Well That Was Depressing……
Like most people I’m generally quite fond of being proved right. However, in this particular case I take very little pleasure in my predictive success. In fact, this is one of those times that I would’ve been very happy to be wrong.
It was not to be.
Faced with an extremely basic test of political competence, the Democratic members of the Senate, with a mere three exceptions, chose to execute a political face plant, presumably because doing something stupid and self-defeating was easier than facing down the more rabid members of their own party.
Well, Democratic activists have their “victory”. The general public is now aware, had they somehow missed the point before now, that the Democratic party doesn’t much like Justice Gorsuch. That this asinine political tamper tantrum also resulted in the end of the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees, and practically ensures that should either Ginsberg, Breyer or Kennedy, who are 83, 78 and 80 respectively, not make it through the next four years the court will move decisively to the right, seems not to matter very much.
The most depressing part is that a great many, notionally serious, Democratic sympathizers seem unable to grasp how dumb this was. For example, I happened to listen to a Democratic leaning journalist being interviewed on NPR make essentially the following statement (I was too busy cracking up to make a note of the exact quote), “The New York Times ran a borderline offensive story (presumably this one) about how Gorsuch’s confirmation had vindicated the Republican’s refusal to give President Obama’s nominee a hearing. I want to be absolutely clear that this was absolutely not vindicated, other than in that it worked”
A great many Democrats are extremely angry about the Republican refusal to consider Merrick Garland. This was undoubtedly a hardball tactic, not to mention a risky one. If the election had gone the other way it might have gone down as a huge own goal.
Nevertheless, it worked out for Republicans. The Supreme Court appointment became an election issue, which bought conservatives to the polls, even if they weren’t sold on Trump, and helped sway the election. It also resulted in a new conservative justice and, thanks to the idiocy and cowardice of the current crop of Democratic Senators, a clear path to appointing more conservative justices in the future.
By contrast, there was never the slightest chance that “resistance” to Justice Gorsuch would work out for Democrats. It would be difficult, even for the most deluded partisan, to conclude that leverage free posturing opposition would make up for loss of the Garland nomination or, in any way, further the Democratic cause. Yet, when given the choice, pointless grandstanding was the option the Democratic base wanted and the overwhelming majority of Democratic Senators chose.