Democrats’ Supreme Court Strategy Is Helping The GOP
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Democrats’ Supreme Court Strategy Is Helping The GOP

Shortly after Justice Antonin Scalia died earlier this month, Senate Republicans did something somewhat uncharacteristic. They smartly announced that they wouldn’t hold hearings to discuss replacing him during the heat of the campaign season. When Democrats and their media allies cried foul, they even more surprisingly stuck to their guns.

Yesterday, every Republican member of the Senate Judiciary Committee signed a letter to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell vowing not to hold hearings during the remainder of the year on any potential nominee.

This is not just a smart move, it’s the Republicans’ only move. David Harsanyi explained more about this in “5 Reasons Republicans Shouldn’t Fear A SCOTUS Fight.”

No, Democrats aren’t going to love the delay — even if both Obama and Biden were all-in on obstruction when the shoe was on the other foot years ago — but they aren’t going to love Republican moves no matter what. Their hope is to change public opinion, which responded to the Republican plan with a big “cool, whatever.”

Still, Democrats are trying to work their magic in the media, aiming to force Republicans just to consider a nominee now rather than delay all such consideration until after the November elections.

“Senate GOP leaders say they won’t meet with Obama’s Supreme Court nominee” said one headline. Which makes sense for them, since this isn’t about whatever personality might be nominated but just the principle of whether to consider now.

Are you confused about how this works? NBC Political Editor Mark Murray seemed confused, or maybe he simply let the objectivity mask slip even further:

Other journalists are feigning outrage that Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) won’t meet with President Obama to waste time discussing a nomination that the Senate has already said is a dead letter.

Liberal memes are running around social media to bolster the base. Here’s my favorite:

New York Times columnist Nick Kristof took the meme and put his own spin on it:

The confusion of the two kingdoms isn’t any cuter when Nick Kristof does it than when Ted Cruz does it, but, yeah, I bet folks at the New York Times think that if Jesus Christ really wanted to be important, he’d get involved in American politics and law. And folks at the New York Times know Jesus so well, what with his relaxing of the Law and support for ending the lives of children.

Anywho, it turns out that it’s not Jesus, Zombie Reagan or even a gun who the White House is floating for nominee. Nothing anywhere near as cool as that. Instead, just “centrist” Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval of Nevada. By comparison, I think Anthony Kennedy was still being called “conservative” at this stage.

Anyway, let’s say that you buy the idea that centrist Republican nominees would be awesome. This doesn’t show that Republicans are being unreasonable by vowing not to hold any hearings until after November but, rather, that this isn’t about politics at all.

— David Marcus (@BlueBoxDave) February 24, 2016

Again, this is a no-brainer for Republican senators. And rather than getting caught up in the weeds of whether Sandoval or whoever the real nominee would be is the least bad option on the table, it’s easier to just stick to the principle of no hearings until after the election.

Mollie Ziegler Hemingway is a senior editor at The Federalist. Follow her on Twitter at @mzhemingway
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