Lindsey Graham does a 180, says that Dems would do it too

After reading nearly everything I can get my hands on about the Senate and its plans for the RBG replacement nomination, I have concluded that we—meaning Democrats—are royally screwed. Mitch McConnell, who wouldn’t allow Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland to the floor in March of 2016, is now rushing forward with plans to confirm Trump’s nominee, with exactly six weeks left until the election. Lindsey Graham, who’s now gung-ho on the Trump nomination, reverses the course he set when he made this notorious statement:

Well, he’s backed off on that assertion, and now he’s falling in line behind Trump, like nearly all Republican Senators. After all, what’s integrity when your Senate seat is up for grabs?

As the New York Times reported, Graham said this yesterday:

“We’ve got the votes to confirm Justice Ginsburg’s replacement before the election,” Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, the Republican chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and a close Trump ally, said Monday night on Fox News. “We’re going to move forward in the committee; we’re going to report the nomination out of the committee to the floor of the United States Senate so we can vote before the election.”

Our one hope to stop the Red Ball Express to Hell was for at least four Republican senators to assert that they wouldn’t vote for Trump’s nomination before the election/next President takes office. Two have done so. I hoped that there would be at least two more Republicans with integrity, but “Republicans with integrity” is an oxymoron. Additional defectors seem unlikely. As the NYT article continues:

But the president was buoyed after Senators Charles E. Grassley of Iowa and Cory Gardner of Colorado, two of three remaining Republicans who might have opposed filling the seat, announced that they would support moving ahead with a nomination even though they refused to consider President Barack Obama’s nomination in an election year in 2016. That left only Senator Mitt Romney of Utah considered undecided, but even without him, it appeared to guarantee at least 50 Republican votes to move ahead, with Vice President Mike Pence available to break a tie.

We’re facing a 6-3 conservative/liberal court, and we all know what that means: more guns, no abortions, gay rights rolled back, and a variety of other regressive policies we can’t even anticipate.

In response to people trying to use Graham’s words against him, he simply says, “You [meaning Democrats] would do the same.” That’s in the article below:

To wit:

“I want you to use my words against me,” Mr. Graham said then, swearing that he would hold the same stance even if it meant denying a future Republican president the chance to confirm his chosen nominee.

But less than 24 hours after that hypothetical became a reality with the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Friday, Mr. Graham, now the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, made a complete and brazen reversal. He promised that he would push forward immediately to confirm President Trump’s pick — seemingly unbothered by the obvious conflict between his position four years ago and his stance now.

“I am certain if the shoe were on the other foot,” Mr. Graham wrote Monday to Democrats on the judiciary panel, “you would do the same.”

. . .In the letter to Democrats on Monday, Mr. Graham offered another reason for his new stance, describing it as a matter of fairness to voters, because, “unlike in 2016, President Trump is currently standing for re-election: The people will have a say in his choices.”

I don’t even know what that means. The people will have a say on whether he’s re-elected, and I hope to Ceiling Cat he isn’t, but this new fight may even help Trump, just as it’s likely to help Graham, who’s running for reelection against Jaime Harrison, a black man. This is a good tweet:

The one thing that haunts me is Graham’s claim that Dems would act the same way were the shoe on the other foot. Now in 2016 there were ten months until Obama’s term ended, and the Dems pushed Garland forward. Now there are four months until Trump’s term ends, and six weeks until the election. Was it okay for Dems to call for hearings on Garland in March, and not okay for us to oppose hearings on Trump’s nominee in late September? I don’t know, but all of us should formulate some kind of principle about these nominations, regardless of who’s President and who the President nominates.

Anyway, let’s have two polls. Please vote; this is of course just a survey of readers who bother to click a mouse, not a scientific poll.

And your prognostication:

I know you all want to beef as I just have, so feel free to do so in the comments below.

Oh, and have a look at George Will’s take in The Washington Post about the fracas. It speaks poorly about Republicans, but doesn’t favor packing the court, either.

165 Comments

  1. Trevor H
    Posted September 22, 2020 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    They should not have stopped Obama’s nominee, nor should this one be stopped

    Now the precedent has been set it should be maintained

    I have no expectation of this happening – I can see a lame duck nomination with the current GOP – principles – no chance!

    • Posted September 22, 2020 at 10:50 am | Permalink

      Exactly! I don’t even know how that managed to fly. Now it’s really going to get ugly.
      And of course I voted that the Democrats would do it too. I’d be ANGRY if they didn’t! So – there you are, no one is pure, especially not me.
      Mixed feelings all around about this, and trying to stay out of the hysteria.

    • craigp
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

      I’m no expert on American politics but from what I’ve heard this is far from a precedent. In fact, if I remember correctly, it’s happened 17 times before. I’ll try to find the reference.

      • Posted September 23, 2020 at 3:18 am | Permalink

        The precedent was not confirming Obama’s pick in 2016 which was the real crime. This is actually going back to business as usual.

        The doesn’t mean it isn’t a disaster.

    • craigp
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

      Here’s a reference to my earlier post. OK, it’s a conservative web site but that doesn’t make it wrong.

      https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/supreme-court-why-no-justice-has-beenconfirmed-in-the-fall-of-a-presidential-election-year/

      To summarize: there have been 29 such vacancies, and presidents made nominations for all of them …

      In 19 cases, the president’s party held the Senate; 17 of the 19 vacancies were filled …

      So unless I’ve misunderstood it’s not even close to a precedent.

    • Posted September 22, 2020 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

      Correct on all counts. This, by the way, is why the first poll question, “Would the Democrats behave the same if the situation were reversed?” rests on a false premise. The situation could not have been reversed, because Democrats wouldn’t have had the chutzpah to block a conservative mirror image of Merrick Garland, had there been a McCain presidency and a Democratic majority Senate.

      • Secular Transhumanist
        Posted September 22, 2020 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

        They have done so historically, 80% of the time.

        The precedent depends on whether the party controlling the Senate is the same as the party of the President. In such cases, the President’s nominee during an election year has gotten passed about 80% of the time.

        In cases where the Senate was controlled by the other party, that percentage goes down to 20%.

        There’s nothing unprecedented here. If the same party controls the Senate and the White House, they almost always get their election year nominee. If not, they almost never do.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted September 23, 2020 at 10:28 am | Permalink

          What’s unprecedented here is that the senate Republicans refused to even consider Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland in 2016 (let alone hold hearings or a vote on it), that they said in so doing that they were following a precedent that no nominee by either party should be considered during a presidential election year, that they gave their word they would follow the same rule if a SCOTUS seat became vacant in the final year of Donald Trump’s term, and that those same senate Republicans are now going back on their word and doing the exact opposite of what they promised to do.

          If you can find a precedent for THAT in the entirety of American history, please let me know.

          • rickflick
            Posted September 23, 2020 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

            At least in modern times, politicians have felt under some restraint by the thought voters would look down on them for blatant hypocrisy. However, these scruples probably did not extend to situations that were hidden from the public (the infamous back room deals). Something has definitely changed of late. A new contempt for truth has arisen withing the GOP which seems to OK with many voters. tRump’s antics have revealed the fact that voters can be just as immoral and ruthless as politicians where thought to be.

