March 24 2017
Lately I've been humorously criticizing the Democrats lately for self-destructing--but this latest manifestation of the party of Jefferson and Jackson's rapid implosion seems just plain sad.
As we all know, the Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee made fools of themselves trying to pin some malfeasance (sexism? cruelty to truckdrivers?) onto 10th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Neil Gorsuch, who remained dignified, courteous, reasonable-sounding, and unflappable throughout his confirmation hearing for the Supreme Court.
And this latest Washington Post blog post by Democrat-loyalist Paul Waldman, dealing with Minority Leader Charles Schumer's vow to filibuster Gorsuch anyway, demonstrates just how pathetic and desperate the Democrats are these days.
...[F]ilibustering Gorsuch is the right thing to do.
Why? Because it's just so darned frustrating that we Dems just can't manage to lay a glove on the man. We all know that deep down in his heart Neil Gorsuch is an "extremist"--but jeez, why wouldn't he come out and say so? Unfair!
Everyone knows who Neil Gorsuch is and what kind of justice he’ll be. Democrats have tried to get him to admit it, knowing that he never will, while he pretends to have an open mind on everything and a judicial philosophy unsullied by any particular normative beliefs about policy. It’s an act, and it’s one that Republican nominees in particular have honed over the years: Claim you can’t say anything about past cases or present cases or future cases, and even if you could, you really have no opinions about anything.
Gorsuch was presented to Trump as a possible nominee by the Heritage Foundation....
The Heritage Foundation? Horrors!
Now the Democrats, who don't have the votes to block confirmation, could, of course, vote to confirm Gorsuch anyway, on the honorable ground that he's perfectly qualified to sit on the Supreme Court even if they don't agree with his judicial philosophy, just as Republicans voted to confirm Ruth Bader Ginsburg for the same reason. That's the way things used to be, before the year 1987, when a certain distinguished Yale Law School professor and longtime federal appeals court judge was blocked from the high court by Democrats just because.
But Waldman thinks the Dems ought to go ahead with that filibuster anyway, and here's the reason: Revenge!
The reason is that these are truly extraordinary circumstances. The Republicans’ refusal to allow Merrick Garland to get even a hearing to fill this seat was nothing short of a crime against democracy, a twisting of democratic norms beyond all recognition. Garland should be in this seat, and Democrats should go as far as they possibly can to avoid giving even a shred of validation to the way Republicans stole it.
"Stole"? Whatever happened to the "Biden Rule"?
And here's an even better reason to grandstand against Gorsuch:
Democrats in Congress have almost no institutional power at the moment, and the only way they’re going to get some of that power is if 2018 is a wave election. A wave election happens when one side’s voters are angry and motivated. Right now, Democratic voters are definitely angry and motivated, and it’s the job of Democrats in Congress to keep showing those voters what they ought to be angry about — and that their representatives are fighting as hard as they possibly can.
In other words, the Democrats' only hope, Waldman admits is that if they can keep their voter base "angry" enough--about something or other, who cares what?--they might win some elections down the road.
Anger? Is that all the Democratic Party has to offer these days? That's what's pathetic and sad.