Charles Blow in the New York Times: Democrats need to grow a spine.
Democrats must oppose Gorsuch on principle. Democrats have grown too soft. They are still trying to fight a gentleman’s war in the middle of a guerrilla war. Their efforts to reach across the aisle keep being met by hands wielding machetes; their overwhelming impulse to take the high road ignores the fact that Republicans have already blown up the bridge on the high road.
Democrats want to point to the civility and decorum with which government is supposed to work, but this ignores the fact that government is broken and completely overtaken by the people who broke it.
Some people worry that if the Democrats filibuster this nomination in the Senate, it will only force the Republicans’ hand to employ the “nuclear option” — change the rules so that the nominee would need only a simple majority to be confirmed. The logic goes that this would mean Trump would have an easy route to confirmation should another vacancy arise on the court during his tenure, a vacancy that could shift the balance of the court, unlike this one.
I say let them. In fact, make them. They are likely to confirm this nominee anyway. What liberals don’t want is to have Democratic fingerprints on this political crime scene. Make the asterisk president’s nominee become an asterisk jurist, the only one confirmed under an altered set of rules.
Ask yourself: how did the Republicans get back into power after the election of 2008 when Barack Obama won the White House and the Democrats held the Senate? They fought back with organization and a determination that you had to admire for its power even if you hated what they stood for. We all laughed at the Tea Party folks — and they deserved much of the derision — but they channeled it into a mid-term election in 2010 that they went for as if their lives depended on it.
It can work both ways, and it has for the Democrats in the past. And unless they want to spend the next four, eight, or twenty years shaking their heads and complaining about how hard-core the right wing is, they need to be just as hard-core. So it might get them yelled at by Trump and his minions. Good. That means they’re getting to them.