Monday, February 22, 2016

SCOTUS Pick More Important Than GOP Senate Majority?

by JASmius

Once again, Tea Partiers are going so, so wrong in the pursuit of what is so, so right:

Conservatives are bluntly warning the Senate against holding Supreme Court nomination hearings, saying it would be "tone deaf" and enflame already angry voters.


According to the Hill, conservatives say blocking Barack Obama's high court pick is worth the risk even if Democrats retaliate and bring the Senate's work to a halt.


"I would rank having a conservative justice as more important than having the majority in the Senate,” David Bozell, president of For America, a conservative advocacy group, tells the Hill.

No!  No!  No!  No!  No!  Bozell doesn't even realize what he's saying, does he?  Here's a clue, Dave: If the GOP doesn't have the majority in the Senate, the Democrats will.  And we know that they're willing to "go nuclear" on the confirmation filibuster, because they did just that two and a half years ago.  Which means that losing the Senate means the SCOTUS would turn "blue" like a natural gas leak....

Bozell is also undermining his own premise by taking as a given that Senate Republicans embargoing any Obama SCOTUS nominee will ipso facto hurt them politically.  But with whom?  Democrats are already against them, and who knows to what degree low-information "independents"/"swing" voters would be influenced by this?  I keep hearing and reading that a lot of "independents" are disaffected conservatives who have left the GOP in disgust.  Wouldn't they be MORE likely to turn out for their former party if they took such a heroic stand for the Scalia seat?  Even with a third straight Democrat presidency all but a guarantee between the Sanders/Rodham/Trump triumvirate, increasing the chances of holding onto the Senate would seem to me to be even more vital than they were already, and blocking The One's High Court pick is, by any rational measure, now critical to that end.

So why isn't Bozell seeing and making his argument through that lens?  Because he's a hopeless fratricidist, back-stabber, and self-defeatist.

Case in point:

"God knows this Republican majority in the Senate hasn’t done much anyway for conservatism, period.

Aside from repealing ObamaCare.  I guess it's somehow Mitch McConnell's fault that Barack Obama vetoed it.

Remember this, TPers: Because politics is a zero-sum game, even occupying seats that the Democrats don't is doing something for conservatism.  God Almighty, didn't the horrifying 2009-2010 blitzkrieg biennium that inflicted upon his the "stimulus," ObamaCare, and Dodd-Frank, among other terrors, teach this nitwit anything?

If you look at some of the conservative movement’s successes, it’s in large part due to the court doing some decent things and making some good decisions."

Yeah, but constitutionally speaking, the Supreme Court isn't supposed to have anywhere near that kind of power.  And you know which branch of the federal government is supposed to be the biggest check on that power?  Congress, both through the Senate's advice and consent function in Article II, Section 2, Clause 2, and through their power to restrict the SCOTUS's appellate jurisdiction in Article III, Section 2, Clause 2.  The latter of which is highly unlikely to be exercised, but is more likely to be under a Republican majority than a Democrat one, and the former of which is the whole damned point.

So why is Bozell accepting John Marshall's judicial review premise of the High Court's power when, as an ostensible Tea Partier, he should be acutely, excruciatingly aware that it is unconstitutional?

There is a word for that, you know, but it's one that is the rankest profanity in the Tea Party movement: pragmatism.  "Taking the world as it is rather than how you'd like it to be," in Nick Fury's words.  But that gets right back around to the necessity of retaining the Senate at all costs, and what policy route is most likely to produce that happy result.

Mike Farris, chairman of the Home School Legal Defense Association, agrees, saying "the issues that are of great concern to the conservative movement have all been decided by the Supreme Court," including Second Amendment rights, marriage and abortion.

And should not be, because the Constitution never gave the Supreme Court that power.

Here's a question for you to ponder, my Tea Party friends: Why aren't your lobbyist/activist representatives, quoted and not quoted in the aforelinked article, agitating for congressional Republicans to draconianly restrict the SCOTUS's appellate jurisdiction?  What are they - chicken....?

....or just constitutionally ignorant?

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