Thursday, February 18, 2016

Advise and Consent

The President, Democrats in general, and the left-wing media are all in a swivet over statements by Republican leaders that they wouldn't look favorably on an attempt this late in the Obama presidency to appoint a Supreme Court justice to fill the seat of the late Antonin Scalia. Republican reluctance to cooperate has been called obstructionism, unconstitutional, unconscionable, unprecedented, and even, of course, racist. These are just some of the objections that have been raised in mighty chorus against the Republican plan, but, in truth, it's none of those things. In fact, not only is it not unprecedented, it's the very tactic endorsed by Senator Obama himself when George Bush nominated Samuel Alito, it was employed by a Democratic senate during the Eisenhower presidency, insisted upon by The New York Times during the Reagan presidency and by Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer during the Bush presidency.

An article in The Federalist helpfully reminds amnesiac Democrats and their allies of their attempts over the years to block Republican presidents from making judicial appointments.

Senator Schumer (D, NY), for example, said in 2007 that, President George W. Bush shouldn’t get to pick any more Supreme Court justices because Schumer was afraid the bench leaned too far Right. Schumer made this remark a whole 19 months before the next president was inaugurated.

“We should not confirm any Bush nominee to the Supreme Court, except in extraordinary circumstances,” Schumer said in a speech to the liberal American Constitution Society. “They must prove by actions, not words, that they are in the mainstream rather than we have to prove that they are not.”

His remarks in 2007 weren’t the only time Schumer vowed to stop a Republican nominee. In 2004, he said he would do everything in his power to stop Bush from elevating Charles Pickering to a federal appeals court in 2004.

“I’m prepared to do everything I can to stop the nomination of Justice Pickering,” Schumer said. “We can do a lot better.”
The Federalist mentions other instances in which Schumer was involved in efforts to prevent the president from naming judges, but let's pass on to Senator Obama who supported the Democratic-led filibuster to stop Justice Samuel Alito from making it to the Supreme Court. In 2006 he said this:
There are some who believe that the president, having won the election, should have complete authority to appoint his nominee…that once you get beyond intellect and personal character, there should be no further question as to whether the judge should be confirmed. I disagree with this view.
Obama wasn’t the only Democratic senator to oppose Alito’s nomination, The Federalist notes. The late Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) led an opposition coalition, which attempted to filibuster to block the confirmation process. Kennedy was joined by Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.), Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.), Sen. Ken Salazar (D-Colo.), and Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), who publicly stated they opposed Alito’s confirmation.

There are more examples at The Federalist link. The other day President Obama was asked about how he justified his own filibuster of Alito in light of his complaints about Republicans threatening to do the same thing. Having no good answer he awkwardly sought refuge in gobbledygook:
It seems that to refuse consent to a lame duck president who will throw the Court's ideological composition out of balance is perfectly sensible if the president is a scoundrel Republican and his noble opponents are Democrats. But, we are to surmise, such tactics are unseemly, obstructionist, unconstitutional, unconscionable, racist, and unprecedented if the president is a saintly Democrat and the refuseniks are demonic Republicans.

These people have evidently never heard about gooses and ganders, nor do they seem to comprehend the meaning of the word "hypocrisy."