The one thing Americans can count on the Democrats for is that we can’t count upon them for any consistency or any adherence to long-standing norms, mores, or values, but we can count upon them for viciousness, false equivalencies, and general malfeasance. Their stance upon the respective nominations of Merrick Garland by their boy, Obama in 2016 vs. their stance on President Trump’s nominee, Amy Coney Barrett in 2020 is another perfect example of this pernicious behavior.
False Equivalency For the Loss
Democrats, especially those in the Senate, have been quick in their anger to claim that Republican Senators are being hypocritical by having refused to allow Obama’s Garland nomination to move forward while “rushing” President Trump’s Barrett nomination through. But this is just semi-hysterical false equivalency on their part. The underlying situation between the two nominations is fundamentally different, though quite similar on the surface.
That fundamental difference is that, when Obama nominated Garland near-ish the end of his time in the White House, he was not up for reelection; he was term-limited and would definitely be leaving office despite some quasi-hysterical and spurious claims to the contrary.
Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell’s oft willfully misinterpreted statement was true then and non-applicable now.
I believe the overwhelming view of the Republican Conference in the Senate is that this nomination should not be filled, this vacancy should not be filled by this lame duck (emphasis added) president.
The American people are perfectly capable of having their say on this issue, so let’s give them a voice. Let’s let the American people decide. The Senate will appropriately revisit the matter when it considers the qualifications of the nominee the next president nominates, whoever that might be.— Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell
Yeah, sane and rational people can understand the difference between a POTUS who can’t serve another term in office and one who might not do so. Democrats and the sorts who vote for them? Not so much.
In other words, the Dems are behaving as we, the People have been forced to accept as the norm for them, stupidly, inconsistently except in their quest for either power or destruction, and despicably.
Some Complaints And Tangential Caveats
Sadly, it’s not all righteousness and roses on our side either. There is some rank hypocrisy and cynical realpolitik being spun out by our politicians this shit show. Despite having a firm and steady grasp of the necessities of realpolitik, some things rankle.
I’m not pleased at all that Mitch McConnell cited the “Biden Rule” in 2016 while blocking Garland nomination, but ignores that he did so now. Then-Senator Joe Biden didn’t want any SCOTUS Judges to confirmed during any Presidential election season, not just during the end of a lame duck’s tenure in office.
It also rankles that the 2nd “reason” commonly cited for the difference in behavior in Senate between Garland’s and Barrett’s nomination is that the Senate majority in 2016 was the opposition party to the POTUS, whereas it isn’t in 2020.
Call me naive and/or delusional, I actually agree with Obama’s statement that, “[confirmation of nominees to the] … Supreme Court is supposed to be above politics, not an extension of politics.” The Senate being in the hands of the “other” party shouldn’t make so much of a difference that it is blithely stated as one of the two reasons for a SCOTUS nomination being blocked.