aNewDomain — Dear Senate Republicans,
Here’s your choice. You can make moderate U.S. Appellate Court Judge Merrick Garland the next U.S. Supreme court justice — or you can leave the decision to President Trump, President Clinton or President Sanders.
The only candidate who might give you an even more moderate selection is President Clinton.
Surely, you’re not counting on her to win, are you?
No, you aren’t.
Or are you living in your own private Idaho, one where a Bush clone if not an actual Bush ends up as the next president? That’s not going to happen, and you know it isn’t. So forget about it.
I know you’re not thinking that President Cruz will give you a better pick. You know, Ted Cruz, your fellow senator who only one of you has so far endorsed. The guy who calls all of you corrupt. You think he’ll give you a more dependable Supreme Court pick than Judge Garland, which is President Obama’s choice?
Really? Think about it.
No. I know what you’re really thinking.
I know you’ve said you won’t even consider Judge Garland, and I know why. You’re saying among yourselves:
If these were normal times, we’d confirm this guy so fast that the nameplate on his office door wouldn’t be dry yet. But these aren’t normal times.”
Here’s the rub. You’ve spent the last eight years arguing that Obama is a wild-eyed, Kenya-born Muslim communist, a crypto Black Panther out to destroy everything that good people stand for. The same good people who built up this country back when only white folks were allowed to be American heroes.
After all that griping, it must be awfully hard to say now and in an election year: “Thanks, Mister President. Good job. We’ll take it from here.” It’s understandable that you don’t want to face the same angry voters this fall who are now voting for Trump.
Of course, the Trump people have probably called you already, demanding that you don’t make any decisions until he gets there.
Yes, I know. You always thought we’d lose our republic to a military man and senator like Julius Caesar and not to a spoiled property developer with Liberace style. (God works in mysterious ways, eh?)
Anyway, are you willing to just sit there and watch in horror as the wheels fall off our democracy?
I didn’t think so.
So here’s a way through this dilemma. Try this: instead of having your Senate staff and your friends at conservative think tanks conduct the usual hunt for the most embarrassingly liberal opinions ever written by Judge Garland, why don’t you do the opposite?
Find the most conservative opinions that he’s ever written. He’s been a judge for a long time, you know. There must be plenty of them.
Plus, a call to the White House to ask Judge Garland to emphasize certain conservative positions in Senate hearings would provide some great visuals.
And I suspect the White House would honor your request.
Use your vast network of conservative mouthpieces, beginning with Fox News, to get the word out that Pres. Obama “goofed” and named “a conservative” to the Supreme Court.
Save yourself, and make fun of Obama while doing it.
There’s another benefit that comes with this, too. Your selection of Judge Garland now might be extremely helpful in thwarting the coming excesses of a future President Trump, assuming that he doesn’t short circuit judicial review altogether.
Heaven forbid that that damaged individual ever becomes president. But if it happens …
Yes, I know that it was fun to posture for the last eight years.
But look what you’ve done. You’ve kind of destroyed your political party.
You’ve made genuine compromise all but impossible, and you’ve breathed life into a very dangerous way of thinking about diversity that most of us had hoped was long gone.
But now you can make it right. And history will thank you for it.
For aNewDomain, I’m Tom Ewing.
Cover image: Vox.com, All Rights Reserved.