While posting and reading online earlier this afternoon, I realized that I would be hopping mad about the political posturing regarding the newly vacant Supreme Court Justice position if I was a Republican instead of an Independent.
Sure, it probably sounds delightful to many Republicans on the surface – “I hate Obama and the Republicans who represent me aren’t going to let him appoint a SC justice! Right on!” But looking a little deeper:
It seems clear that a moderate or conservative-leaning nominee is the only type who would stand any chance of getting approved right now with the present political climate. This is a good analysis regarding what prospective justices would likely need to be in order to be approved by the current largely GOP congress.
Personally, given the above analysis, along with the fact that there is not a precedent for waiting until the next president is elected should a vacancy occur in an election year, I believe that it behooves the Republican side to at least seriously consider whomever Obama decides to nominate.
The Republicans already have a history and public perception of being obstructionists. Given that history, these outright statements of refusal by GOP bigwigs to even consider any nominee put forth by Obama could end up hurting Republicans badly in the general election – especially with those of us who are opposed to voting along party lines and/or identify as Independents. That consideration is particularly important given that the number of voters identifying as Independents has risen dramatically in the past few years.
Also, if a Democratic candidate is elected this fall, the composition of the Senate and House could change as well. With Hillary being pulled left by Bernie, or if Bernie himself gets elected, the now-vacant SCOTUS seat could conceivably be filled with an infinitely more liberal justice which would put the Republicans’ refusal in an even worse light for their supporters.
I would be beyond livid if my party’s representatives had stalled for nearly a year just to have someone I disagreed with even more be appointed as a result of their unconstitutional shenanigans.
Basically Republicans are gambling that they’re going to win the general, despite showing themselves to be obvious lying, hypocritical obstructionists, and instead of working with (or even just trying to appear as though they’re working with) Obama to appoint a moderate to the SC, they’re going to publicly gamble with that chance.
Moreover, I’m not sure it’s a gamble that the Republicans can easily win in the end, leaving a very real possibility that the Democrats will win the general and can then appoint someone even more liberal, especially given how many Independents already had negative views of the GOP. Needless to say, I’m pretty appalled that they’re willing to play with those kinds of stakes even though I’m not a Republican.
If I was a Republican, I’d be pretty darn pissed off.
As an Independent, I’m significantly less than impressed.