I suppose this is a futile reminder, since the Democratic party, prodded by the infantile “resistance” that the party lacked the courage and integrity to tell to shut up and shape up, has been engaged in one tantrum after another since it lost the Presidential election in 2016. In their determination to bake hate, anger and uncontrolled emotion into our once honorable political process, the Democrats have divided the nation, wrecked communities, and quite possibly damaged our democracy beyond repair. It has been opposition by tantrum, from the increasingly personal attacks on the President of the United States, to the contrived Mueller investigation, to the disgraceful impeachment sham. Of course the Democrats’ African American and extremist base would take the cue and expand the tactic into the streets, throwing a series of violent fits over isolated and ambiguous incidents that could be falsely characterized as typical, racist, and criminal.
Today, the metaphorical holding of breath and stamping of feet continued. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and the Democratic members of the Senate Judiciary Committee announced they will boycott Thursday’s markup of Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court, in protest of Republicans’ decision to move forward with President Donald Trump’s high court pick so close to Election Day. In this they are depending upon the public’s ignorance and amnesia, supported, as usual, by news media spin. What the Republican are doing with the Barrett nomination is exactly what Democrats insisted was the proper process four years ago. It is exactly what Democrats would do if the parties’ circumstances were reversed. It is constitutional and it is legal. Moreover, the nominee, Judge Barrett, acquitted herself with brio under Democratic questioning.
This is not a “we must protest an outrage and injustice” boycott. It’s an “Ooooo, we are just so darn mad that we can’t have our way!” boycott.
How petty and foolish.
The official statement just compounds the disgrace.
“This has been a sham process from the beginning,” the statement by Schumer and fellow Democratic Sens. Dianne Feinstein (Calif.), Patrick Leahy (Vt.), Dick Durbin (Ill.), Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.), Amy Klobuchar (Minn.), Chris Coons (Del.), Richard Blumenthal (Conn.), Mazie Hirono (Hawaii), Cory Booker (N.J.) and vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris (Calif.) begins.
How is it a sham? The hearings were held, and Democrats had the same opportunity the opposition party always has had to question the nominee, whom many minority members of the Judiciary Committee refused to meet with, violating Senate “norms” of comity, due diligence and fairness. I thought it was President Trump whom Democrats complained didn’t respect “norms”? A party not having the votes to defeat a Presidential nomination doesn’t make the process a “sham.”
The statement’s logic is lame and its words dishonest.
“Republicans broke the promises they made and rules they created when they blocked Merrick Garland’s nomination for eight months under President Obama. Then, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that ‘the American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice.’”
There was no promise and no rule. What Mitch McConnell said then or says now doesn’t created binding precedent, and the Democrats know that.
Now, Republicans have moved at breakneck speed to jam through this nominee, ignoring her troubling record and unprecedented evasions, and breaking longstanding committee rules to set tomorrow’s vote.”
This is just fantasy, again depending on the public’s ignorance, apathy, and gullibility. Barrett hasn’t had enough time on the appellate court to create a “troubling record.” By troubling, the Democrats mean “not progressive.” Her record shows her to be qualified and competent, and until Democrats changed that norm (with Robert Bork), such a record guaranteed confirmation.
“Throughout the hearings last week, committee Democrats demonstrated the damage a Justice Barrett would do — to health care, reproductive freedoms, the ability to vote, and other core rights that Americans cherish.”
This is an outright lie. “Would do”? There is no way to “demonstrate” how a potential justice will vote on cases yet to exist, and Barrett consistently refused to be drawn into hypotheticals, calling such conduct, correctly, unethical.
“We will not grant this process any further legitimacy by participating in a committee markup of this nomination just twelve days before the culmination of an election that is already underway.”
If the process was so illegitimate, why did the Democrats participate in the hearings? The ranking minority of the committee, Feinstein, actually went beyond legitimizing them to call the hearings admirable. Now, the Huffington Post reports, “Democrats are preparing to fill their empty seats with poster-sized photos of people who would be hurt by Barrett potentially casting a deciding vote against the Affordable Care Act.” Hurt by speculative votes by Barrett presuming the votes of the other Justices on hypothetical cases about which neither the facts, nor the legal issues, nor the litigants’ briefs and oral arguments!
In short, a tantrum.
32 thoughts on “Note To Senate Democrats: Tantrums Are Not Civil, Responsible, Professional Or Statesmanlike”
So Feinstein’s work to make the Democrats look reasonable has been thrown away.
Also, African American voters are becoming less Democratic.
