Wow, It's Almost As If Joni Ernst Is A Hypocrite Or Something!
In 2016, after Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died, Republicans insisted because Obama was not going to be president the next year, he should not be allowed to appoint a replacement. It wasn't for selfish reasons, they assured us, it was because they simply wanted "the people" to have a chance to have their say, regardless of what that say was. And of course, there were those who believed that they were sincere. Probably the same people who still believe in "principled Republicans."
At that time, Iowa Senator Joni Ernst said:
"We will see what the people say this fall and our next president, regardless of party, will be making that nomination," Ernst said.[...]
"We understand that, in November if people are unhappy with the way that we have been governing in the United States Senate, they would speak out," Ernst said. "But from what we have heard, people are excited about the opportunity to voice their opinion through the ballot box, whether they're Democrats, whether they're Republicans."
Asked by a reporter if she sees the strategy as a "gamble," given that a Democrat could be elected president and push forward a more liberal nominee, Ernst said she'll accept the outcome of the election regardless of who wins.
"Let's all talk about it and then in November we'll have that decision," she said. "And if the decision is made that we have another Democratic president, that's a decision we will live with."
It was a good gamble. They held off confirming Merrick Garland, and Trump was able to shoehorn in two very conservative judges on the court, making it extremely unlikely that we'll get to keep legal abortion or have too many big civil rights victories for a while.
It will surely shock you to know that Sen. Ernst has magically and mysteriously changed her mind about all of this. She now believes that, were something to happen to Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Donald Trump should be allowed to replace her on the Supreme Court, even if he is voted out of office.
"(If) it is a lame-duck session, I would support going ahead with any hearings that we might have," Ernst, a Republican, said during a taping of the Iowa Press show on Iowa PBS. "And if it comes to an appointment prior to the end of the year, I would be supportive of that."
Ernst claimed that this was a very different scenario than Obama being allowed to nominate a Supreme Court judge while he was still president and not even in a lame-duck session. Basically, it's okay that Trump nominate someone because he has the power to get it through, because Republicans control the Senate.
"It's very different than what we have seen in the past," said Ernst, who serves on the Judiciary Committee. "We have seen … a president of a different party and a Senate of a different party in previous scenarios. But in this scenario, we have the same party that is the majority in the Senate and the same party that is in the White House."
Oh. Well that is a horse of exactly the same color!
As Ernst understands, there's barely any reason to pretend that this was about a "principle" the first time around, rather than simply doing whatever they could to prevent Obama from being able to appoint Scalia's replacement, in hopes that a Republican would win and put up another conservative judge. Duh. Anyone who ever thought it was anything else, that's their problem.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. In addition to her work at Wonkette, she also has a biweekly column at Dame. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse