Message to Democrats: Choose Your Battles!

Yesterday Donald Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch to fill the Supreme Court seat vacated last year on the death of Antonin Scalia.  McConnell and the Senate Republicans then disgracefully refused to consider President Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland, for more than 10 months.   As much as the instinct for revenge to strike back seems appropriate the Democrats should resist.   They should all symbolically refuse to vote for Gorsuch but they should not filibuster his nomination. My reasons are as follows:

  1. Gorsuch appears to be a reasonable choice for a Republican president. He is not, however, a thumb in the eye choice like Jeff Sessions, Betsy DeVos, Tom Price, and Andrew Puzder.
  2. Gorsuch’s selection does not represent an ideological shift for the court since he is replacing someone of his own ilk.
  3. Despite his dismal poll ratings, Trump is currently at the apex of his power, particularly with his Republican base.       He continues to feed that base with his largely symbolic executive actions. As such, Republican senators still fear him. As time goes on and his base began to see his incompetence and feel the effects of his policies his popularity will certainly erode.
  4. Should another appointment opportunity occurs and Trump puts forward a truly disgusting candidate, Democrats would be in a better position politically to go all out to oppose such a nomination. Additionally, Republican senators, facing a weaker president, would be less inclined to change the rules on cloture for SCOTUS nominations.

There is no guarantee that such a strategy would work for the Republicans are in the majority and have demonstrated that they have no ethics. But if one is going to fight to the death let it be for a reason for which one is willing to die.

4 Replies to “Message to Democrats: Choose Your Battles!”

  1. I have been torn about this. Your analysis makes sense, but the OBAMA/Garland snub was so ugly that the soul cries out for retribution.
    OAS: I am really upset that MSNBC replaced Tamron Hall with Megyn Kelly. Tamron is leaving the network because of it, even though she doesn’t mention that in her statement.
    What is MSNBC trying to do?

    1. Read my response to Sylvia on the nomination. On Tamron Hall/Megyn Kelly issue I am still processing this. NBC/MSNBC is a corporation. Corporations have no soul. Their only god is money and profit. We set ourselves up for disappointment when we assume otherwise. We can only control what we watch and what we buy. All we can do is choose to spend our time and money based on our own values.

  2. As always you demonstrate perfect sense, but I disagree with you on this one. The Democrats need to stand strong on every Supreme Court nomination that Trump makes. Let ‘s hope he only has this one opportunity to nominate a Supreme Court judge. If we pass Gorsuch through we don’t know if there will be another nomination any time soon. Hopefully there won’t be. Hopefully, Trump will either be impeached and forced to resign, or the Dems take control of Congress in 2018, and we win in the White House in 2020.

    1. I too am torn on this one but put forward what I saw to be the most dispassionate practical approach. Were I in a group and the group sentiment was to lay down the gauntlet now rather than later, I would defer to the group feeling without reservation. It is clear that Dems will have to make a stand at some time and I could be persuaded that the time is now. One factor that I didn’t address in the post was that the Democratic public will lose faith in their leaders if they don’t stand up. It is quite possible that some Trump supporters who voted for Obama in previous elections felt abandoned because Obama sought to make the best out of Republican obstructionism rather than picking a public fight that he could not win. Clinton also failed to expose the extent to which the plight of the White underclass was due in large part to Republican obstruction tactics. People may have preferred a great losing battle to a small victory. Maybe they still do.

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