Monday, February 15, 2016

Is GOP Obstruction Of Supreme Court Nominee A Mistake?

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia hadn't even been dead a full day when the Republican Party began playing politics with the choice of his replacement. Majority Leader McConnell quickly came out and said the Senate would not approve any nominee President Obama puts forth. And all the Republican presidential candidates jumped on that bandwagon in their debate Saturday night.

Some have said the Republicans will bend to pressure and approve a nominee, especially if President Obama nominates a moderate to the court. I do believe the president will probably nominate a moderate, but there's no way the Senate will approve him/her. The Republicans think they have a good chance to win the White House this year, and they want Scalia's replacement to be nominated by someone in their own party.

They could well be shooting themselves in the foot. Right now, the biggest issues in the presidential campaign are the economy and national security. Both parties score points on economic issues, while the GOP hands an advantage on national security. Do they really want to make social issues the biggest issue in the coming campaign?

That's what delaying and/or obstructing a Supreme Court nominee would do. The biggest area where the Supreme Court can make a difference is in the area of social issues -- and poll after poll has shown that the general public sides with the Democrats on social issues. The Democrats already have a small advantage in the presidential race (thanks to demographics), and putting social issues to the forefront of the election could energize Democrats and bring them to the polls in very large numbers -- something that would insure a Democrat wins the White House.

And you can be sure that the new Democratic president will nominate a much more liberal justice than President Obama will nominate. And that nominee could be easily approved if the Senate flips back to a Democratic majority -- something many already consider likely (and which would be enhanced by a campaign on social issues).

The Republicans are playing with fire by pinning all their hopes on a GOP presidential victory in the 2016 election -- especially since their leading candidates are Donald Trump and Ted Cruz (neither of which is well-liked by the general public). Their real choice is likely to be -- do you want the moderate President Obama will pick, or do you want the unabashed liberal the next president will pick?

They will block Obama's nominee -- and I think that will be a serious mistake for them (and probably a huge victory for liberals).

(NOTE --  The image above is from


  1. I find it "interesting" that people believe the GOP is superior on national security given that 9-11 occurred on their watch.

  2. I agree with you but I haven't met or read many more people that do.


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