Before Joe Biden rebranded himself as a kooky, lovable, middle of the road vice president, he was one of America’s foremost political hacks. So it is rather surprising to see the outgoing VP throw Senate Democrats under the bus, but that’s exactly what he’s doing:
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer vowed to fight any Supreme Court nominee President-elect Trump selects who isn’t mainstream. In other words, if they’re not liberal, prepare for battle. As Democrats rally around this position, which I’m sure made their progressive base happy, outgoing Vice President Joe Biden told PBS’ Judy Woodruff last week that Democrats should give Trump’s nominee a hearing and a vote:
UDY WOODRUFF: “Once the President-Elect, then President Trump chooses someone, should the Democrats do the same thing and oppose and refuse to go along?”VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: “No.”
WOODRUFF: “Or should they thinking you need to fill that vacancy on the court?”
BIDEN: “I think… look, the Constitution says the president shall nominate, not maybe could maybe can. He shall nominate. Implicit in the constitution is that the senate will act on its constitutional responsibility, will give his advice and consent. No one has required to vote for the nominee, but they, in my view, are required to give the nominee a hearing and a vote.”
Biden is probably the only popular Democrat left in America, and Schumer’s road to blocking a Trump nominee now looks even more grim. The Free Beacon’s Matthew Continetti painted the picture last week:
Smarting from the failed nomination of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court, the Senate minority leader pledged to oppose Donald Trump’s nominee weeks before inauguration day. “If they don’t appoint somebody good,” he said on MSNBC, “we’re going to oppose them tooth and nail.” That would “absolutely” include keeping the seat held by the late Antonin Scalia empty, he said. “We are not going to make it easy for them to pick a Supreme Court justice.”
I suppose it’s too much to expect a graduate of Harvard Law School to grasp the difference between majority and minority. Mitch McConnell was able to block Garland’s appointment because the Republicans controlled the Senate. The Democrats do not. And McConnell was able to hold his caucus together because he was on solid historical ground. Lyndon Johnson’s nomination of Abe Fortas as chief justice failed in the election year 1968, and the so-called “Biden Rule” of 1992 stipulated no Supreme Court replacements during the last year of a presidency. Schumer himself, in a 2007 speech, expanded the waiting period to the final 18 months of a president’s term. Now, despite a record of calling on the Senate to confirm the president’s nominees—as long as the president is a Democrat—Schumer has adopted the strategy of no Supreme Court confirmations at all. How does he think President Trump will respond? By caving?
The goofballs who rammed through Obamacare are about to get a lesson in partisan politics, and they’ve provided conservatives with the blueprint, and their VP provided an endorsement.
That’s gotta sting!