We all know what happened to the Merrick Garland Supreme Court nomination made by then-President Obama in January 2016: the Republican-controlled Senate refused even to give him a hearing, never mind allow a vote. It was an unprecedented, un-Constitutional move. Republicans, who now feel vindicated because they got their conservative nominee from Trump, are convinced, I'm sure, that they did the right thing.
And it was the right thing, if protecting a party's power, politics and influence at all costs - and at the expense of two centuries of precedent and the Constitution itself - is right.
But it's not right.
I'm so infuriated and frustrated with the Republican obstructionism and refusal to pay even minimal homage to good governance practices that we've seen since 2010 that I can't watch or listen to Mitch McConnell and his ilk without shouting at the TV or radio. i can just imagine what Democratic Senators feel. Surely they are sorely tempted to give the Gorsuch nomination as difficult a time as they can. Surely they wish they had the power to do Gorsuch what the Republicans did to Garland.
As an article in The Atlantic says, "Senate Democrats must now decide how hard they are willing to fight over the high-court seat that Republicans blocked President Obama from filling after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia last year."
Of course, it doesn't matter how hard Democrats fight. They don't have the votes to win, and they risk forcing Republicans to eliminate the filibuster rule for Supreme Court nominees: a change that will surely come back to slap them in the face in the future.
But aside from the possibility of future face-slaps, it's not right.
Understandably, the temptation is to do to them what they did for us. Eye for an eye, etc. Yet if it wasn't right or good governance or Constitutional for the Republicans to block the Garland nomination as they did, neither is it right for the Democrats to use any means possible (however ineffective it may be, ultimately) to obstruct and fight the Gorsuch nomination.
That's not to say that Democratic Senators shouldn't question and argue and do all they can to reveal any real reasons to fight this nomination. Their responsibility is to vet nominees.
The Republicans tossed principle over the Potomac. It wouldn't serve the Constitution or the Senate or the country for Democrats to, in their own way, do the same. It seems to me someone needs to stand up for constitutionality and principle now and I hope that someone is the Democratic Senators.
I can't shout righteously at Mitch McConnell if my side goes as low as his side did. And frankly, righteousness is about all I have, just now. Righteousness in the form a belief in power that gleans instead of plows under, and in civic duty as encompassing compassion, inclusion, and fairness, and in a kind of governing that welcomes compromise and behaves tolerantly
Stay righteous, Democrats.
This blog chronicles my work and thoughts as a writer. - Carol D. Marsh