Every time Lucy told Charlie Brown she’d hold the football, he bought it. He believed her. But then she’d yank it away again. Ted Olson, the former Republican Solicitor General who has drifted left over the last number of years, has taken to the Wall Street Journal to be Charlie Brown to the Democrats’ Lucy.
Olson has the audacity to write
As unlikely as it might be, Republicans could make Merrick Garland’s nomination a turning point. But it cannot be a unilateral cease-fire. If they are willing to consider Mr. Garland on the merits, Democrats would in exchange have to commit to consider future Supreme Court nominees with the same level of courtesy, decency and respect when a Republican occupies the White House.
What a fool. We have been here repeatedly.
Compare the Republicans in the Clinton Administration and their treatment of both Justices Breyer and Ginsburg. The GOP tried to return the Senate to normal practice at the time. Then, when Bush came into office, the Democrats used the pretense of a very divided nation to hit the brakes on civility in confirmations. By the way, the Ginsburg vote was 96-3 and the Breyer vote was 87-9.
The Democrats began filibustering President Bush’s judicial picks and even after Bush’s sweeping re-election that followed the GOP gaining seats in Congress in unprecedented fashion, the Democrats continued to obstruct, delay, bully, and harass. The GOP, instead of scuttling the filibuster hammered the Gang of 14 plan to roll through confirmations. Democrats sabotaged it.
Then, when Barack Obama took office, the Democrats did blow up the filibuster for judicial appointments, except for the Supreme Court — an act about which they savaged the GOP for even considering a few years ago.
Olson has moved left over the years and he thinks Garland is a reasonable pick. Garland would not only affirm the gay marriage decision that Olson fought so hard for and Garland would walk back rulings on the second amendment that Olson would lose no sleep over.
For the first time in its 73 year history, the National Federation of Independent Business has come out against a Supreme Court nominee. Garland is that bad. The NRA opposes Garland because he would reverse the Heller decision on gun rights if given the chance.
If the Democrats really wanted to show they were willing to restore “courtesy, decency, and respect” to the process, they could have decided to either (A) not consider a Supreme Court pick in an election year for the first time in 100 years or (B) announced that for the sake of depoliticizing everything the President would nominate someone who would maintain the ideological split on the court and let the next President consider a shift with Ginsberg’s retirement.
But no. The Democrats decided to use Garland’s pick to incite its base, incentive the politicization of the nomination process, and beat up the GOP.
It has backfired. No one gives a damn about Merrick Garland and the issue has done nothing to help the Democrats. So now they’re forced to trot out Ted Olson as their version of a “reasonable” Republican to suggest that if the GOP just goes along with this pick, just this pick, the Democrats will stop pulling the same antics they’ve been pulling since Robert Bork sat down before the Senate Judiciary Committee in the 1980’s.
Good grief, Charlie Brown.