To that end, the weakest members of the committee, beginning with Lindsey Graham, will likely vote the nominee out of committee and onto the floor.
I read Horowitz’s words and deep inside, I know that this is going to happen, pretty much the way he’s framed it. The GOP has the backbone of an octopus eating a jellyfish. If it wasn’t for the fact that the party exists in state houses around the nation, there’d be no Republican Party at all.
Next Wednesday, McConnell has set up a meeting to discuss having discussions on nomination hearings. While publicly opposing the process, as Horowitz wrote, “the writing is on already on the wall.”
Leaderless, blind, purposeless and servile, there’s no fight the leaders we keep electing to Washington D.C. aren’t willing to lose. Letting Donald Trump destroy the GOP is beginning to look more attractive, because if they can’t stand up against a lame duck President Obama, they won’t follow a strong conservative in the White House either.
If the GOP allows Obama to appoint Justice Scalia’s replacement in the last year of his term, the party is finished at the national level. Just call them Whigs.