Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Chuck Schumer did that thing again, the thing where he agrees to fast-track a basket full of deplorable Federalist Society-selected federal judges to lifetime appointments, in exchange for allowing the Senate to recess so Democrats could go home and campaign in the last four weeks before the midterms. It's the same thing Schumer pulled in August, and for much the same reason: Republicans would be able to force through the nominations anyway, no matter how many parliamentary delaying tactics Democrats pulled, so better to cut the carnage and at least have time to campaign. And yet, it still feels like a chickenshit move, mostly because when Mitch McConnell grinned his death's head leer and dared Schumer to use every trick in the book, Schumer shrugged and settled for the shit sandwich McConnell offered. You just don't reward that bastard and say Welp, we tried. You coulda done more, but now we'll have 15 new rightwing judges -- all men; good gender politics there, Republicans.

Yes, yes, it's imperative Dems do all they can to retake the Senate, and to do that, at least four to six Dems in extremely tight races in red states have to hold their seats. And yes, we know, a Republican majority is a Republican majority, and anyone pretending Bart O'Kavefish could have been defeated needs to LEARN A MATH, PIGFUCK. But as Politico's Burgess Everett points out, Schumer wouldn't have to keep ALL the Democratic senators in Washington to make the Rs work for those 15 judges:

Under Senate rules, even if Democrats fought the nominees tooth and nail and forced the Senate to burn 30 hours of debate between each one, McConnell would have gotten them all confirmed by Nov. 1. Democrats could have conceivably left a skeleton crew of senators in Washington to force the GOP to take roll call votes on the judges over the next few weeks, although that tactic is not typically employed by the minority.

Great -- so why not do that and call McConnell's bluff, leaving behind the Dems who aren't up for reelection this cycle? As Friend of Wonkette Charlie Pierce notes, the mere fact that Senate minorities don't typically resort to that tactic wouldn't have slowed down Mitch McConnell for a single hot minute if Dems had a one-vote majority and Republicans had the chance to gum up the works.

Charlie's pissed, and we're pissed with him:

Schumer has shown absolutely no notion of how to read the room. Right now, for the first time in a long time, a huge number of people in Schumer's party are outraged on the subject of judges. (Usually, it's the Republican base that gets charged up over judges, and, I would add, look where it's got them.) This deal has to have killed at least some of the emotional momentum built up by the Kavanaugh confirmation battle.

Jesus fuck, Chuck, this is no time to make gentlemanly deals for the sake of helping out part of the caucus. McConnell had been threatening to eliminate the traditional election-year October recess since early September, which certainly would have given Senate Dems time to make a plan to fight these nominations -- and not incidentally, to have turned their shitty judicial records into a campaign issue for the Democrats who ARE running. Democrats -- especially women, a huge constituency -- are furious over Kavanaugh, and it stands to reason voters would be energized by four more weeks of attention on the Republican agenda for the nation's courts. We aren't sure we see the downside -- people who already love Brett Kavanaugh might not vote for Joe Manchin or Heidi Heitkamp? That wasn't going to happen anyway.

In conclusion, regardless of who controls the Senate after the midterms (and for the sake of the country, please do everything you can to make that the Democrats), Senate Dems need a new leader who won't bring a squirt gun and vague hopes for comity to a knife fight. Especially not when Mitch McConnell described the fall campaign as "a knife fight in an alley" long before Republicans decided they feel sad and threatened by angry shouting Democrats.

Let's just take a moment to note the only Senate Dem who opposed Schumer's deal was Elizabeth Warren, according to Politico. We think we know who we want as leader after this term. Damn it, we know it.

[Politico / Esquire / Politico / Eoin Higgins on Twitter]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.


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