Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican Majority Leader in the Senate, is absolutely right that the American people will have a[nother] say in the next Supreme Court Justice and that they will get that say this fall. But certainly Obama should be expected to make a nomination.
Obama was reelected in 2012 and given a mandate by the American people to do everything in his power to remake this country in the image of a European socialist democracy. He ought to be expected to nominate a judge to further that end. The Republicans won a historic number of senate seats in 2014 and were given a mandate by the American people to do everything in their power to stop him. They ought to be expected to vote down his nominees from now until after the election. Presumably, this fall, the voters will make up their mind.
As David Beard writes over at the left-wing website Daily Kos, the importance of this seat on the Supreme Court cannot be overstated.
“A fifth liberal vote could both move the country in a more progressive direction and make it easier to elect Democrats to other levels and branches of government. It’s not hyperbole to say that the fate of the country rests on this seat.”
He’s right. If Justice Ginsburg’s writings become the majority decision rather than the dissenting opinion the people of this country will have lost the freedom to own handguns, any vestige of religious freedom and any limits on abortion. Such a court would grant to the EPA the ability to legislate and to Congress the ability to determine what may or may not legally be said about politicians.
Considering the magnitude of the stakes you might expect everyone in the country who is not a committed leftist to be rushing to support Senator McConnell. But after so many years of hyperbolic statements about how there is “no difference” between McConnell and Obama and how Boehner/McConnell are “totally useless” and how they’re “accomplishing nothing” etc etc etc, the American right doesn’t seem ready to swallow their pride and actually support the man. Rather than explaining why McConnell is correct, too many on the right are sitting on their hands making side bets about when he will fold.
This is not going to be an easy fight. Leftists (as noted above) are fully aware of the stakes. President Obama is going to propose nominees that are intended to do the most political harm to the Republicans. The nominees will be popular in states that are pivotal in the 2016 election and the media will endlessly proclaim that by blocking these nominations the Republicans are forfeiting both their senate majority and the White House in the coming election. There will be countless media stories about gridlock and partisanship bogging down DC and the word “unprecedented” will get used ad nauseum.
The current state of the political right is not going to make this any easier. We are so fractured now that it’s difficult to even name us (see the headline above). There are conservatives, libertarians and a vague coalition of the “anti-establishment” that appears to be led by Donald Trump. Conservatives are constantly declaring each other “not real conservatives.” Libertarians are constantly declaring each other “not real libertarians.” Trump supporters have condemned just about anyone and everything as part of “the establishment.” It’s as if every little subgroup of the political right believes they can somehow find victory by incessantly drawing battle lines that place yet more and more of their fellow Americans on the other side.