We dunk on CNN on an almost daily basis here at RedState, and for good reasons. But one of their anchors committed a rare act of actual journalism over the weekend that deserves applauding — primarily because of how Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal thoroughly embarrassed himself on live TV.
During the Saturday interview, “Situation Room” host Wolf Blitzer talked to Connecticut’s senior Senator about President Trump’s nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. Blumenthal, like other Senate Democrats including Mazie Hirono (HI) and failed 2020 presidential candidate Kirsten Gillibrand (NY), has said he won’t meet with Judge Barrett, calling the process “illegitimate”:
I will refuse to treat this process as legitimate & will not meet with Judge Amy Coney Barrett.
— Richard Blumenthal (@SenBlumenthal) September 26, 2020
Blumenthal made the “illegitimate” accusation several times to Blitzer, which prompted the longtime CNN reporter to ask him to explain just what it was that was “illegitimate” (read: “illegal”) about it while pointing out what the Constitution says about the nomination process:
Blitzer: “What are the Republicans doing that is illegal or illegitimate? Because the Constitution says the President has to nominate Supreme Court Justices, the Senate has to advise and consent and confirm. So what is illegal about what the President and the Republicans are doing? You say it’s ‘illegitimate.'”
Blumenthal went on to claim that “never before, after July” in an election year has a Supreme Court nominee been confirmed, before rambling on about how the next President and next Senate “should be the ones to make this decision” because it would “give Americans a choice in the process” or something.
But as Blumenthal tried to explain further why he called the process “illegitimate”, Blitzer interrupted him, again asking where it said “in the U.S. Constitution or in the law” that what Republicans were doing was “illegal.”
Sen. Blumenthal then paused for a few seconds as though trying to regain his footing, probably shocked that Blitzer, of all people, was repeatedly asking him to back up his statements instead of giving him a pass.
“Illegal it may be not under the Constitution,” Blumenthal stated in what sounded like a bad Yoda impression. “[But] under the norms and traditions and unwritten rules of the Senate it is illegitimate. One of the unwritten rules is that people keep their word.”
Blumenthal went on to yada yada about how Republicans had allegedly broken their “promise” not to nominate someone to the Supreme Court during a presidential election year, but Blitzer didn’t let him slide.
“So what I hear you saying, Sen. Blumenthal,” Blitzer countered, is that “it may be inappropriate, it may be wrong – especially so close to an election – but you agree that there’s nothing illegal or totally illegitimate as to what they’re doing?”
“It may not violate the letter of the Constitution,” Blumenthal responded reluctantly. “It violates the spirit of the Constitution, which is to give the American people a say in this kind of hugely consequential decision.”
Watch a shortened version of the interview below:
After getting called out, Blumenthal admits confirming Judge Barrett doesn’t violate the Constitution.
BLUMENTHAL: It is illegitimate.
CNN: Where does it say that what Republicans are doing is illegitimate in the Constitution?
BLUMENTHAL: It may not violate the Constitution. pic.twitter.com/DwWIOJplLH
— Senate Republican Communications Center (@SRCC) September 27, 2020
The full segment can be viewed here.
It’s interesting that Blumenthal talked about Republicans supposedly “breaking promises” about SCOTUS nominations considering he said this in 2016:
Sen. Blumenthal on 9/27/2016: “Congress has no excuse for leaving town without meeting its Constitutional obligation: filling a Supreme Court vacancy. This dereliction of duty is fundamentally damaging to our democracy” https://t.co/7xukR14ieD
Sen. Blumenthal on 9/26/2020: https://t.co/HNBJpP6M7z
— John McCormack (@McCormackJohn) September 27, 2020
I’m not here to give Blitzer a cookie for doing his job, because this is what CNN should do more often when the situation warrants it instead of coddling Democrats to the nth degree. But I’ll give credit where due in this instance because Democrats shouldn’t be allowed to get away with the false claim about how this is an “illegitimate process.”
They’ve been falsely declaring both Kavanaugh and Trump “illegitimate” for years now. They shouldn’t be allowed to get away with declaring Coney Barrett “illegitimate”, too.
They know good and danged well this is not an “illegitimate” process. And all of them, including Blumenthal, know that if the Senate was controlled by Democrats and we had a Democratic president right now that they’d have unapologetically announced their nominee within a day or two of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s passing.
(Hat tip: The Blaze)