In which C-SPAN archivists drop a 20-megaton political warhead directly on Obama and the Democrats. The best part? Biden actually goes a little further than Republicans have gone this month in opposing an election-year replacement for Scalia. Not only doesn’t he want a vacancy filled, not only doesn’t he want the Judiciary Committee to even hold hearings on a nomination, he wants the president to decline making a nomination altogether. The current GOP line is that Obama has every right as president to offer a nomination, just as the Senate has every right to withhold its advice and consent. Biden 1992 wanted Bush 41 to keep any nominations in his pocket. Amazing.
How do you spin this if you’re the White House? I guess by focusing on the calendar. Biden said this in late June, several weeks after Bill Clinton had effectively clinched the Democratic nomination. The claim here will be that when Biden said “once the political season is underway,” he meant the general election, not the primary. But there’s no reason to draw that kind of line. The possibility that the next president will fill Scalia’s vacancy is already affecting votes in the process of choosing that president. All we can do now is let the process play out. Thanks, Joe!
Update: If you’re keeping score, this means that the current president, current vice president, current Senate minority leader, and incoming Senate minority leader have all gone on record in the past in favor of obstructing a Supreme Court nominee.
— CSPAN (@cspan) February 22, 2016