  2. Kathy
    Posted September 22, 2020 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    McConnell has no need to rush to do this prior to the election, he can make it happen in dangerous December.
    Furthermore, Clarence Thomas will probably retire then, giving him another seat.
    We’re doomed.

    • Posted September 22, 2020 at 10:52 am | Permalink

      Oh, man. I didn’t even think of Thomas. Eek.

      • rickflick
        Posted September 22, 2020 at 11:36 am | Permalink

        In principle I do not believe in retributive punishment, but this is an exception. Once the Dems have control of the senate they should retaliate for this by not allowing ANY republican nominees to even have hearings. Keep that policy for at least 10 years to make up for the shift in the balance of the court. Then convene a conference with the GOP to change the rules to insulate or buffer the process from raw politics.

    • Linda Calhoun
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 11:29 am | Permalink

      McConnell DOES need to do this prior to the election.

      I have not responded to Jerry’s question about who will win the Presidential election because I really didn’t have an opinion.

      But now I do have an opinion.

      Biden will win the election. Trump will contest the results. The Supreme Court will hand the Presidency to Trump. This is why he needs to get it done quickly.

      L

      • Trevor H
        Posted September 22, 2020 at 11:53 am | Permalink

        IMO Trump will win the ‘vote in person’, and will ask to stop the count before the mail-ins are counted….

        • Linda Calhoun
          Posted September 22, 2020 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

          That is certainly one strategy they could use.

          But it really doesn’t matter what specious argument Trump makes. The court will go along with whatever he says.

          I can just imagine the interviews taking place right now, with Trump asking each candidate for her loyalty, and evaluating her on that basis.

          L

      • rickflick
        Posted September 22, 2020 at 11:59 am | Permalink

        If the court made a gift of the win to tRump, I can imagine the majority of Americans would not respect the outcome. What that implies, I’m afraid to guess, but it could involve bloodshed.

  3. Posted September 22, 2020 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    I favor Dems on policy across the board, but Graham is right about one thing — hypocrisys is one area of true equivalence. Yes, the Dems would do the same. With this much power at stake, I don’t think either party would say, “We could get our pick through quickly but we’ll hold off just to be fair in case the other side wins the upcoming election.”

    • Trevor H
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 9:18 am | Permalink

      Given the precedent of Merrick Garland, the Dems have every right to demand the same

      Chances of being listened to – lower than zero

    • Nicolaas Stempels
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 11:14 am | Permalink

      I’m not sure they would do the same, not because they are Democrats, but because of precedent.
      In the fourteen cases that a vacancy occurred during an election year, six were more than 7 months before elections, and eight were less than 7 months before.
      Of the ‘early’ six all but one vacancy was filled before election, the one exception being Justice Scalia’s vacancy, of course. The refusal to even hear candidate Garland was unprecedented and is a clear outlier.
      Of the vacancies occurring less than 7 months before elections none but one were filled. (that single one was the vacancy left by Justice Hughes, in 1016, and more than four month before elections)
      Pushing through a nomination less than 1.5 months before the election would be an even greater outlier than the case of Mr Garland.

    • Adam M.
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

      Well I certainly do see that many Democrats are going back on their words from 2016 about how the Senate has an absolute duty to vote on a nominee if the president submits one, even in an election year.

  4. Randall Schenck
    Posted September 22, 2020 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    We are all responsible as citizens of this country for destruction of our government. You can point the finger at the republicans today but this trend with this result has been going on for years. People don’t vote, they worry only about their social issues while the government goes slowly into what is is today. So lets all cry in our beer and blame someone else because I surely had nothing to do with it. The really rich have taken over this land, I hope they enjoy it.

    By the way, the first thing to go if this change is made to the court is health care. So all the millions of poorer people in the country will be feeling it first. Now maybe all you private health insurance folks don’t really care but a lot of people will.

  5. Mary
    Posted September 22, 2020 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    Does this make us a complete oligarchy? Ruled by and benefits for the few while the poor masses are deluded? Russia, Mexico. With a rich ruling class and a large poor underclass. And with a rigid religious slant. Perhaps it just reveals what we have become but more naked now. I will prioritize sending my child abroad as much as possible through learning trips and encourage him to think globally for a career. I don’t see a positive future here.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 10:34 am | Permalink

      Trump wins reelection, we may as well tack up at each US border crossing the same sign that hung from the gates of the Inferno in Dante’s Divine Comedy: Abandon hope all ye who enter here.

      • Posted September 22, 2020 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

        Through me the way to the woeful country
        Through me the way to eternal pain
        Through me the way among lost people…

  6. Keith Sacra
    Posted September 22, 2020 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    My only hope is that this means the Republicans are running scared. They are rushing this because the know they will be out of power in a few months. Keith

    • Trevor H
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 9:37 am | Permalink

      Out of GOVERNMENT – possibly, out of power – nope

      With a loaded SCOTUS nope

  7. Jonathan Dore
    Posted September 22, 2020 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    Wonderful as RGB was, she really should have foreseen this kind of situation a decade ago and retired at a time when Obama could have replaced her comfortably early.

    • EdwardM
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 9:44 am | Permalink

      WTF?!!!

      • Posted September 23, 2020 at 3:42 am | Permalink

        She was already in her mid seventies when Obama came to power. It would have been a great time to resign.

        Note that this situation could repeat itself. The next youngest Democrat supreme court member is now 82. If he insists on staying on until he dies, you may be in the situation of having to replace him during the next Republican administration. Good luck with that.

    • daniaq
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 9:58 am | Permalink

      Yes… my husband was saying the same thing… That was not very wise indeed…

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 10:49 am | Permalink

      I doubt Obama could have gotten a SCOTUS nominee through the senate once McConnell took over as majority leader in 2014. McConnell told people during the Merrick Garland fiasco that he was planning to continue to hold open the vacancy if Hillary got elected. The whole “presidential election year” thing was just a convenient pretext for him.

      McConnell is rotten to his core — rotten right down to the cold, dark, empty space where a conscience should be.

      • Posted September 22, 2020 at 11:18 am | Permalink

        I have often seen that he is the real problem here. An absolute tool.

      • Jonathan Dore
        Posted September 22, 2020 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

        Agreed, but Obama still had a good four years (2010-14) of congressional majority when he could comfortably have appointed a replacement.

      • Filippo
        Posted September 22, 2020 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

        “McConnell told people during the Merrick Garland fiasco that he was planning to continue to hold open the vacancy if Hillary got elected.”

        By what constitutional authority can a senate majority leader do that? The fact that the constitution says that the Congress can make its own rules? If so, perhaps a modifying constitutional amendment is in order.

        I’m thinking a constitutional amendment for a single six-year POTUS term is called for. No more yammering about “letting the people decide” whether a president running for re-election can make a SCOTUS nomination. No more fatuous McConnellesque appeals to “precedent” (opposing party being or not being in control of the Senate). No consecutive re-elections, though one can run again in six years. Seems it would do away with the fatuous “lame duck” thing. (Though I suspect there are a few who would hold that under such a scheme every president would become a “lame duck” instantly upon taking the oath.)

