Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer… actually, before we get to the important part of this piece, can we take a moment and cheer for the fact that Harry Reid is no longer the man who holds that title? I just did. Go for it, I can wait.
Anyway, Schumer is right now saying that Senate Democrats will hold the line and stall a Donald Trump SCOTUS nomination as best they can. In fact, he’s so serious about it, he’s actually daring the Republicans in the Senate to use the nuclear option on Supreme Court nominations.
“We are not going to settle on a Supreme Court nominee. If they don’t appoint someone who’s really good, we’re gonna oppose him tooth and nail,” Schumer told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow. “They won’t have 60 votes to put in an out-of-the-mainstream nominee and then they’ll have to make a choice: change the rules. It’s gonna be very hard for them to change the rules because there are a handful of Republicans who believe in the institution of the Senate.”
“We are not going to make it easy for them to pick a Supreme Court justice,” he added.
Schumer said that it is “hard for me to imagine a nominee that Donald Trump would choose that would get Republican support that we could support.”
So, for starters, all’s fair. The Democrats are absolutely in their right to try to stall this out as long as possible, and I won’t begrudge them that right. However, Schumer is playing with fire here. He’s looking at four years (maybe eight) with a Republican president, as well as some rapidly aging Supreme Court Justices. If he Republicans laugh and say “Okay then” and go nuclear on all nominations, then they are looking at a Supreme Court getting stacked heavily against their favor.
Some skeptics might be asking “What if the Democrats bounce back like the GOP did two years into Obama’s term?” Well, I know I’ve written a couple of pieces on the Democrats’ Senate chances in 2018, and there is plenty out there saying the same thing: You have some deep red state Democrats who are up for re-election in two years, and there is no positive bounce for their party in sight.
Do I want the GOP to go nuclear in the Senate? Of course not. Harry Reid was a short-sighted fool (even before he lost an eye to that exercise machine he claimed beat the @#$% out of him). Do I think the GOP isn’t vindictive enough to do it to the Democrats? Absolutely.
And I know I’m not the only one.