There’s growing talk among Republicans in the Senate that they won’t consider judicial nominees from a President Hillary Clinton ever.
This all started when Antonin Scalia died last February and the GOP immediately announced that they would hold off consideration of a replacement until, to them, they got a real president in office. But now that the likelihood is that the Democrats will once again win the White House, well, they won’t allow anyone to be considered. So they’re going to uphold the Constitution by shitting on it.
Why are they being so confrontational? Does it not occur to them that someday the tables could be turned and the Democrats would do the same thing to a Republican president?
I think there are a couple of reasons why they think they can do this. First, they know that the Democrats wouldn’t be such assholes, and if they were, the Republicans would be all over them, screaming like banshees about “defying the will of the people” and weeping crocodile tears about how those meanies are stomping on “the rule of law.” We saw this kind of sanctimony when the merry band of adulterers and whoremongers were impeaching Bill Clinton so we know they’re capable of it. Nothing gets you on Fox News faster than righteous hypocrisy, and the more blatant the better.
Second, I think upyernoz at Rubber Hose makes a valid point: the Republicans know that it will be a while before there’s another Republican president.
Currently, the Republicans are at a real disadvantage whenever there is a high turnout election like presidential elections are, and the electoral map gives the Democrats an inherent advantage each presidential election (i.e. the Blue Wall) Those disadvantages are bound to get worse for the Republicans as demographic trends are decreasing their core voters’ share of the electorate while increasing the share of minorities who tend to vote Democratic. The Republicans could try to change the map and make a play for those minorities by catering to their concerns (as the Republican’s autopsy report for the 2012 election advised them to do), but this election has pretty clearly demonstrated that the Republican base won’t tolerate that. So what that leaves them with is a losing hand in every presidential election for the foreseeable future.
Once you assume that Republicans probably won’t recapture the White House, the premise behind compromising on Supreme Court and other judicial appointments evaporates. The growing Republican opposition to letting any Democratic nominees on the court is part of the realization of Republican weakness in the Presidential race.
In short, they don’t need the White House to get what they want. They have called the tune for the last six years through government shut-down, blocking judicial appointments, gerrymandering the House into guaranteed safe districts, and then blaming the Democrats for nothing getting done, knowing their constituents will not only believe it, they’ll keep re-electing the same people while they chant “Throw the bums out!” It’s always somebody else’s bum they want thrown out, though.
The Republicans all say it would be wonderful to have one of their own in the White House. But that would mean they would have to actually get things done, like create jobs, repair the infrastructure, reform the tax code, fix the immigration system. It’s a lot easier to sit in the cheap seats and piss and moan; why ruin a good thing?