  8. DrBrydon
    Posted September 22, 2020 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    The Republicans were stupid to try to frame their refusal to proceed with the Garland confirmation as a matter of princple, or rather on a principle different than ‘we have the majority in the Senate and so we can do this.’ It was obvious at the time that the election year thing was a dodge, and they wouldn’t stand by it. One option not listed on the poll is “no hearing, direct vote.” The Republicans could argue that Barret, having just been confirmed three years ago, needs no further examination, and just vote to confirm. In theory they have the votes for that.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 10:59 am | Permalink

      There goes the “advice” part of the “advice and consent of the Senate” clause of Article II, Section 2 of the United States constitution.

    • Posted September 22, 2020 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

      The fact that they framed it as a matter of principle is not going to matter, because no one is going to hold them to their principles other than those on the other side of the aisle, anyway. The public are not going to hold it against them, here or in future elections. I hope I’m wrong.

  9. nay
    Posted September 22, 2020 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    I voted that the Dems would not “do the same” simply because I don’t think they would be so stupid as to say what the Repubs did in 2016; therefore, they would not be “rushing” a nomination, merely following the normal course. I could be wrong, but no one has come up with a similar situation where the Dems stopped a a Republication nomination in an election year. In fact, I snickered when the Repubs came up with this “principle” in 2016, but someone has now mentioned that Lincoln refused to nominate a new justice until after his re-election. I do think the Dems would have had the courtesy to mourn her passing and wait till after her funeral before speaking about a replacement.
    On “packing the court”, I used to think 9 justices is enough, but someone mentioned that the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has more and why should the nation’s court be stuck at 9, particularly given the rise in the number of cases. At the CCA level, decisions are made by a smaller panel of judges, which can be re-appealed to the “full court”. I don’t know if appeals to the SCt can come after the 3-judge panel or you have to go thru the full CCA first. In any case, the smaller panel is chosen by chance so that the make up of the panel changes for each new case. Seems fairer to me.

    • clarkia
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 11:39 am | Permalink

      I also don’t think that they would have done the same in 2016 so this is a non-comparison.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 11:48 am | Permalink

      Ronald Reagan’s nomination of justice Anthony Kennedy was confirmed (by a vote of 97-0 — viz., with ALL Democrats voting to confirm) in February 1988 which (unless we’ve switched from the Gregorian calendar while I wasn’t watching) was the same year as a presidential election — the one in which Poppy Bush whipped the Duke of Massachusetts.

      Of the 110 men and 4 women who have thus far served as justices on the United States Supreme Court, NOT ONE has been nominated and confirmed after mid-Summer in a presidential-election year. (NB: Chief Justice Melville Fuller was confirmed on October 8, 1988, an election year, but he had been nominated over five months earlier, in April of that year. Also, Dwight Eisenhower made a recess appointment to put William J. Brennan on the SCOTUS bench in mid-October 1956, another election year, but Brennan was not confirmed until after Eisenhower’s reelection. Had Ike been defeated, Brennan’s appointment would have expired when the senate reconvened in January 1957.)

      As you’ve noted, Abraham Lincoln had the opportunity to fill a SCOTUS vacancy in the Fall of 1964, but declined to do so until after he was reelected. Also, Lyndon Baines Johnson could have named a successor to Abe Fortas in the late summer of 1968, when it became apparent that Abe Fortas’s promotion to chief justice would be rejected by the US senate and that Fortas would be forced to resign as an associate justice, but LBJ declined to do so because of the pending presidential election.

      • rickflick
        Posted September 22, 2020 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

        Eisenhower, Lincoln and Johnson must be what people mean when they refer to the political norms that have broken down under tRump. Nostalgia for the good old days.

  10. Robert Ryder
    Posted September 22, 2020 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    I live in North Carolina, so I see a lot of ads for the South Carolina Senate race. It looks like the Democrats have a good candidate in Jaime Harrison, and Graham is fighting for his political life. I agree it will be very dire if Trump gets another justice on the court, but boy would I love to see Lindsay Graham go down in flames. I guess he’s trying to ensure the Republican base gets out to vote and isn’t worried about any swing voters, but I hope he’s wrong. Hope the same thing happens to my NC Republican Senator Thom Tillis, who is also on tape from 2016 stating that the Senate shouldn’t vote on a nominee so close to the election. Do Republicans not realize their statements are recorded, or are they so far down into the moral abyss that they just don’t care. That’s a rhetorical question to which I already know the answer.

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 10:02 am | Permalink

      I think you are right about Harrison. Last poll I saw yesterday was 48-48 so it could easily happen with Graham going down in flames.

    • Mark R.
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

      And with Graham, it brings up the timing issue. With such a close election, Graham needs to be down in SC on the campaign trail, not stuck in DC with SCOTUS hearings. I have a feeling they won’t be able to nominate a new justice before the election, and maybe they don’t want to so they can cover for Senators in close races. It’s a gamble either way, seems to me. Then there’s the dem Kelly in AZ who can be seated as early as Nov. 30. The way our SCOTUS has been politicized (since they are no longer an a-political branch) has deeply damaged this oligarchy of ours.

      • Posted September 22, 2020 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

        Graham and the other Senators only have to show up for the vote, right? Even though he’s the chairman of the Judiciary, he can delegate. Trump would revel in the deference to his choice of justice and the demonstration of raw power that such a move would represent.

  11. Neil Wolfe
    Posted September 22, 2020 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    Romney has come out in favor of hearings making a R majority. The end is near.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-54254141

    • Harrison
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 11:04 am | Permalink

      This should be a lesson to all liberals who pin their misguided hopes on “good Republicans” or “good conservatives” to “do the right thing.” Same with people supporting The Lincoln Project because they make anti-Trump content.

      You have a better chance of bigfoot handing you ten winning lottery tickets than finding a good Republican these days.

      • Posted September 22, 2020 at 11:12 am | Permalink

        I’ll support the Lincoln Project until Trump is gone. Whether I support them beyond that is a matter of what they decide to do. Perhaps they’ll take a non-partisan stand against bad government. Perhaps they’ll disband and go their separate ways. Until then, they have my blessing.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted September 22, 2020 at 11:55 am | Permalink

        These days, it’s easier to find a vein on a comatose junkie than a principled Republican in congress.

  12. jezgrove
    Posted September 22, 2020 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    The votes don’t seem to be registering properly in the polls in this post?

    • Posted September 22, 2020 at 9:52 am | Permalink

      They don’t seem to be registering at all.

    • C.
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 10:00 am | Permalink

      I can’t see them either, after my vote or after refreshing the page.

    • W.Benson
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 10:09 am | Permalink

      Same here!

    • Anthony
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 10:10 am | Permalink

      Oh the Irony

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted September 22, 2020 at 11:57 am | Permalink

        We better switch over to in-person balloting.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted September 22, 2020 at 11:59 am | Permalink

        We better switch over to in-person balloting. Wouldn’t wanna chance a rigged election.

    • jezgrove
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 10:31 am | Permalink

      Now we know what’s going to happen on November 3, and why the plan to secure the voting system from hacking was rejected…

    • Mark R.
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

      No votes when I voted either…

      • Mark R.
        Posted September 22, 2020 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

        Vote tallied. Thanks for fixing it PCC(e). I was with the majority on both votes.

