We all knew this was coming. Maybe not now, but you really couldn’t pick a more spectacular time for this to occur. (Not spectacular meaning great, but spectacular in terms of the impact it will have.) This is the equivalent of dropping a nuclear bomb on a train wreck of charlie-foxtrot dumpster fires. If the 2020 election wasn’t shaping up to be the pinnacle of insanity, it certainly is now.
As news of Justice Ginsburg’s death flooded the country, the Left latched upon the words of Republicans from 2016, in the wake of the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. During that year’s election, the hardened conservative judge met an unexpected demise in Texas, in February at the age of 79. The suddenness of Scalia’s passing created an impasse in the country, with a Democrat President wanting to fill the seat with someone of his choice and a Republican-controlled Senate, the body responsible for confirming that choice, saying they wouldn’t hold a confirmation hearing. President Obama nominated Merrick Garland, a D.C. Circuit judge who had been nominated to his current position in the late 90s by then-President Clinton.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell stated that the Senate would not hold a hearing until after the election. Democrats called foul stating that McConnell was playing politics and that the seat must be filled immediately. (Hypocrisy previously covered by Nick Arama.) McConnell, in his wisdom, stated that the American People should have a choice in the seat and that it should wait to be filled until after the election.
Since the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Democrats have seized upon that quote, stating that what was good then, must be good now, so by McConnell not waiting, he is a raging, turtle-faced hypocrite.
Except he isn’t. He took the case to the American people and it just happened to pay off.
Remember, in February of 2016, a Trump victory was anything but guaranteed. In fact, McConnell maintaining his majority in the Senate was far from certain either. He laid the decision regarding Merrick Garland at the feet of the voters. If you want us to confirm, give Democrats the Presidency, the Senate, or both. We will confirm him the following week. If you want an alternative, vote for Trump and he will nominate someone different. Had we ended up with President Hillary Clinton and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, do you think for one second they would have followed through with the nomination of Garrick? Of course not! They would have nominated the farthest-left activist judge they could have found and ramrodded his/her confirmation through the Senate, mocking Republicans the whole way. McConnell knew this. Whether we had a Democrat-controlled Senate, or we had ended up with President Hillary Clinton and a Republican-controlled Senate, it is likely McConnell again, in his wisdom, would have pushed through Garrick during a lame-duck session of Obama’s last month in office, as Garrick was about as moderate of a judge for which Republicans could hope.
McConnell relied upon the very checks and balances built into our Constitutional Republic. The people had given the power of the Presidency to the Democrats and the power of the Senate to the Republicans. As a result, the true intentions of the people were clouded. On one hand, had he confirmed Garrick, Republicans would have squandered the power with which they had been trusted. With the denial of the confirmation of Garrick, McConnell made Democrats angry, but the Democrats’ power in that regard ends at the nomination. The issue is that McConnell’s actions aren’t hypocritical at all. He took his case to the people. Not to delay the vote for the sake of delaying the vote, but rather to clarify with the people, what they wanted to be done with that seat. The people chose Trump, Republicans, and the path to a different nominee. The Republic functioned exactly as it is intended.
Democrats want to make this hypocrisy, but it isn’t, as the people HAVE spoken. There is no longer any question as to the intention of the people. They gave Republicans the control of the Senate and the Presidency. When the people granted that power, they were aware of the potential consequences of that decision. They were aware that that power in the hands of both Trump and McConnell could lead to the confirmation of any judges Republicans deem acceptable. They knew this and yet, they still gave that power. If, as the Democrats want to believe, people are opposed to this move, why would they have given that power to Senate Republicans, not once but twice since 2016?
Democrats simply wanted the Scalia seat filled because it gave them an edge in the court, that’s it. That’s why they had demanded it be filled. Had Schumer made the case to the American people that McConnell is right and that the people needed to vote the power to his party, he may have won that debate and subsequent election. He, instead, cried foul about checks and balances built into the Constitution of the United States. Schumer isn’t mad that the Senate Republicans didn’t hold a vote on Merrick Garland. He is mad that the American people rejected his party’s message and demands…. And the people did so rightfully. Schumer and the Democrats are the rival team, screaming at our quarterback, mad that he is running the clock at the end of the game. The rules are the rules, and Dems, despite their professed love for the Constitution, certainly have a lot of problems with the functions and protections contained therein.
The Constitution was written with these exact situations in mind. It was written so that if the people didn’t want a President acting with impunity, Congress could intervene. The Constitution, in all of its 231 years of history, has proven to be as perfect of a document as could have been written at the time, being that it can still be applied to the imperfect time in which we currently live. The Founding Fathers would have wanted a permanently deadlocked process before a President’s agenda was simply agreed to for the sake of progress.
McConnell’s pause to the confirmation wasn’t an appeal to his own convictions or selfish interests or even the interests of his party. This isn’t simply a “turnabout is fair play” moment to stick it to the Democrats. It was an appeal to the American convictions contained in the Constitution, of checks and balances, the separation of powers, and the electoral process. He left that final decision to the American People and they decided. That….. That is what Democrats hate most.