Perhaps this is why Lindsey Graham was so confident last night in announcing the GOP led Senate has the votes to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg?
This morning, Mitt Romney eschewed doing Mitt Romney things and didn’t hold us in suspense for weeks on end like he did with impeachment. Instead, he put out a relatively early statement announcing that he will support Mitch McConnell’s move to vote on a nominee before the election.
Here’s what Romney had to say.
ROMNEY backs moving forward on SCOTUS nominee consideration: “I intend to follow the Constitution and precedent in considering the President’s nominee. If the nominee reaches the Senate floor, I intend to vote based upon their qualifications.” pic.twitter.com/dVuxemfbQP
— Phil Mattingly (@Phil_Mattingly) September 22, 2020
Now, I know what you are thinking. Just because he supports a vote doesn’t mean he’ll vote to confirm, but I think that’s too much worrying without looking at the big picture. If Romney had any intentions of voting no on a qualified nominee, he wouldn’t have made this move this early. It would have made far more sense for him to keep the left guessing and on his side in that case. That he’s already tipping his hand means he’s going to vote yes unless there’s a Kavanaugh situation that throws everything into chaos.
Given who the nominee is going to be (either Amy Coney Barrett or Barbara Lagoa), though, the left is going to have a nearly impossible time trying to accuse them of being gang rapists. In the end, only charges that salacious could potentially derail a nomination. Concerns of Catholicism and case law are not going to move Romney from a yes to a no.
Romney pushed that point home in comments he made after giving his statement.
Mitt Romney: "I recognize that we may have a Court which has more of a conservative bent than it has had over the last few decades, but my liberal friends have over many decades gotten used to the idea of having a liberal court and that's not written in the stars." pic.twitter.com/0lXXcAGrjQ
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 22, 2020
It was hardly a tough prediction to make, but I noted in a previous article that this is fundamentally different than impeachment and that we shouldn’t assume Romney is going to try to blow up a vote. There’s just no way Romney could say no here simply to spite the President if he has any hope at a political future. Further, I do think that despite his flaws, he does fall into the category of anti-Trump figure who still isn’t going to scoff at a Supreme Court seat because orange man bad. That domain is reserved for The Bulwark and The Dispatch (Jonah Goldberg and David French both endorsed not filling the seat recently).
Regardless, the Democrats are going to throw whatever they have at the wall. In other words, this fight may be largely decided, but there’s still blood to be drawn. Get ready for the avalanche after Trump makes his announcement on Saturday.
(Please follow me on Twitter! @bonchieredstate)