I read this post, and I asked myself, what do the Democrats fear? What does it mean that they would be afraid of a Supreme Court justice who was a conservative, considering the relatively limited scope of a Supreme Court justice’s power. When I framed the question like that, the answer was obvious.
There are only two reasons to fear the political views of someone being nominated a Supreme Court justice. One is the possibility one’s political rivals may try to achieve their goals by passing an unconstitutional law or applying a law unconstitutionally, and the justice will vote to permit it. The other is that one’s own party tries the same thing and the justice votes to strike it down.
My approach to putting these fears to rest is to help people figure out ways to achieve their goals without violating the Constitution.
People have figured out ways to achieve their goals without violating the Constitution. But it’s hard and time consuming, and a lot of folks just don’t want to wait. Passing unpopular laws is tough enough, passing an unpopular Constitutional amendment is impossible. Eliminating the electoral college, the cause-du-jour on the left, is actually impossible, unless you can convince a huge number of politicians and State governments to voluntarily cede all of the power they possess and give it to a few states. If that’s possible, then I say we also repeal the law of gravity, just for fun. The 2nd amendment has also proven quite resilient, and that’s before the gun owners that really, really, really care have even started shooting.
Much easier to use a compliant judiciary as a political lever to achieve the goals, at least for now. Totalitarians, if they achieve power, rapidly notice how inefficient even show trials are, and ignore, co-opt or disband the judicial process, and ignore whatever Constitution they came to power under. I expect that this will be the course of the American left, should they gain adequate power.
The ironic part of this is that they don’t even grasp (or more likely, they choose to ignore) that this all started with THEM. If they hadn’t decided to eliminate the filibuster for all appointees except the SCOTUS in 2013, so that they could ram Obama’s judges through, then the first domino wouldn’t have gone over. But they did, and congratulated themselves for it, like they’d made some great progress for decent liberal people everywhere. Then the Senate flipped, Trump was elected, and you know the rest. Not only did their power grab backfire, not only did it probably cost them the chance to at the same time replace the tallest tower on the conservative side of the SCOTUS with a liberal AND cement a 5-4 liberal majority, it opened the way for Trump to appoint not one, not two, but THREE conservative justices, a feat not equaled since Ronald Reagan (and he didn’t do it all in one term), and left them powerless to stop it, or slow it down much, or even have a meaningful say in who those justices would be.
You know, three justices isn’t THAT rare, and it’s not supposed to be that earth-shaking. Eisenhower, believe it or not, appointed FIVE justices to the Court, wiping out at least part of the eight (!) that FDR appointed, although they included relative moderate Potter Stewart and lefty William Brennan. Then came the sweeping new rights created by the SCOTUS in Miranda, Lawrence, and of course the most important decisions ever authored by any court anywhere: Roe and Obergefell, which must NEVER be reexamined, altered, or, the world perish first, overturned. This wasn’t supposed to happen. The GOP was supposed to just roll over and confirm Garland. Hillary was supposed to be elected. We’re supposed to be confirming the newest female justice that will give the SCOTUS a majority of women for the first time ever. It all fell apart, but it’s all those mean REPUBICANS’ fault!
I think your start date is a little off… prior to that, republicans filibusterd judges. Before that Democrats started the process of filibustering judges. Before that, Republicans blocked clinton appointees using expanded blue slips, before that we had Bork. I’m not sure Bork was the real start, but it seems like the start of the ratcheting politicization of judicial nominations.
For the most part, presidents get their nominees when their party is in control of the senate, with some blockage when the opposition is in control.
If the process was so illegitimate, why did the Democrats participate in the hearings?
I’m just spit-balling here, but perhaps so they could denounce her and support the crazy Leftist arguments against her on the record?
The act of boycotting the hearings is both understandable and, for me, totally expected. It is the only thing they have not done, and they must be seen as pulling out all the stops in order to produce more fodder for the defense of the coming Leftist court-packing should Biden win the election and the Democrats seize the Senate. It comes at zero cost (to them if not to the country and reputation of its institutions) and is exactly the sort of empty-calorie performance art their supporters are in love with these days.
When that time comes, they can then point to this moment and say, “See, these hearings were so illegitimate and so un-American that all these Senators boycotted them!” Circular argument, I know, but logic has long been eschewed in favor of emotional rants when it comes to the Left.
The act of filling their chairs with cardboard cut-outs sends exactly the message that Americans should be receiving — that these Senators are little more than political iconography with no power to dissent from their New Jacobin masters. Maybe that’s not the message they intend, but a rational person would certainly see it clearly.
