Monday, September 21, 2020

Switched Sides

I saw many quotes today from Democrats saying the exact opposite about SCOTUS nominees of what they said four years ago.  Hillary Clinton!  Nancy Pelosi! Joe Biden!  RBG herself!  I don't even need to look.  There are comments just as opposite from Republicans that are being quoted elsewhere on the web, aren't there?  I mentioned yesterday that it's all just the usual jostling.  Don't get me going on who started it, but since about 1994, it's just the same reversal every time.  Andrew McCarthy over at National Review has a nice summary of how that is.


Christopher B said...

I'm a partisan, and I get a bit annoyed at the constant claim that 'both sides do it'. I get that most of the folks making that claim think they are being even-handed but it does nothing but move the Overton Window farther and farther in favor of the more unprincipled side, exactly what we've been seeing in judicial confirmations since 1994.

This is not the exact opposite of 2016, and not just because Obama was a lame duck not on the ballot. The Democrats are making the claim that Trump shouldn't even be allowed to make a nomination, something that I believe no Republican claimed in 2016. That's different from admitting that no nominee advanced by Obama when he had no more political leverage was going to be accepted as replacement for the man who was the preeminent conservative jurist of our lifetimes by a Republican majority Senate. Any nominee he advanced would have been a hard sell. The President nominates, the Senate consents or rejects. If the required number of Senators agree to not take up a nomination that's a rejection.

It's also not even close to the application of the 'Biden Rule'. If you look at what Biden said back then, he specifically included a provision that if the Senate gave advice and consented to the nomination it should go forward. While there was a clear implication in his statement that the Senate was controlled by a different party than the President, he didn't limit it to those situations. It's a hypothetical but I suspect that McConnell would not have been to hold the Senate Republicans together in 2016 if RBG had passed instead of Scalia. Again, the President nominates and the Senate accepts or rejects.

The consistent flip-flop (I know, oxymoron) is the position of the Democrats as illustrated by the 'Biden Rule' and reinforced by what's going on right now. When they control the Senate, a Republican President's nominees will be grilled about how they will rule and subjected to absolutely insane personal attacks. When they control the White House, Senate consent is simply a rubber stamp on the person selected and no dissent is allowed. When they control neither, they throw tantrums like toddlers in the super market. There is no consistency except the demand that they get their way, right now.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

I see the fairness of that. The switches are not quite equivalent. Maybe I am just bending over backwards to be fair, because I think the conservatives are at least somewhat guilty of the same thing, and it is good to call out one's own. If it's any comfort, 1988 always looms large in my mind.

Sam L. said...