I have a friend from high school who leans hard conservative, but tries (to his great credit) to be a voice of reason on social media. He doesn’t like Hillary Clinton, for example, but makes an effort to understand why liberals support her. So, truly, I appreciate the guy.
Today, however, he wrote something that really got under my skin. The topic was Merrick Garland, and how Republicans won’t even meet with the man nominated for the Supreme Court by Barack Obama. I posted this—commentary on a Tweet from Pennsylvania GOP Senator Pat Toomey …
… and my friend replied by noting that both parties make him sick; that both parties do this stuff; that Democrats and Republicans are the same genre of awfulness and … and … and …
I’m calling bullshit.
Yes, politicians suck. And m-a-n-y Democratic politicians suck. If I never see Harry Reid or Debbie Wasserman Schultz or Charlie Crist again, I’d be a giddy man. But to suggest what’s happening with the Supreme Court is mere Washington drama, easily played out by either party, is simply wrong. This isn’t mere Washington drama, and it’s not something Democrats have done. How do I know this? Because Democrats have never, ever, ever refused to even meet a president’s Supreme Court choice. Yes, they’re rejected choices. And, an argument can be made, behaved callously in rejecting said choices. But what we’re seeing now, from Mitch McConnell and his gang, is a new level of absurd awfulness. Let’s count the reasons …
• 1. Disrespect: Barack Obama is the president of the United States. You don’t like him, you don’t like his policies, you think he’s awful and you hate how he’s treated you. All fine and fair. But he’s still the twice-elected president of the people, and when he nominates someone, you at least meet the guy. Out of respect for the office, if nothing else.
• 2. Double Disrespect: You can’t find anyone who has bad things to say about Merrick Garland. Sure, there are decisions some disagree with. But as a judge, his reputation as a fair, intelligent man has transcended politics. And yet—you refuse to even meet him? To even open a door to him? So disgraceful.
• 3. Lying: McConnell has repeatedly said this is about giving Americans a voice in the process; and that the Democrats want to deny them this voice. Um, this makes zero sense. Again, Barack Obama has been elected—twice—by real human beings. Also, he still has TEN months remaining as president. That’s not even close to lame duck territory. Put different, McConnell is flat-out lying. He’s not taking this stance out of some ode to the people. No, he’s taking this stance because A. It’s a blow to Obama; B. The Republicans want a conservative judge. That’s ALL this is about. There’s no virtue whatsoever.
• 4. Nightmare: If a Republican becomes the next president, it will either be Donald Trump or Ted Cruz. These are the two worst candidates the GOP has probably ever put forth, and even the majority of elected Republicans seem to feel this way. So you don’t want to meet the moderate Garland because you trust (egad) Trump or Cruz? What?
Again, this isn’t a two-party thing, or simply a bad political moment. Nope, it’s the Republicans being assholes; citing a “Biden rule” that doesn’t exist and fighting yet again to marginalize a president who, love or hate him, has been big-time influential.
I suspect they’ll win the battle (No Merrick).
I suspect they’ll lose the war (lots of seats, and a presidency).