There isn’t much point to trying to block the nomination of Neil Gorsuch

There will be a lot of effort expended over the next several weeks to thwart Neil Gorsuch’s appointment as the next Justice of the United States Supreme Court. It will be wasted effort, just like most of the effort to thwart President Kumquat’s cabinet.

A number of people – myself included – are still incensed over the Republican Senate’s refusal to even consider President Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland to the court back in February, after the death of Antonin Scalia. There is no delicate way to say this: Mitch McConnell f**ked us in the a**. That’s what he did. He threw a Hail Mary that was destined to fail, until the extraordinarily unlikely (and by all evidence illegitimate) election of President Kumquat. If Hillary Clinton had been elected, as she should have been, she would have appointed a younger and more liberal judge than Merrick Garland. So the Republicans were gambling big time, breaking with hundreds of years of precedent, and the gamble paid off.

Now President Kumquat is going to make his entire base happy through the appointment of Neil Gorsuch. The Democrats can huff and puff, but they can’t do much about Gorsuch being appointed to the court.[1] Oh sure, Obama could have played hardball and made Merrick Garland a recess appointment – something I have previously argued would have proved that the Democrats (at last!) were as willing to play hardball as the Republicans – but being a man of reason and of conscience Obama didn’t do that. Now that Democrats can filibuster Gorsuch’s appointment if they want, but that would likely only lead to President Kumquat nominating someone who is more radical and less qualified.

And give him credit: for once President Kumquat listened to his advisors and made an excellent strategic appointment. Gorsuch has unimpeachable credentials. He is a Scalia clone.[2] He is only 49 and in excellent health. But this isn’t the big fight. That’s the next one, when Ruth Bader Ginsburg[3] dies or Anthony Kennedy resigns. That’s the one that will shift the composition of the court dramatically and could lead to the reversal of Roe v. Wade.[4]

And so with his cabinet. I’ve said throughout the eight years of the Obama administration that a President should be allowed to pick his cabinet, no matter how incompetent I think they might be. And so with President Kumquat. He should be able to have his guys, the people he wants to take into war with him. If it turns out that they can’t manage their way out of a paper bag, that will be his problem, not ours. Except for maybe Betsy DeVos, who is so blatantly biased and incompetent that even a couple of Republican Senators – Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski – have indicated that they will vote off.

But this is what happens when you elect a lunatic to be the President of the United States. He gets to pick his people, including for the Supreme Court. Oh, there will be payback at some point, but it won’t really happen until the Democrats wrest back the control of the Senate – not likely to be in two years, but maybe in four – and the Republicans want to get one of their late inning appointments through. Then the Democrats will be able to block that person with a clear conscience. Lord knows that the Republicans opened the door to that. They’ve opened the door to a lot of things, and the Democrats can finally stop apologizing for getting into the hardball game with them.

[1] Even the filibustering is likely to lead to nowhere. First of all, a number of Democrats in deeply red states are likely to vote off, and the Republicans are already preparing big ad campaigns in those states. Second, the Republicans can always use the “nuclear option” and rewrite the rules of the filibuster so that only a simply majority is needed. McConnell – in a remarkable and unusual show of restraint – has indicated that he doesn’t want to do that, and Susan Collins (Republican of Maine) has already indicated that she would not vote for the nuclear option. Besides, having already f**ked us in the a** once, McConnell surely knows the dangers of doing it again. Using the nuclear option would free up the Democrats to do the same when they return to power.

[2] As I’ve already argued in the past, far from being an “intellectual giant,” Antonin Scalia was actually just a giant hypocrite. Oh sure, he was witty and could turn a phrase, but when it suited his needs, he completely distorted the meaning of the 2nd amendment and wrote the opening clause right out of the document. So much for textural faithfulness.

[3] I will never understand why Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who has been in terrible health for years, didn’t resign while Obama would still have had the chance to nominate a reasonable replacement. They’ll have to wheel her out of the Supreme Court building on a gurney, but that will likely happen in the next few years.

[4] It really is remarkable that 40 years later the question of a woman’s right to choose – which by all rights should appeared to be settled 40 years ago – is still open to debate in 2017. If Roe v. Wade does get overturned, it won’t matter in Massachusetts, California or New York, where either the state constitutions or the political realities have already enshrined choice as a fundamental right. But the women of Kansas and Oklahoma and Nebraska and Ohio will also have a choice: do they want to vote their assholes out of office or do they want to continue to have their men deny them their fundamental rights. It will be up to them.

About a1skeptic

A disturbed citizen and skeptic. I should stop reading the newspaper. Or watching TV. I should turn off NPR and disconnect from the Internet. We’d all be better off.
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