Take It To the People

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March 10, 2016 11:39 a.m.

We’re listening to the Senate Judiciary meeting discuss the Republican refusal to hold any hearings on President Obama’s forthcoming Supreme Court nominee. (You can see running updates in Livewire over to the right.) The number of phony historical precedents, misleading analogies and just flat out bullshit Republicans are coming up with is frankly amazing – not surprising but amazing in its creativity. Everybody knows what’s happening. Everyone knows this is an entirely new thing. The stakes are high, yes. Everybody gets that. Apparently high enough to completely upend the practice of two centuries and at best ignore clear constitutional injunctions. But this again demonstrates that there’s no point talking to people who are committed to bullshit.

Republicans say, “Let the people decide,” ignoring the fact that the people already did decide. They elected President Obama President until late January of 2017.

But again, there’s no point talking to people who are committed to bullshit. So here’s a better idea: let’s let this play out for endangered Senators in purple states. There’s no power to compel Republicans to follow the rules. The only resort in our system is to the ballot. Republicans can talk all they want about polls. But they know the public is against them on this. They know this will likely cut against Senators in purple states, many of which are already in close races.

This is why Republicans are now publicly threatening any potential Obama nominee because they know that once there’s a nominee this will hang over their necks for months. It’s gotten so unhinged and desperate that their public statements are sounding creepily similar to how wife beaters rant at their abused spouses: Don’t make me hurt you!

This has been the rationale for the GOP’s SCOTUS “three nos” from the beginning. Stop the process before it gets underway in an election season because it will endanger embattled Republican senators who make up the margin of majority for Senate Republicans. If Republicans can get the President not to nominate someone – the political issue all but goes away. Now having failed to do that, they’re trying to scare off potential nominees.

So yes, there’s no point talking to people who are committed to bullshit. Hold the the Senators up for reelection in the purple states accountable. It’s the right thing to do.

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