There’s No Downside To Trump Nominating Amy Coney Barrett

There’s No Downside To Trump Nominating Amy Coney Barrett

This election was always going to be about culture. Treat the election as a referendum on cultural issues and lean in, Mr. President.
Sumantra Maitra
By

It is said that when Napoleon was presented with the credentials of a general, he asked, “I know that he is good, but is he lucky?” The phrase might be apocryphal, but it is by no means wrong. One need not believe in the concept of fortune to be fortunate.

On that note, President Donald Trump might be considered fortunate, presented with another opportunity to shape the future with his third nomination to the Supreme Court. With the new vacancy, Trump has also provided social scientists an opportunity to test several academic theories about future political alignments.

For starters, there’s nothing Democrats can gain from this scenario. If a caustic confirmation ensues, it would be a rehash of the Brett Kavanaugh episode, which would galvanize Republicans. If there’s a nomination but no confirmation and then a lame-duck session, it would spur Republicans to vote for Trump for a future confirmation. If riots break out, they would most definitely stir Republicans to vote.

The talks of a political crisis are just that — talks. They’re a fantasy narrative created by those who have a monopoly over media, similar to the line that Trump would not give up power even if Joe Biden wins the election.

The constitutional process is clear: The president nominates, and the Senate proceeds to either confirm or deny. The party in power in the Senate decides whether a confirmation process goes forward. Democrats did that with Robert Bork, and Republicans paid back in kind during the nomination of Merrick Garland.

Those in power decide the process. That is true for both parties. Any other narrative is balderdash.

Draw the Battle Lines

Another objection from the left is that an efficient confirmation process will break norms, which is ridiculous coming from the ideological side that understands nothing but how to use raw power for political gain. It was a power play when Kavanaugh was nominated, an episode that stiffened the spine and broke the starry-eyed spell of a lot of formerly centrist Republicans. It is a power play when ideological pseudo-history such as the 1619 Project wins a Pulitzer Prize and is taught in more than 3,000 schools.

It is a power play when Democrats stop budget relief that would have aided thousands of working-class people. It is a power play when jobs and livelihoods are held hostage by protests and riots. Barricading a Supreme Court nominatio  is most definitely a power play coming from a side that wants to give statehood to D.C. and Puerto Rico, pack the courts, and abolish the Electoral College. The talk of constitutional norms, therefore, is absurd, as those who win elections decide the norms, according to the established rules.

This election was always going to be about culture. Trump, for good or for bad, understands that. Rhetoric aside, in the last week, his Department of Education called the bluff of Princeton University’s performative self-flagellating shtick, and fired a full broadside on the insidious and subversive critical race theory. That is more ammunition on the cultural front than any other Republican president fired off in the last couple of decades.

It also has ensured the battle lines are clearly drawn. For decades, playing “fairly” resulted in conservatives losing every single frontier of culture due to their pretended neutrality. Neutrality historically cannot oppose a crusading ideology such as liberalism.

Trump’s full-throttle, open-armed embrace of the cultural battle lines has for good or for bad clarified who’s on which side. It also surprisingly brought in support from those who were otherwise inclined to be neutral and at least theoretically liberal.

Amy Coney Barrett Is a Clear Choice

The nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett would advance those cultural battle lines. If one needs to be genuinely democratic, he or she should be clear about convictions and proudly put forward the alternative to the dilettante technocratic centrism that has been in practice. The public loves clear choices, and the public prefers leaders who act, instead of managers who hedge bets.

The left always talks a big game about direct democracy, but they seem to forget that if every issue were treated as an individual referendum, the chances of them losing major positions are extremely high. Americans do not support Black Lives Matter anarchism. The majority are patriotic and oppose taxpayer-funded anti-American education.

The majority of black Americans are far more religious on average than the public overall, and the majority of Americans oppose transgender activism. The majority of Americans oppose abortion after the first trimester and want fewer foreign wars. Ask yourself, which side stands for the majority?

Coney Barrett is tough on crime, is against campus kangaroo courts, and is an originalist who would follow the letter of the law to the last word. According to her own words, she would not be deterred from making tough decisions. Her nomination should give the public a clear choice, even if the confirmation does not proceed prior to the election.

Sumantra Maitra is a doctoral researcher at the University of Nottingham, UK, and a senior contributor to The Federalist. His research is in great power-politics and neorealism. You can find him on Twitter @MrMaitra.

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