Ever since the passing of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, Republicans have insisted on turning the constitutionally-backed nomination process into a political sideshow to deprive Obama of his legal right to name a new Justice and to deprive Americans of their say in the matter.
Senate Republicans, led by their Obstructor-in-Chief Mitch McConnell, have repeatedly made the astounding claim that they will refuse to hold nomination hearings for any person Obama may choose. Sight unseen. Instead, they will spend the next 340 days with an empty seat on the Supreme Court – a glowing middle finger neon sign built in the way of the democratic process.
For their part, the American people have made it absolutely clear that this sort of political point scoring is inappropriate, offensive, and unwanted. When Fox News (Fox News!) ran a poll asking if Americans supported Obama naming a new justice, an overwhelming majority said yes.
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s recent death has sparked a debate over how to fill the vacancy on the nation’s highest court. Taking into consideration that it’s an election year, which of the following is closer to your view?
It’s still the responsibility of current leaders, President Obama and the Senate, to take action to fill the vacancy now: 62
The president shouldn’t get to nominate someone for a lifetime appointment to the high court this late in his term: 34
Note that the number transcends partisan lines. Obama’s approval rating sits at around 50 percent. In other words, there are many people that may disagree with the president on issues, but recognize the fact that he is within his rights to name a new Supreme Court Justice.
Republicans just don’t care.
Days after the polls began trickling in saying Americans wanted Obama to be able to fulfill his obligations, McConnell and other Republican leaders held a secret, closed door meeting in his office to decide what to do. Their conclusion was to circle the wagons, dig in and stick their heads in the sand. The Party of No is alive and well.
“We believe the American people need to decide who is going to make this appointment rather than a lame duck president,” said Majority Whip John Cornryn.
This is an egregious “screw you” to not only Democrats and the president, but also to the American people more broadly. It’s disgusting that Sen. John Cornryn would invoke the “American people” in his disgusting defense of the GOP’s actions, because the American people already had a voice when it came to the process – they voted for President Obama. Twice.
If there is any good news in a story that is essentially about one political party destroying the fabric of the democracy to get their way, it’s this: Republicans may fold their arms and throw a tantrum, but they are showing everyone – Democratic and Republican voters alike – that they only care about their own self-interest. The voice of the people? They couldn’t care less. I wonder how that’s going to play on election day.
Featured image via Flickr