Hopefully, there’s more of those out there in the real world than Twitter, Facebook, and the media polls would suggest…
On the other hand, the Republicans can point to the committee vote and say, she was such a great nominee that she was confirmed unanimously!
p.s. Democrats are doing such a great job that Rasmussen today reports Trump’s favorability is up to 50%, he continues to close in the election polls, such as they are.
Popcorn futures! That’s the ticket.
On the other hand, the Republicans can point to the committee vote and say, she was such a great nominee that she was confirmed unanimously!
Heh. Unintended consequences can be a bitch.
It would seem that the cardboard cutout stand-ins would raise the average IQ of the chamber considerably; certainly the emotional maturity level will rise.
Apparently, they decided to use pictures of people who “benefited” from Obamacare instead. They must’ve read my comment. 😛
For some reason, Nancy Pelosi’s ostentatiously ripping up Trumps State of the Union script is the most damning tantrum the AUC has thrown. I know it was just a symbolic measure compared to the Russia and Ukraine capers, but it is just hard to get out of my mind. Maybe because it was so incredibly juvenile and petty.
I see in the news today that Joe Biden has come out with a court packing plan he’ll implement after his election because the court has gotten “out of whack.” In other words, it’s not dominated by and impenetrably liberal bloc.
an impenetrably liberal bloc.
post first, proof later
“I suppose this is a futile reminder, since the [Republican] party, prodded by the infantile [President] that the party lacked the courage and integrity to tell to shut up and shape up, has been engaged in one tantrum after another since it [won] the Presidential election in 2016. In their determination to bake hate, anger and uncontrolled emotion into our once honorable political process, the [Republicans] have divided the nation, wrecked communities, and quite possibly damaged our democracy beyond repair. It has been opposition by tantrum, from the increasingly personal attacks [by] the President of the United States, to the contrived Mueller [“]investigation[“], to the disgraceful impeachment [result]. Of course the [Republicans’ evangelical] and extremist base would take the cue and expand the tactic into the streets, throwing a series of violent fits over … incidents that [should] be … characterized as typical, racist, and criminal.”
All that being said, I “do” think Justice Barrett should be confirmed, but I also thought Justice Garland should have been confirmed. Elections have consequences, one of them being the appointment of Judges, and the Senate should have approved Justice Garland in 2016. The reasoning at the time was that it was too close to the election, and the Republicans’ reasoning this time with Justice Barrett requires some extreme mental gymnastics or drinking some cult kool-aid. At the end of the day, the Republican position on this is they will play dirty politics when they need to. That’s fine (I guess?) — but please don’t throw a snit when the Democrats decide to engage in dirty politics as well.
No doubt about it. It was an interesting thought that Supreme Court justices shouldn’t be replaced during an election year when the Presidency is guaranteed to change hands, but there wasn’t anything wrong with Judge Garland and he should have been confirmed with no issue.
It would be nice if at least one party consistently went high (to paraphrase Mrs. Obama), but I feel like we’re dealing with two out of control six-grade classes that the teachers can’t wrangle, that the parents refuse to be accountable for and that the other students cower and hide from when they pass in the hallways.
Own the crap you break.
This started with Democrats and Bork and intensified with Democrats and Clarence Thomas.
On a tangential aspect of government, this intensified further with Democrats refusing to accept 2000.
This intensified with Democrats media going full subversion during the Bush 2nd term.
This intensified with Obama being the first president in HISTORY to discuss the American people as separated entities with one half being good and the other half being bitter clingers on the wrong side of history.
This intensified with the Democrats unwaveringly ramming through non-partisan legislation that NOT ONE SINGLE legislator read.
This intensified when Democrats broke Senate tradition of compromise by ending the filibuster.
Spare me the tears over Garland when Republicans finally started playing for keeps in a game Democrats had quit playing in good faith for decades.
I don’t see how that can be rebutted.
These events happened a lifetime ago — and I don’t think Thomas was mistreated, but that’s neither here nor there. This is either a game or it isn’t. But don’t pretend that any party has the moral high ground here.
1. I didn’t claim the Republicans had a moral high ground—that’s pure “whataboutism” on your part. I was talking about the hypocrisy and dishonesty of Democrats, which is undeniable.
2.You’re on a rationalizations roll: “52. The Underwood Maneuver, or “That’s in the past.” So waht how long ago it happened? Marbury v. Madison happened longer ago than that. Breaking accepted traditions and norms matter, whether its a good idea or not. Deciding that any qualified POTUS nominee would be passed because that’s a privilege of office was a healthy and wise tradition, and the Democrats broke it. Only them.