  13. Posted September 22, 2020 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    The two Republicans, Murkowski and Collins, have come out against starting the nomination process. This is quite different from promising to vote against Trump’s nominee. And, of course, they have to withstand weeks of Trump and McConnell pressure. It appears virtually certain the Dems can’t stop this process. On the positive side, it appears that the issue is energizing Dems more than Repugs and that voters of all stripes are somewhat against what Trump is doing here. Finally, it draws attention to the abortion issue. Since voters would prefer that it remain legal, overturning it may not be the winner Trump thinks it is.

  14. Posted September 22, 2020 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    Whatever happened to tarring and feathering?

    • DrBrydon
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 10:32 am | Permalink

      The Progressives killed it when they started outlawing raising chickens in the cities. Not enough good old fence rails to ride ’em out of town, either.

  15. Ken Kukec
    Posted September 22, 2020 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    Would Democrats do the same as Lindsey Graham?

    Oh, hell no. I’m not saying there isn’t plenty of hypocrisy on the Democrats’ side now and then, but we donkeys don’t play politics for the blood sport the elephants do. (Democrats are still capable of shame; Republicans aren’t. That’s why they ended up with Donald Trump.)

    But, come January 20, 2021, it’ll be high time for Dems to start playing the same mean game — Lord willin’ and the creek don’t rise.

    Lindsey’s in a tough reelection race against Jaime Harrison, and the two are set to debate on October 3rd. I hope Harrison shoves Graham’s words so far up his fundament you can smell ink on Lindsey’s breath.

    • Posted September 22, 2020 at 10:08 am | Permalink

      Certainly the Dems would not have done what the Republicans did with Merritt Garland had the situation been reversed. Post-Garland, I’m not so sure.

    • Posted September 22, 2020 at 10:29 am | Permalink

      Imagine the Dems control the Presidency and the Senate and can cement a liberal SCOTUS majority before an election with polls showing a likely Republican victory ahead? Of course they would do it. If they didn’t they’d need their asses kicked.

      • darrelle
        Posted September 22, 2020 at 11:32 am | Permalink

        Pretty similar situation for nearly the first 2 years of Obama’s first term, and the Dems never did stick it to the Repubs. Instead they allowed the Repubs to bring legislation to a near stop while repeatedly trying to engage them in the business of running the nation, even while they had the capacity to ignore them and run right over them just as the Repubs had, and did again, every chance they get. I agree with you that that warranted an ass kicking, and I thought so then too. It’s the one thing that really pisses me off about Obama.

        But as far as this question today? I don’t think it’s obvious that the Dems would do the same as the Repubs. As per above they’ve shown plenty of times that they won’t in similar situations.

        Of course part of the problem is parsing just what “if the situations were reversed” should mean. In a very legitimate sense the situations could not be reversed. The Dems have plenty of warts but let’s face it. They would never have done the things that the Repubs have done to get to the place we are at now, and the Repubs would likewise never have done the things the Dems have (or have not done) to get here either. In other words, the Repubs are uniformly scumbags that have for many years now and will always in the current era behave just like scumbags while the same is not the case for the Dems.

        • Posted September 22, 2020 at 11:47 am | Permalink

          I do not think the Dems would have done anything like the Garland travesty. That was Constitutional dereliction of duty by the Senate majority, IMO. And then to turn around and do the opposite in this case is rank hypocrisy. However, putting aside that, I would certainly hope that if, in the situation described, the Dems could nominate and confirm a suitable Justice, they should and would do it.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted September 22, 2020 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

        Of course they would do it.

        To paraphrase Bubba, it all depends on what the meaning of “it” is.

        If “it” is refusing to move on a GOP nominee the way the the Republicans did Merrick Garland, they’ve never done such a thing before, and I don’t believe they ever would on their own.

        If “it” is pulling a volte-face after pledging their solemn word never to consider a SCOTUS nominee during an election year, then the answer is still “no” they wouldn’t.

        If “it” is pushing through a Democratic nominee to fill a vacancy that opened up in September of an election year had there been none of this history, well, then, yeah, maybe they would.

  16. docbill1351
    Posted September 22, 2020 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    The worst thing I heard was Graham saying that they will confirm quickly WHOMEVER the president nominates.

    Any body.

    Whoever is nominated should feel pretty good about themselves because nothing they say, do or have done will sink their chances of confirmation.

    Rubber stamp.

    • Posted September 22, 2020 at 11:01 am | Permalink

      Precisely. The biggest and most flagrant wrongdoing was the 2016 Garland fiasco. The Senate willfully did not carry out its Constitutional duty. Each President has the right and duty to nominate, and the Senate has the duty to vet and advise. There is no legal “rule” about not nominating a Court replacement during an election year. What won’t happen here is the serious vetting of Trump’s nomination – it could be a dog and Trump’s bootlickers in the Senate would confirm.

      • Jonathan Dore
        Posted September 22, 2020 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

        Faced with that dereliction of duty, I wonder why Obama didn’t just appoint Garland by executive order, and when the Senate complained, say “you had your chance. You declined to do your job, so I’ve had to do it for you”.

        • Posted September 22, 2020 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

          Agreed!

        • tomh
          Posted September 22, 2020 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

          Executive orders apply only to executive departments, basically changing how executive departments enforce existing laws. The Supreme Court is not in the Executive branch and therefore not subject to executive order. No way could the President appoint a justice with an executive order.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

      Don’t tell Trump. He said he’s going to nominate a woman and could find out that Grendel’s mother or Cruella de Vil is still available.

      • rickflick
        Posted September 22, 2020 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

        Don’t forget Ivanka or even Melania.

        • Posted September 22, 2020 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

          Boy, that would at least be entertaining, wouldn’t it?

          • rickflick
            Posted September 22, 2020 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

            Ivanka is only 38, so I think the entertainment could last for about 40 years.

            • Posted September 24, 2020 at 10:55 am | Permalink

              Personally, I plan to be dead before then…

              • rickflick
                Posted September 24, 2020 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

                Yes, me too! That’s a cheery, glass-is-half-full notion.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted September 22, 2020 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

          Ah, but now you’re being redundant of the two I named above. 🙂

          • rickflick
            Posted September 22, 2020 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

            True that.

  17. Charles A Sawicki
    Posted September 22, 2020 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    “We’re facing a 6-3 conservative/liberal court, and we all know what that means: more guns, no abortions, gay rights rolled back, and a variety of other regressive policies we can’t even anticipate.”
    Past history indicates that a primary goal of Republican SCOTUS nominations is to reduce the power of citizens to change their government or impede the growing power of the wealthy and big business. I don’t think that they will remove abortion rights, except marginally, since this is a continuing tool to motivate the religious right. The real goals are to derail democracy and increase their power.

    • Mark R.
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

      I agree. Their main goal is to continue and strengthen the American theocratic oligarchy. They’ll do this by allowing more voter suppression, passing “religious rights” laws and giving more power to corporations and the wealthy. They’ll certainly mess with Roe v. Wade and gay rights, but they’ll probably make it a state issue, not a Federal one. Democrats in red states are in for some real pain. My advice, is the same as that given by the haunted house in Amityville Horror- “GET OUT!”

