Some rhetorical hyperbole is unfortunately inevitable in politics, especially in the midst of an election season, and especially during a fight over a highly controversial Supreme Court nominee. However, this is impossible to take seriously.
South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham says the furor surrounding sexual harassment claims against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is a “total collapse of the traditional confirmation process.” […]
Graham, who is a member of the Judiciary committee, tweeted Monday that there are “no boundaries” when it comes to stopping President Donald Trump.
Soon after that, Senate Majority Leader and terrible turtle Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) gave remarks on the Senate floor, arguing, “The Democrats had already made up their minds and chosen their tactics: delay, obstruct, and resist. Whatever it took – whatever the truth really was – they were going to do whatever they could to stop this qualified, experienced, and mainstream nominee.”
One day earlier, Matt Schlapp, who is the chairman for the American Conservative Union, whined that Democratic presidents’ Supreme Court picks “get an easy time,” while the Republican presidents’ picks “get mauled.”
Republicans are acting like they don’t remember what happened in 2016.
Back in early 2016, after Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s death, Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) politely suggested that then-President Barack Obama should nominate Judge Merrick Garland to be on the Supreme Court. The noble Democratic president took Hatch’s advice and sent Garland – who, to borrow McConnell’s phrasing, was a “qualified, experienced, and mainstream nominee” – over to the Senate for due consideration.
But then, Hatch, Graham, McConnell, and other Republican liars and crooks refused to give that compromise nominee a single hearing. Republican senators held open that Supreme Court vacancy for an entire year, and were willing to do so for four more years if a Democrat got elected president in 2016.
There were definitely “no boundaries” to the Republicans’ tactics.
One might reasonably characterize this disgusting hyper-partisanship the “total collapse of the traditional confirmation process.” Any neutral observer might also add that Republicans in 2016 had “already made up their minds and chosen their tactics: delay, obstruct, and resist.”
Yes, it’s two years later, and Democrats are raising their concerns about Brett Kavanaugh – a nominee from a president who, unlike his highly qualified predecessor, lost the popular vote by millions of votes. But they’re acting very much within the appropriate boundaries of the “traditional” nomination process. Even here, it is Republicans who are deceitfully shielding much of the amoral nominee’s record from any scrutiny and rejecting the requests for a full FBI background check.
We don’t know if GOP’s blind spot involving Merrick Garland is real or just the result of cynicism and soullessness. But the only possible way to take the crappy Republican arguments seriously would be to pretend that 2016 never happened.