The Democratic base is not in the mood to compromise with racism and misogyny, let alone cater to Republicans after their unprecedented theft of the right and responsibility to fill the Supreme Court seat left vacant last February. After eight years of deliberate obstruction under President Obama, the base overwhelmingly wants Senators to block Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Judge Neil Gorsuch.
According to a YouGov survey, Democrats want senators to block Trump’s nominee by 52/13.
Poll — Democrats SHOULD/SHOULD NOT filibuster Gorsuch…
18-29s: 34/19 pic.twitter.com/3QhglucFk8
— Will Jordan (@williamjordann) February 8, 2017
Independents are “neutral” on the topic at 22/32 and Republicans 12/59.
Liberals want the block by 56/12 and 18-29s want it 34/19.
The country deserved to have President Obama’s nominee, Judge Merrick Garland, but Republicans decided to make up a new rule to excuse not even giving this man, who is respected on both sides of the aisle, a hearing last March.
Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) shamed himself and his party by falsely claiming the people should be allowed to weigh in by waiting for the next president to fill the seat. This was the reason for his refusal to allow Obama the legitimacy of his landslide election, and indeed his denial of the people’s choice.
But of course if that were true, then McConnell would not now allow Trump to choose a Supreme Court nominee, since the people spoke loud and clear and they did not choose Trump. An additional fault with McConnell’s logic is that the people had already chosen Obama, and in his choice of Garland he rewarded their faith in him. But the Republicans destroyed that, not content to even give a hearing to a true independent.
The conservative LA Times is among a majority of papers who were appalled by the Republican theft of Obama’s right to fill this seat. In January of this year, they wrote, “When the GOP stole Merrick Garland’s Supreme Court seat, they set the stage for a miserable battle.”
“The outrageous obstruction of Merrick Garland’s nomination to the Supreme Court — the 10-month-long stonewall by Senate Republicans that not only stymied the high court’s ability to do its job but effectively stole the nomination of a new justice from President Obama — is now delivering its rewards to the cynical politicians who carried it out.”
The issue here is that Republicans have given Democrats no choice. If Democrats cave on this, they are saying there is no cost to Republicans violating rules and tradition, undermining democracy when it suits them.
What is at issue here is not just the Supreme Court, so in that sense it wouldn’t matter who Trump picked. The issue here is that Republicans have shown they will not do their jobs and will not respect any power a Democrat holds. This is to say that Republicans have become anarchists, as the country wasn’t designed for single party rule for good reason.
Democrats have no choice but to block Trump’s nominee for two years. Republicans made this mess, and Democrats can’t fix it. All they can do is stand up for democracy by refusing to enable the theft.
Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer has shown an unusual fitness for the position of moral resistance, so it is possible that this Democratic Party is not the Democratic Party of before. If they fight this as a unit, Democrats will be sending a warning shot that the days of Democrats giving in to Republican thefts because they value cooperation are over.
One does not cooperate with thieves, especially thieves with approval ratings in the toilet.