      • Mark R.
        Posted September 22, 2020 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

        Don’t know how the comma got in that last sentence…

        • Posted September 22, 2020 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

          Any western Eurpean countries looking for educated American ex-pat immigrants? I’m pretty good at learning new languages…

          • jezgrove
            Posted September 22, 2020 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

            I foolishly replied in Greek (via Google Translate) saying “Definitely, man! Come on over! (Σίγουρα, φίλε! Ελα απο εδω!) but WordPress or our host understandably declined to post it in case it was something offensive. Serves me right for trying to be a smartarse.

          • Mark R.
            Posted September 22, 2020 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

            Not until there’s a Covid vaccine. 😬

        • jezgrove
          Posted September 22, 2020 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

          “Don’t know how the comma got in that last sentence…” – if only that had happened when they wrote the Second Amendment…

  18. Ken Kukec
    Posted September 22, 2020 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    “You would do the same.”

    More evidence — as though any were needed — that today’s Republican Party is a wholly owned subsidiary of Trump, Inc. “Screw the other side before they screw you” has always been Donald Trump’s philosophy — in life, in love, and in business. It’s the excuse he gives his playing partners for why he cheats at golf.

  19. Posted September 22, 2020 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    “I am certain if the shoe were on the other foot,” Mr. Graham wrote Monday to Democrats on the judiciary panel, “you would do the same.”
    I don’t think the Democrats would do the same, but not because they have integrity or are fair. Democrats seem to always cave to pressure from the right….they have no will or drive of their own to do what’s right.

    • Dragon
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 11:00 am | Permalink

      Agreed.

  20. Steve Gerrard
    Posted September 22, 2020 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    A lot, including answers to the poll questions, depends on how likely the president is to be re-elected.

    If the GOP were confident of winning, it wouldn’t matter, they could take their time and finish it in February. Their current rush signals a lack of confidence.

    The same applies to the poll scenarios. Whose going to win the elections? It makes a difference in deciding what to do.

  21. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted September 22, 2020 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    “the way Chump is”

    I apparently am the lone “no opinion” because of my literal interpretation of the question – Chump does everything in a sweaty, ghastly way – but also because the question, though tempting, is something of a counter factual, a fiction, not even hypothetical … but that’s me…

    But the question highlights a fundamental problem: power. Republicans just use the power. Full stop. Nothing else matters. It is clear cut game play. Democrats must wake up to this and frankly they should do the same when presented the chance – because it’s a game. A game they will now lose.

  22. Posted September 22, 2020 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    Of course the Dems would do the same—and I say that as an Independent and without any pejorative implication whatsoever. Politics is war by other means and the rules of engagement are:

    1) Before you can do anything to further causes you believe in, you first have to get elected.

    2) If you don’t do everything within your power and the rule of law to achieve your ends, then you don’t care enough.

    If abortion were illegal in the country and the Dems had a chance to appoint a Supreme Court justice that would likely sway the rule of law in the other direction, any Democrat who didn’t do exactly what the Repubs are doing right now would be out on his or her ear, and rightly so.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

      The Dems would never be in “the same” position. They would’ve never dared delay a Republican SCOTUS nomination for 10 months, the way the Mitch McConnell and his crew did Merrick Garland’s. Therefore they would’ve never needed to employ a bullshit “election year” pretext for doing so and, therefore, wouldn’t be in the position Republicans are in of doing an unscrupulous volte-face on their solemn pledge to play by the same rules when one of their own is in office.

      That the “do the same” that’s at issue here, Gary.

      • Michael Waterhouse
        Posted September 22, 2020 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

        Didn’t Biden suggest that that is exactly what should happen?

        When the Senate and the President are two different parties then the process should be delayed till after the election

        The Republican’s have both at the moment so that proposed convention doesn’t apply.
        Also the Dems treatment of Kavanaugh show the depths they would sink to so Grahams change of mind is no great surprised.
        Also it was Democrats under Obama that the filibuster option to delay judicial appointment and force a 60 vote was rescinded and Mitch at the time told them that if they wet ahead with it, he would too.

        The Democrats have themselves largely to blame for all this.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted September 22, 2020 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

          Biden did nothing of the sort. In the summer of 1992, when Bush the First was preparing to run against Bill Clinton, there was a rumor in Washington circles that one or more of the aging conservative justices on the Court at that time might retire, to ensure that their replacement(s) would be named by a Republican. Biden said it wouldn’t be appropriate for that to happen so close to a presidential election and, in fact, it never did happen, as no justices in fact retired that year.

          In 2016, when Antonin Scalia died in February, and Obama duly nominated a successor (a very moderate one, selected for easy confirmation by both parties), Republicans somehow transmogrified Biden’s 1992 statement into a new, ironclad so-called “Biden Rule” that absolutely prohibited consideration of any SCOTUS nominee in the same calendar year as a presidential election. (The Republicans, of course, would have had every right in 2016 to vote against Obama’s nominee, but this is not what they did; they refused even to meet with Merrick Garland in preparation for holding potential judiciary-committee confirmation hearings at some later date.)

          In so doing, the Republican stated that this was a binding rule regarding nominations in ALL presidential-election years — not a rule that admitted of any exceptions for when a single party controlled the presidency and the senate or when the sitting president was himself running for reelection — and promised to be bound by that same rule themselves during the final year of any subsequent Republican president’s term.

          To cast that now, in light of Republicans’ intent to proceed with a replacement of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, as anything other than rank, unprincipled hypocrisy is to try to square the circle.

          Plus, Lindsey Graham repeated his pledge to be bound by this rule a month after the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings, so it is risible for him to claim now that those hearings serve as some basis for his changing his mind.

          Finally, the Republicans’ hypocrisy on this current issue is completely separate from issues regarding the filibuster. And, in any event, the Democrats were forced into abandoning the filibuster for lower federal court judicial nominees in 2013 because then-minority leader Mitch McConnell — as is his obvious obstructionist wont — was refusing to allow any Obama nominees (no matter how well-qualified or moderate) to move through the confirmation process, creating an intolerable backlog of vacancies on the federal bench (as Republican Chief Justice John Roberts complained to the senate at the time).

          • rickflick
            Posted September 22, 2020 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

            The term, “rank, unprincipled hypocrisy” is just about the most concise way to put it. I find it truly astonishing that the fast majority of the GOP and tRump supporters are oblivious to this fact. It is so blatant an abomination, that I have had to adjust my optimism about American, democracy, and humanity generally.

  23. Posted September 22, 2020 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    I don’t live in South Carolina but I did just donate $100 to Jaime Harrison’s campaign. First ever political contribution.

    • Nicolaas Stempels
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

      I’d have given that to Ms McGrath, the ghoulish clown from Kentucky is worse than the ridiculous clown from South Carolina..

  24. cicely berglund
    Posted September 22, 2020 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    Voted. More in hope than confidence in my oppinion

  25. tomh
    Posted September 22, 2020 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    Here’s another scenario, likely, IMO. Biden wins but the GOP keeps the Senate with McConnell in charge. A SC seat opens, Biden nominates someone, and McConnell never brings it to a vote. For 4 years, or as long as Republicans are in control.

    Just as there is no mechanism for the Dems to delay this current situation, there is no mechanism to force McConnell to do things any differently than he did with Garland. He will do it because he can.

