Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Confirm Merrick Garland ASAP?

by JASmius

So argues Leon Wolf, in a way that comes across as indicating that he really hasn't contemplated the current scenario on the morning after Trumpageddon:

Now that Donald Trump is the presumptive nominee, this is not even a close call. There is absolutely no reason to drag this out any longer. Garland is not a great choice, but he is not a terrible one, either.

Stop the tape.  No, Mr. Wolf, Garland pretty much is a terrible choice.  But even if he was merely "not great," SCOTUS nominations are kind of like what John Madden used to say about the old Washington Redskins "Hogs" offensive line of the 1980s: "320 pounds, 340 pounds, it doesn't matter; they're just all over three hundred pounds."  Similarly, the degree to which a Justice (or lower-level federal judge) is a robed oligarch doesn't matter, but that they are a robed oligarch at all.  And Merrick Garland is way over that odious threshold.

And more than anything, he is old (for a modern Supreme Court appointment) and will be up for replacement in probably ten years instead of twenty or thirty.

That's a legitimate argument...maybe.  But who knows how long a Justice Garland would serve on Olympus?  If he lived as long as Justice Scalia did, that's fifteen years; if he lived as long as John Paul Stevens, who retired only two years ago at the age of ninety-four, that would be thirty years.  So Garland might be short-term, or he might not.

Republicans must know that there is absolutely no chance that we will win the White House in 2016 now. They must also know that we are likely to lose the Senate as well. So the choices, essentially, are to confirm Garland and have another bite at the apple in a decade [or three], or watch as President [Rodham] nominates someone who is radically more leftist and ten to fifteen years younger, and we are in no position to stop it.

Yes, we (which is to say, constitutional conservatives) are going to remain shut out of the White House (no matter who wins) and we are going to lose the Senate - I'd call it a guarantee.  But remember that tightrope-in-a-hurricane I was discussing last night between Senate 'Pubbies trying to pander to Trumpkins and keeping the Trump-stench off of them?  Theirs is already a Sisyphean task.  Now throw the Garland confirmation cannonball into that pool and picture the likely results against the backdrop of Mitchie The Kid having flatly declared that there will be no confirmation hearings for Judge Garland even during the post-election lame duck session.  Think the Trumploops will turn out for any Republican senator this fall after a betrayal of that magnitude, when contrasted against low-information voters' utter apathy about the Garland confirmation fight?  It'd be all pain, no gain.  It'd be losing in May as opposed to losing in November.  They're going to lose either way, but they have to go through the motions of trying to win, at least, and the Garland blockade is part of that.  They're committed to it.  Throwing up their hands and exclaiming, "What difference, at this point, does it make?" is not an option, however true it might be.

That's the funny thing about tragedies in life.  The sun always rises the next day, the planet continues spinning and orbiting, and time's arrow propels us on, however much we don't feel like being propelled.  We've been dealt snake-eyes at the time the terminally ill Old American Republic could least afford it.  So what do we do?  We take the hint.  We hop in our escape pods, move out to a safe distance, and watch the USS Trumptanic's warp core breach.  Then we pick up the pieces, try to impart the same lessons from the debacle that we tried to warn about for nearly a year in advance and hope that those who didn't listen beforehand will be amenable to learning from their mistakes in the aftermath.  And we go forward.

As to the SCOTUS, remember that old saying that "elections have consequences"?  And the dead horse I've been flogging for months that you should never make ANY important decision out of emotion, but only from logic, reason, and facts," because the former is invariably foolish and unwise and even disastrous?  Trumploons didn't listen, and have now effectively made a leftwingnut SCOTUS inevitable.  So why give a Justice Garland eight or nine extra months to wreak that havoc?

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