3. It is not mistreating a distinguished judge to ambush him with a personal accusation of sexual harassment by a former colleague and employee who has no corroboration whatsoever? You think that’s fair? Ever? Because, you know, it isn’t.
Recognizing faults in both Republicans and Democrats is hardly rationalizing. It is merely being observant.
Recognizing means judging and analyzing what each party does without using the other’s misconduct as mitigation.
2. That went out the window when it looked like the court might swing a little too far right and that all important right to kill a gestating chi-uh, choose might be endangered.
3. Believe all women…except when the target of the accusation is a Democrat. Then she’s either a slut or a nut.
I bet you can find the rationalization you just appealed to. (Hint: it’s near the top, because it’s a classic.)
No rationalization. Just pointing out — rather effectively I thought — how divided we are as a nation.
No, you appealed directly to 2. Ethics Estoppel, or “They’re Just as Bad”, and a more direct rejection of ethics generally would be hard to imagine.
Stop. I have not rejected ethics. Our POLITICIANS have rejected ethics. If you can’t recognize this, you should stop writing about politics altogether.
As an example, I voted Yes on Amendment 1 on the VA ballot yesterday. I did so even though the Democratic sample ballot said to vote No, and the Republican sample ballot said to vote Yes. I voted Yes because I knew – as should everyone with half a brain — that Democrats want pay back for Republican gerrymandering now that they will be in charge. The Republicans were wrong for gerrymandering, and now the Democrats will be wrong when they start gerrymandering — because the Amendment will fail. This is all a dirty game — politics and ethics do not mix.
So, would you like mustard or mayo? You’re really on a roll. Honk! Honk! Wocka! Wocka!
You’re not going to persuade politicians to be more ethical by excusing outrageous conduct with the shrug, “well, the other party does it too”!
Hey Sparty, while you’re here. I was thinking recently about your comment about how awful guys are a number of posts back. At first I discounted it, but upon further reflection, I think I agree with you. I went back through my mind to all the guys I’d worked with in three law firms. I’d guess fully half divorced their wives and married their secretary or paralegal (some even multiple times), or they had affairs with secretaries or paralegals. You’re right, lots of guys are hound dogs and as did Mrs. OB, you had to deal with it (but much more often than the lovely Mrs. OB). Question: what about the hound dog-ettes? Do they bear any responsibility for this state of affairs?
That’s easy. The person in power has the responsibility not to engage in inappropriate or illegal behavior (gender is irrelevant). Women are not immune from bad behavior, but in the workplace, it is overwhelmingly the men who are breaking the rules.
In my experience, SS is correct.
I was here for THAT discussion. I won’t repeat it all, but I think a divided government between a president in the last year of his second term and a Senate dominated by the other party is a different equation than a president running for reelection and a Senate led by his own party. It’s doubly different when the president and the opposition in the Senate are not on good terms. Clinton could have had someone seated by Easter had he been president in 2016, although it might not have been his first choice. Yes, the GOP will joust with sharp weapons if the stakes are high enough, and SCOTUS is about as high as they get, especially when a change in the court’s ideological makeup is possible. For the record, I did not agree with Justice Ginsburg on almost anything, but I also believe she could not have died at a worse time, and I think she should have stepped down in 2013, when she was guaranteed a like-minded successor. However, she felt fine, or so she said, and she didn’t want to watch the first female president be sworn in from the sidelines. She wanted to cap off her career as the greatest feminist of all by being the justice to do that swearing in. The photo would have become iconic, and she would have left the Court (probably later that year) as a living legend. Unfortunately, that’s not how it played, and it came down to a race between the 2020 election happening and her 87-year-old, cancer-ravaged body giving out. Her body came up 46 days short.
That said, before you fight with those sharp weapons, you should dig two graves. I think, just like the Democrats came to regret the nuking of the filibuster in 2013 in fairly short order, the Republican Party could well come to regret this gambit. Maybe on November 3, maybe not, but, even if this turns out to be another case of Democrat oversampling, Republicans keeping quiet, and the media painting a picture that just wasn’t there, there’s another election in 2022 that could make things more uncomfortable for them, there are state elections, there’s another impeachment possibility, and, best case scenario, there’s another “clean” election coming in 2024. Additional states, court packing, reparations, truth and reconciliation, attempts to do away with the electoral college, and a lot of attempts to solidify power, grab more power, and make the GOP a thing of the past are probably all in the very near future.