    • Nicolaas Stempels
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

      I fear you might be right. It shows that the problem lies with the senate, disproportionally giving an advantage to sparsely populated states.why would a state like Wyoming with about 500,000 inhabitants have the same weight as a state with dozens of millions, such as NY,CA,TX or FL?
      I once calculated that -theoretically- less than 25% of the US population could obtain a majority in the Senate.
      In reality that would not, of course, but one should keep in mind that the 53 seats held by the Republicans represent less voters than the 47 seats held by the Democrats and Independents.

      • tomh
        Posted September 22, 2020 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

        The US has increasingly become minority ruled, culminating in the confirmations of Trump’s SC choices. Nominations made by a president elected with less votes than his opponent and confirmed by senators representing less than 45% of the population.

      • tomh
        Posted September 22, 2020 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

        Further evidence of minority rule in the US. The 30 least populous states, comprising less than 1/3 of the population, control 60 seats in the Senate. How does that make sense?

    • Posted September 22, 2020 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

      There’s always Squeaky Fromme…

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted September 22, 2020 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

        Reminds me of an old Reagan-era joke.

        The Gipper has John Hinckley brought to the Oval Office after the assassination attempt. He tells Hinckley he has no hard feelings about the shooting and is going to grant him him a full pardon. Then, as a gesture of good will, Reagan slides Hinkley’s pistol across the Resolute desk, says he wants him to have that back, too.

        Hinkley says thanks and gets up to leave. As he does, Reagan say, “Oh, one more thing, John, Just so you know, Tip O’Neill is banging Jody Foster.”

    • Jonathan Dore
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

      I guess the question then is “Why is there no mechanism for forcing the Senate to do its job?” Couldn’t a legal case be brought against the Senate, or the majority leader, to force them to hold hearings and votes if they refuse to? If not, then some constitutional reform is clearly needed.

      • Posted September 22, 2020 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

        This was discussed a lot at the time and the answer is ‘no’. The Senate Majority Leader has control over the agenda. If they say something is not going to get a hearing, it doesn’t. It seems totally wrong, of course, but someone has to be in charge and it is hard to see how a law forcing them to take something seriously would work in practice.

        In fact, McConnell is sitting on all kinds of bills without bringing them up for discussion. The Senate no longer performs much of its assigned function unless Trump and McConnell want it to.

        It is yet another case where the US Constitution assumes people in office act in good faith and in the interest of the country. When that doesn’t happen, the remedies are things like impeachment and voting them out of office. Unfortunately, these things take a long time and count on good faith voters. The Trump administration and the GOP ought to be punished heavily by voters for not fulfilling their duties. The Dems might win a majority in Congress in November but, even if they do, many of the same dysfunctional GOP senators will still remain.

        • Jonathan Dore
          Posted September 22, 2020 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

          Sounds like it shouldn’t be too hard to craft a law saying something like “the president will nominate a SCJ within x days of a vacancy arising, and the senate will hold hearings and vote on the nomination within x further days. Failure to do so will lead to automatic loss of office.” Nice and simple.

          • Posted September 22, 2020 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

            Sounds ok but I suspect it won’t hold up on close inspection. Automatic loss of office would probably never hold up without being accompanied by due process. Once you introduce due process, you are back to the possibility of the party in power forcing things to go their way. As in all forms of government, everything counts on good faith participants.

            • tomh
              Posted September 22, 2020 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

              The Senate makes its own rules and they like it that way. A law like that would never get through the Senate, no matter who was in the majority.

  26. rickflick
    Posted September 22, 2020 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    Pelosi said she had arrows in her quiver, but I haven’t heard anyone suggest any action Dems can take other than a few delay maneuvers which will probably be ineffectual. One other suggestion, which may be unlikely is to impeach the president again, which would maybe delay the confirmation. Now, I’ll read the comments and see if anyone has suggested more.

    • Posted September 22, 2020 at 11:33 am | Permalink

      One Dem move is the promise to pack the court unless Trump and the GOP let the nomination fall to the next president. I’m not saying that’s a good idea or that the GOP would take the threat seriously but is an arrow in the Dem quiver.

      It was also suggested that if the Senate confirmed the nominee in a lame duck session after Biden wins the election, the Dems could impeach the new justice and replace her with one of their own choosing. That doesn’t sound like it would have a legal basis but I’m no expert.

      • tomh
        Posted September 22, 2020 at 11:38 am | Permalink

        The House could impeach a justice with a simple majority, but to convict and remove, the Senate requires a 2/3rds vote, same as to remove a president.

      • rickflick
        Posted September 22, 2020 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

        A promise to pack the court might fail because that’s probably something they should do anyway. Meaning, re-balance the ideology of the court as well as expand membership to buffer against a rapid ideological shift.

        • Nicolaas Stempels
          Posted September 22, 2020 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

          Packing the court is no real solution, the Senate is the problem, or rather it lack of ‘repesentativity’.
          I would propose that any candidate to the supreme court should get a 2/3rds majority and/or the support of at least 1/3rd of either party.

          • jezgrove
            Posted September 22, 2020 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

            Sounds good to me.

          • rickflick
            Posted September 22, 2020 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

            Yes, that sounds appealing, but I wonder if it wouldn’t lead to so many deadlocks that it would be unworkable.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

      Pelosi said she had arrows in her quiver …

      Mebbe so. I sure hope she’s right. But it’s lookin’ to me as though the Dems are like a ship that’s run aground, sitting high’n’dry, waiting for the next high tide to come in to float them off the shoal.

  27. Dimitrios Papagianno
    Posted September 22, 2020 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    “After reading nearly everything…”
    Waste of a scarce resource. Cynicism is a prerequisite for a career in politics.

  28. Curtis
    Posted September 22, 2020 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    Politicians are by and large the same – power hungry assholes. There is no reason to believe the Democrats would have acted differently. In 2013, they ended the judicial filibuster which could have been used to block Trump’s nomination because it was good for them in the short run but it is biting them now. (Their MeToo opposition to Kavanaugh but avoidance of Biden sexual assault claims show their hypocrisy.)

    If the Democrats win the senate and the presidency, they will (and should) increase the court to 11 members.

    • drosophilist
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

      “Politicians are by and large the same – power-hungry a**holes”

      That is a horribly cynical take and, if you’ll forgive me for saying so, it’s exactly what Barack Obama (a politician but NOT an a**hole) has warned us about. “What Republicans want,” he said, “is for you to become cynical and bitter, to say, all politicians are equally bad, so it doesn’t matter who I vote for.” There are good, non-a**hole people who are politicians. Sure, all politicians are ambitious pretty much by definition, otherwise they would not have run for office. But not all politicians are “power-hungry” in the sense of, “I’ll do whatever it takes to gain/hold onto power, legal/moral/ethical standards be damned.”

      • Posted September 22, 2020 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

        Right. “All politicians are a-holes” and its variants are just “both sides” arguments. We are going to hear that kind of argument made a lot. GOP senators are doing it now with their claim that “Dems would have done the same thing.” We have to call it out every single time.

