Republicans in November

As promised, Oval-Office-thiever-in-chief Barry B. Bamz O'Baby YoMama nominated a perfectly reasonable and qualified white dude to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court. As also promised, congressional Republicans took all of zero seconds to say "NO WAY, HOMBRE!" because "principles" and "bullshit."

Before the president offered up a specific name, Republicans were absolutely for sure positive he'd nominate some tree-huggin' abortion-lovin' socialist Marxist progressive liberal 666 miles to the left of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. So obviously they could not even hold confirmation hearings for said boogeyman.

It would be one thing, said Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch, if Obama named a suitable Republican-approved moderate fella, like "Merrick Garland, who is a fine man." But Hatch knew Obama would never do that because "because this appointment is about the election," and Obama's the real politicizes-everything opportunist. So Hatch was perfectly comfortable with his plea to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley that he just not bother scheduling confirmation hearings at all, until Republicans can get a legit president in the White House.

But then Obama went and nominated Merrick Garland, "who is a fine man," after all, because Obama is a hell of a lot smarter than Orrin Hatch. Oops.

So new plan, everybody:

Despite fierce GOP opposition to allowing President Barack Obama to appoint another Supreme Court justice, some Republicans are suggesting his pick could be confirmed after the November election, particularly if Democratic hopeful Hillary Clinton is the next president. [...]

"I'd probably be open to resolving this in the lame duck," Hatch said after the president made his announcement. Later he clarified, "I'm open to it, that doesn't mean I'm for it."

Also open to it?

Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona, a member of the Judiciary Committee, said he would consider a lame-duck confirmation in the event Republicans lose big in November. "Well yes. I mean, I think anybody that's being honest would."

[contextly_sidebar id="s9NRuMUdX8SK9arATQXoybiC1UMHGvDr"]Well yes. Let's be honest for once. Republicans don't give two duck farts about The American People, who already decided -- TWICE GODDAMNIT TWICE -- they want Barack Obama to fill Supreme Court vacancies. That bitter-pill reality has been lodged in Republicans' throats for seven years, and they still can't manage to swallow it. They full-effing-well know there's no "Biden Rule" or "Last Year In Office Doesn't Count Rule" or "Black Presidents Aren't Real Presidents Rule" preventing them from holding confirmation hearings to provide advice and consent, as the Constitution requires.

[contextly_sidebar id="PaeDNypQoMs7SUzAubVbGnbpZMepjeRI"]No, the one "rule" they're clinging to here is the Hope N Change Rule. They're really hoping for a change in the White House, so that President Trump can dig up Dead Scalia's corpse and stick it back on the bench. If that one weird trick somehow fails, well, then Republicans would be willing to consider and even confirm their handpicked moderate "fine man," since they don't actually have a problem with him anyway.

Plus, what a great way to send a clear "fuck you" message to Hillary, before she's even sworn in, that they're going to be just as dickishly obstructionist to her too. As weasel-fuck Sen. Flake also honestly admitted:

[I]f we come to a point where we've lost the election, and we can get a centrist like Garland in there as opposed to someone like Hillary Clinton might appoint then I'd go for it.

Oh, so it's not about principles? It's actually about politics? Pardon us, we're going to need a moment to recover from that shocking revelation.

Not all senators are willing to be quite so honest, of course. Majority Whip John Cornyn scoffed at the "hypothetical" idea that a Democrat will win the White House in November, and how that might affect the GOP's calculations on whether to confirm Obama's nominee or wait for Hillary to be sworn in and have Ginsburg cloned.

“That’s an amazing hypothetical question,” he responded. “This person will not be confirmed so there’s no reason going through some motions and pretending like it will happen, because it’s not going to happen."

That's some real Texas-style tough talkin', but let's hypothetically pretend, just for a moment, that Hillary does win in November. Aw heck, let's even pretend Democrats win back the Senate. Is the GOP so committed to its "principled" stand that a president named Obama lacks the authority to do anything in his final year in office? They wouldn't, as Flake suggests, grab that moderate option during the lame duck session, while they still can?

Uh huh.

Southern belle Lindsey Graham is at least honest enough to admit that would make them look, you know, kinda bad:

"We can't have it both ways," Sen. Lindsey Graham, (R-S.C.) said. "We cannot say 'let the people speak,' and then say 'no, you can't.' If you are going to let the people speak, let 'em speak and honor their choice."

Lindsey don't swing that way, and some of his fellow Judiciary Committee bros don't either. At least, not yet:

Sen. David Perdue (R-GA), who also sits on the Judiciary Committee, agrees that Republicans could not change their minds in the lame duck session and move forward with Garland.

"I think it is the next president, and I have said that all along. It's about the principle not the individual," Perdue told reporters in a scrum on Wednesday.

When asked if his mind would change if Clinton was elected, Perdue didn't budge.

"No, if you are gonna do this, it's about the principle," Perdue said.

Sure it's about the principle. SUUUUUUUUURE it is. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Chuck Grassley and Jim "Snowball" Inhofe and other GOP senators who are not in vulnerable re-election races this year (total coincidence, for sure) are straight-up telling Garland he ain't gettin' no hearings, no how. Sorry, buddy, you seem nice, but Republicans have "principles."

Under no circumstances, mister, you got that? Guess we'll have to wait to November to see just how principled they really are.

[Think Progress / Roll Call / TPM]


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