Ever since the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the left have been in the midst of a collective meltdown over her seat being filled by another Trump appointee. That appointee, we now know, is Amy Coney Barrett, a fabulous person, mother, and jurist. In response, threats to “pack” the courts if Democrats retake the Senate and White House in November have become standard fare.
Well, that plan just got blown to smithereens.
Manchin comes out as a hard no on court packing, in interview with CNN’s @jaketapper.
— Josh Kraushaar (@HotlineJosh) September 27, 2020
As I’ve written before, even if Democrats have a wave election and manage to garner a 51 or 52 seat majority in the Senate, the idea that they would have the votes to court pack has always been suspect. Joe Manchin would be expected to be a hard no, and he’s confirmed that now. Dianne Feinstein has also said she wouldn’t support a move despite her fairly liberal demeanor as a Senator from California. Overall, pretty much any red-state Democrat would be very tempted to not go that direction as it would jeopardize their re-election chances.
In other words, the threat made by far-left Democrats and repeated by their media allies has always been largely a joke. They also aren’t going to add new states.
This is why you don’t negotiate with terrorists who don’t even have a hostage. That some ostensibly on the right, like Jonah Goldberg and David French, were chomping at the bit to do a grand bargain and keep Barrett off the court shows just how vapid and weak some in the conservative commentariat are. Why would anyone bargain with someone making threats they can’t even carry to fruition? But Goldberg apparently thought it was a brilliant idea because Trump has rotted his brain out.
Looking at this, I’m not even sure Democrats would have the votes to eliminate the filibuster, which would be the first step toward court-packing or passing any other liberal fever dream. Manchin wouldn’t support it. Would other vulnerable Democrats sacrifice their political careers just so Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez can make the rounds on CNN to tout victory? I’m very doubtful at this point. I think Democrats largely have no cards to play here. Barrett is going to be confirmed and the court will not be packed as a response, regardless of what the results of the November election turn out to be. That’s the hard reality for them.
(Please follow me on Twitter! @bonchieredstate)