      • Curtis
        Posted September 22, 2020 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

        “Many people at some point have likely wondered if their boss is a psychopath. It turns out that if your boss is a politician, there’s a good chance he or she is. Several of the characteristics that define a psychopath also correspond to the same traits that make for effective leaders.”
        https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/research-suggests-politicians-are-more-likely-to-be-psychopaths-11364143/

        People who succeed at getting power or money (CEOs, politicians, military officers, etc.) tend to be on assholes. It’s almost a requirement for the job.

    • Nicolaas Stempels
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

      Curtis, I would have taken your argument seriously if you had not included the “avoidance of Biden sexual assault”.
      The accusations were made by a known liar and grifter, and not credible at all. They did not pass the simplest of sniff tests.

      • Curtis
        Posted September 22, 2020 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

        The fact that Reade’s mother called into Larry King’s show with a complaint about a “prominent senator” gives it some credibility. None of the Kavanaugh accusers have contemporaneous evidence. I have no idea if any of the accusations are true and neither do the Democrats.

        Kamala Harris believed some of the accusations against Biden. “I believe them, and I respect them being able to tell their story and having the courage to do it.” However, it is unclear exactly what/who she meant.
        https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/harris-believe-biden-accusers/

        • Posted September 22, 2020 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

          I remember Kamala Harris saying this and thought lesser of her for that reason. I took her “I believe them” as meaning she heard their stories and supported their right to tell them. She used them to dirty Biden but reserved plausible deniability in case their stories turned out to be false. Exactly the kind of thing that makes people hate politicians.

        • Matthew
          Posted September 22, 2020 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

          No one has identified the woman who called in to Larry King as Reade’s mother except Reade, a known liar.

          One of the reasons we don’t have a clear idea of what happened with Kavanaugh is that Republicans refused to talk to witnesses and produced a single page report that could be only be viewed under the most ridiculous conditions. However, we did get to see how Kavanaugh conducted himself and that alone was enough to reject him.

          • Curtis
            Posted September 22, 2020 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

            A call to Larry King matching Reade’s account was made from San Luis Obispo where her mother was living. This is very strong evidence to her being truthful about the call and weak evidence of her being truthful about the Biden story.
            “KING: San Luis Obispo, California, hello.

            CALLER: Yes, hello. I’m wondering what a staffer would do besides go to the press in Washington? My daughter has just left there, after working for a prominent senator, and could not get through with her problems at all, and the only thing she could have done was go to the press, and she chose not to do it out of respect for him.”
            https://theintercept.com/2020/04/24/new-evidence-tara-reade-joe-biden/

            • Matthew
              Posted September 23, 2020 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

              There are over 200,000 people in San Louis Obispo county. Someone made a call to Larry King on a show specifically about the difficulties of working in DC, to make a nonspecific claim. This is pretty thin. Again, Kavanaugh’s behavior alone was enough to render a decision about his ability to sit on the court.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

      Christine Blasey Ford gave credible sworn testimony before the senate judiciary committee at the Kavanaugh hearings. The Republican-controlled committee, and the Trump administration pressured FBI, declined to conduct a meaningful investigation of her proffered corroboration.

      Biden’s accuser, Tara Reade, OTOH, folded like a cheap fan the first time she felt the pressure of any public scrutiny. If she hadn’t, had her story held up under even cursory review, Biden would’ve been sent packing faster than you can say “Al Franken.”

      And on the hypocrisy front, let’s not even get started with the pussy-grabber-in-chief. To quote the Great Man himself, pop a couple Tic-Tacs and move on her like a bitch; you just can’t get there from here.

      • Posted September 22, 2020 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

        Precisely. I have good friends that know Ford well, and they believe that she was sincere and accurate with her testimony, with nothing to gain and a lot to lose.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

      Christine Blasey Ford gave credible sworn testimony at Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing. The Republican-controlled judiciary committee, and the Trump administration pressured FBI, failed to conduct a meaningful investigation of her proffered corroborating evidence.

      Biden’s accuser, Tara Reade, OTOH, folded like a cheap fan at the first sign of the pressure of public scrutiny, If she hadn’t, had her story held up to even cursory review, Biden would’ve been sent packing faster than you can say “Al Franken.”

      And as for hypocrisy, let’s not even get started on the pussy-grabber-in-chief (who now has the US DoJ defending him from one of his rape accusers, in a last-ditch effort to avoid giving a DNA sample). In the words of the Great Man himself, pop a couple Tic-Tacs and move on her like a bitch, you just can’t get there from here.

  29. Nicolaas Stempels
    Posted September 22, 2020 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    Despicable as Mr Graham’s turn-around is, he is not alone: Mr Perdue, Mr Tillis, Mr Grassley, Mr Cruz, Mr Rubio, etc. the list is long. What am I saying? The ghoulish clown-in-chief, Mr McConnell is first in line there.

  30. Curtis
    Posted September 22, 2020 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    The politicization of Supreme Court nominees really got started when the Democrats rejected the eminently qualified Robert Bork because they did not like his political views. In 2013, the Democrats ended the judicial filibuster. What goes around, comes around.

    Politician tend to be power hungry scum and there is no reason to think the Democrats would have done otherwise. Decorum and decency are no longer part of our political system. We are in a bad political spot and all hyper partisan people (politician or not) are to blame.

    If the Democrats win the senate and presidency, I expect them to pack the court. It’s not good for the country but it is the necessary response. We are in a tit for tat feedback loop.

    • Posted September 22, 2020 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

      I think the Dems will avoid the tit-for-tat strategy as they want to be known to voters as the party that knows how to govern. (This is a low bar after Trump.) Better than packing the court, they should seek some sort of plan that has fairness built into it. Perhaps it could include a one-time “Merritt Garland” correction without incurring too much pushback.

      • Michael Waterhouse
        Posted September 22, 2020 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

        It was Biden’s idea in the first place to avoid judicial nominations if the senate and the president were opposite sides, like Garland.
        This is not a similar case.

    • Nicolaas Stempels
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

      Mr Bork, although indeed eminently qualified, was rejected, because he lied about -or at least misrepresented- his role in the firing of Mr Cox (IIRC).

      • Curtis
        Posted September 22, 2020 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

        That is not true. If you look at Wikipedia, Cox is not mentioned. It is widely acknowledge that Bork’s rejection politicized nomination process. Ironically, the process was led by Joe Biden.

        “Robert Bork’s Supreme Court Nomination ‘Changed Everything, Maybe Forever'”
        https://www.npr.org/sections/itsallpolitics/2012/12/19/167645600/robert-borks-supreme-court-nomination-changed-everything-maybe-forever

        “How Robert Bork’s Failed Nomination Led to a Changed Supreme Court”
        https://www.history.com/news/robert-bork-ronald-reagan-supreme-court-nominations

        It was politics plain and simple:
        “Within 45 minutes of Bork’s nomination to the Court, Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) took to the Senate floor with a strong condemnation of Bork in a nationally televised speech, declaring:

        ‘Robert Bork’s America is a land in which women would be forced into back-alley abortions, blacks would sit at segregated lunch counters, rogue police could break down citizens’ doors in midnight raids, and schoolchildren could not be taught about evolution, writers and artists could be censored at the whim of the Government, and the doors of the Federal courts would be shut on the fingers of millions of citizens.'”

