Let’s get this out of the way right off the bat: Anyone telling you that blocking this Supreme Court pick is possible is flat-out lying to you.
If Democrats come out and say, “We’re blocking any Supreme Court pick Donald Trump nominates,” all Republicans will do is kill the filibuster — and that’ll be the end of that. Not only will Trump’s pick get approved, killing the filibuster (which is going to happen — more on that in a minute) will remove practically any kind of power Democrats have in Congress.
Unfortunately, the filibuster is the only thing Democrats really have right now to rein in anything Republicans want to do. Once Republicans kill that, they really don’t even need to show up to vote, because it’s not going to matter a whole lot. Not unless Democrats can convince at least three Republican senators to side with them in opposition to something the GOP wants passed — and good luck with that.
Taking a stance that Democrats will filibuster any Supreme Court pick Trump nominates is just going to make the inevitable happen much sooner on an issue that most people aren’t going to care about in a few weeks/months. Clearly, Republicans blocking Barack Obama’s Constitutional right to replace Antonin Scalia didn’t do a whole lot to help give Democrats power back in Congress, or keep the White House, did it? So why some on the left think picking this battle now makes sense is beyond me.
Donald Trump (or any Republican, for that matter) picking this Supreme Court was one of the main reasons why — nearly two years ago — I began writing articles warning liberals that the 2016 election was the one election we couldn’t screw up. It’s why I wrote numerous articles throughout the Democratic primary encouraging people to “vote blue, no matter who.” It’s why I didn’t hold back expressing my opinion of those “Bernie or bust/Green Party” people on the left who foolishly thought Hillary Clinton was “as bad, if not worse” than Trump.
Just like in 2000, too many on the left complained about the “liberal purity” of the candidate, ignored the dire warnings from everyone else that the Republican alternative was going to be a nightmare, and a Republican was “elected” despite losing the popular vote.
Now all the horrors that everyone who spent months, if not well over a year, telling everyone who’d listen “vote blue, no matter who” said would happen, are happening — and there’s almost nothing legislatively we can do to stop much of any of it.
Should Trump’s Supreme Court pick be allowed? No, I don’t think so, for a few reasons:
- This was Barack Obama’s pick and it was stolen from him by partisan politics simply because Republicans could.
- Republicans in the Senate were already threatening to block any Supreme Court nominee Clinton chose had she been elected. Sen. Ted Cruz even argued that the court was fine with just eight Justices.
- This election is one of (if not the) most tainted in American history. From Russian hacks, to ridiculous FBI letters sent to Congress just before the election, to the “loser” getting 3 million more votes than the “winner,” Trump’s “win” is the weakest and most controversial we’ve ever seen. A “win” that was only possible because of a foreign government attacking this country.
Now, just because I don’t believe Trump should get the pick doesn’t mean I support this “block any nominee he chooses” attitude I’m seeing pushed by far too many on the left. Again, if that’s the stance they’re going to take, then the only thing Democrats will have accomplished is killing the filibuster sooner rather than later.
I’ve also seen some say, “Well, since Republicans filibustered so much, and blocked Obama’s nominee, that’s why we should do the same thing.”
Anyone making that argument clearly doesn’t know what the hell they’re talking about.
When Democrats controlled the Senate, there was very little point in getting rid of the filibuster. Republicans controlled the House, so no meaningful legislation was going to get passed, regardless. Which is also what gave Republicans the ability to abuse the filibuster — they controlled the House, so they had “backup” when it came to legislative fights over bills.
However, if (when) Republicans kill it, then all they’ll need is a simple majority vote in the Senate to send their legislation over to the House (where it will pass), and Trump will almost certainly sign it.
So, no, the circumstances aren’t the same as when Democrats controlled the Senate — and that’s a key reality too many on the left pushing this nonsense aren’t reminding folks about.
As I’ve said repeatedly in this article, it’s only a matter of time before Republicans kill the filibuster. Meaning that if we’re going to force them to do that, it needs to be done on a major piece of legislation where we can say, “Republicans wanted to force a terrible bill on Americans, we opposed it, they killed the filibuster, and now there’s no check on their power.”
While it nauseates me that Trump’s going to get to make this selection, if Democrats simply “obstruct no matter what,” that does nothing more but give Republicans the line, “See, they’re blocking anything Trump does out of spite, so we have to get rid of the filibuster to end the Democratic-caused gridlock.”
And it’ll work because that’s what it’s going to look like and the filibuster will die without anyone but those of us who really pay attention to politics (which isn’t most people) caring.
We must be smart about this. Remember, we’re less than two years from having the opportunity to give Democrats back power in Congress. We have one shot at “picking our battle” that will likely force Republicans to finally get rid of the filibuster. We have no choice but to be shrewd with our decision.
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