Mitch McConnell probably didn’t sleep well last night. He probably hasn’t slept well for the last few days. The reason is Donald Trump’s insistence that if he can’t get the 60 votes to confirm Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch, he needs to push the button and go “thermonuclear”, dropping the rule to filibuster Supreme Court nominees. Harry Reid, in a move that is biting Democrats in the ass did the same thing with non-high court appointments.
McConnell shouldn’t do it.
The reason is simple. It’s the same reason Harry Reid was an idiot for doing it. Yes, he was able to confirm a few federal judges (which was his goal), but in the meantime, he gave the Republicans the ammunition to blow up the nomination process once Trump got elected and to also delay any nomination Obama made after the nuclear option was put into play. It was a stupid move overall.
And if McConnell does it for the nominees to the high court, and there could be one or two more in Trump’s first term, he’s going to put Republicans on the short end of the stick up the road when they don’t have a majority in the Senate. IF McConnell decides to go that route, which he has said he doesn’t want to do, then he will be ok probably for the next four years, as there are 10 “red state” Democrats up for reelection in 2018. The odds are that the GOP will actually pick up seats in the off-year election.
Meanwhile, the question remains for the Democrats, why fight over Gorsuch? He’s replacing Antonin Scalia, one of the most vigorous conservatives the court has seen in decades, with another conservative. So why waste political capital on him? Wouldn’t it be better to fight the next pick, which probably will come when liberal justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg either dies or steps down? THAT is going to be the time to go all out and fight like mad in order to keep the court “neutral”. But then again, if that happens after 2018, and Ruth hangs on that long, and the Dems lose the 10 red state seats, they won’t have to worry about a nuclear option…they’ll have 61 seats…enough to close down any filibuster out there.
I’ve heard the argument that the Senate snowflakes are going to punish Gorsuch because of the Republicans’ denying Merit Garland a chance to at least get a hearing. I get the tit-for-tat on that one, but it still doesn’t make sense. He’s going to be confirmed, and to waste time and energy fighting that fight wastes political capital they are going to need. Save your ammo for the bigger fights that are looming on the horizon. Of course, we’re also talking about Chuck Schumer here, who isn’t the brightest bulb in the box. He’s straight out of the 1960’s SDS playbook world.
It would seem to any second grader that can correctly spell their name that to fight over Gorsuch is a) a losing cause because the GOP is going to get the nomination one way or another and b) there is more than likely going to be another nominee coming down the pipeline within the next couple of years that the snowflakes are going to want to fight harder at. The problem, as with all snowflakes? They usually melt.
Carry on world…you’re dismissed!