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Bork_Supreme_Court_nomination

        • Matthew
          Posted September 22, 2020 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

          If you think Bork’s rejection was just “politics plain and simple” I would suggest familiarizing yourself with his ideas about the law. Frankly, they’re pretty nuts and he was rightly rejected.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

      The politicization of Supreme Court nominees really got started when the Democrats rejected the eminently qualified Robert Bork because they did not like his political views.

      Tell it to Anthony Kennedy the conservative who replaced Bork as the nominee and was confirmed 97-0.

      Bork did himself no favors by being a dick at his judiciary-committee hearings. Hell, six Republicans voted against his confirmation. (That’s not from Wikipedia; I watched it.)

      And as for ending the filibuster for lower court judges, Harry Reid really had no choice. Mitch McConnell was — quelle surprise! — playing pure obstructionist. Trying to move even the most qualified, moderate Obama nominees through the senate with McConnell as minority leader was like trying to force 18 Big Macs through Donald Trump’s clogged and bloated digestive tract.

  31. Stephen Sanders
    Posted September 22, 2020 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    I believe the Democrats would try to confirm a justice in the time remaining. The difference is I don’t believe they would have blocked the nomination of Garland if the situation had been reversed. So such a move would not be hypocritical.

  32. Posted September 22, 2020 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    Try, if you can? Try to imagine another four years and beyond, if Trumpism continues!!! Not just for four more years, but far beyond. The world, except for Putin and the like, will shun this country. The stench of this administration is beyond anything before. It is a mob mentality and Trump demands it be that way. This guy has gotta go!

  33. Art Rigsby
    Posted September 22, 2020 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    Democrats need to get a pair and pack the court. If you don’t think the GOP would do it if the shoe was on the other foot I have a piece of Moon cheese to sell you.

    • KD
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

      Why? So the Court will strike down some Christian monument in a Veteran’s cemetery on separation of church and state grounds? Do you think the donor class behind the Democratic party gives a rat’s rear end?

      No, they care about capital gains tax rates and keeping America’s health care system brutal, overpriced and extremely profitable to investors.

      The masses get all worked up over these cultural war issues, and the parties each appeal to their base by promises of Supreme Court Justices, but the Supreme Court’s real function is to anoint 9 millionaires tasked with protecting the interests of many more billionaires, a la “false consciousness.” Nine millionaires can do the job as well as eleven millionaires, and the public is less likely to notice the strings and the fake backdrop.

      • Mark R.
        Posted September 22, 2020 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

        Huh? “Supreme Court’s real function is to anoint 9 millionaires tasked with protecting the interests of many more billionaires.” You do know that 4 justices (Stevens, Ginsburg, Breyer and Sotomayor) all voted against Citizens United, right? That flies in the face of your cynical statement. And to think that Ginsburg thought her function was to protect the interests of billionaires is both laughable and insulting.

  34. Mobius
    Posted September 22, 2020 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    I think it likely that the Republicans’ actions on the Garland nomination and what seems the most probable outcome of this nomination will result in some form of Democrat backlash…finally. If this nomination goes through, there is quite a bit of talk of expanding the size of the court, which is not fixed by the Constitution. The number of justices has varied over the years.

    • Posted September 22, 2020 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

      The Dems will need to win control of the Senate first. It is not clear that threatening to pack SCOTUS is the best way to go about doing that.

  35. KD
    Posted September 22, 2020 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

    IMHO I have serious doubts that the Court is going to do anything radical with Roe v. Wade, at best some nibbling at the edges. Reversing Roe and pushing it back to the States would open up a legislative $#!+show, and its a lot better to grandstand that “life begins at conception” than having to make policy and legislative decisions that actually have real world consequences.

    As it stands, GOP legislators can pass the kookiest pro-life bills imaginable, with the safe knowledge that anything they pass will be DOA. Perfect virtue signalling. . .

    [BTW, if the GOP was serious about overturning Roe, don’t you think after 50 years of appointing “strict constructionist” judges vetted by the Federalist Society that Roe would be overturned. Its a bait and switch operation.]

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

      Reversing Roe and pushing it back to the States would open up a legislative $#!+show …

      If you’ve been paying attention to what has been happening in state legislatures over the past couple years, you’ll have seen that it’s already a legislative shit-show out there.

      Merely in anticipation of Roe v. Wade‘s being overruled in light of the Gorsuch and Kavanaugh appointments, state legislatures in red states have gone on a rampage of enacting extremely onerous laws that essentially have the intent and effect of prohibiting all lawful abortions.

      Many of these laws has been found to be unconstitutional by the lower federal courts under Roe v. Wade and its progeny, and their enforcement has accordingly been stayed pending review by higher federal courts. But even as is, there are currently no abortion providers at all in 90% of US counties, and six red states — Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming — are down to a single abortion provider, with some of those providers barely able to keep their doors open. See here.

      The burden of the closure of so many abortion providers, of course, falls most heavily on women of limited means and ability to travel.

  36. Hattie
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    I didn’t read all the comments, so someone may have already said something like this, but I can’t vote in the first poll because I think the Dems would have had a vote in 2016 and thus would then have a vote in 2020. I think because the Reps did not vote in 2016, they should not vote in 2020. The situations are similar, the only difference is that we are even closer to the election now and their reasoning in 2016 is much more applicable in 2020 than in 2016.

  37. flayman
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    There are an awful lot of comments here and someone may have already made the same points I’m about to make. It’s too much to read, but in case I’m alone I want to make these points. To quote you:

    “The one thing that haunts me is Graham’s claim that Dems would act the same way were the shoe on the other foot. Now in 2016 there were ten months until Obama’s term ended, and the Dems pushed Garland forward. Now there are four months until Trump’s term ends, and six weeks until the election. Was it okay for Dems to call for hearings on Garland in March, and not okay for us to oppose hearings on Trump’s nominee in late September?”

    As I see it, these are completely separate and different things. There was nothing wrong with attempting to fill a Supreme Court vacancy with 10 months until an election. There was everything right with that. But the Senate showed that they did not have to do it. McConnell sets the legislative agenda and so he was able to keep the Judiciary Committee from starting the process. It’s the opposite now. McConnell can start the process which is favorable to the Republican Party. Lindsay Graham is right. I’m sure if the shoe were on the other foot and Democrats controlled the Senate with a Democratic White House, the majority leader would act on this. There is too much at stake to leave it to chance, especially where chances are reportedly not good (which we shall see).

    There may be an upside to all of this. If we get this confirmation out of the way before the election then conservatives can breath a sigh. It takes pressure off winning the White House. The rest of the justices are fairly healthy and the only one who has hinted at retirement is Thomas. He’ll hang on if a Democrat is elected. Bottom line is that if we fill this seat now (and hopefully without anyone truly objectionable) then Republicans who hate Trump would feel easier voting for Biden.

    One final point is that judicial nominations do not produce outcomes, they produce jurists. Many have been surprised by the performance of Neil Gorsuch. Kavanaugh may also turn out to be not quite as conservative as some would have hoped. If Trump wins again and the Republicans keep the Senate, then he can put any idiot up for the seat and they will endorse it. That’s what truly scares me. Better to get it out of the way now.


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