To cleanse the palate, you know times are tough for Democrats when Jon Stewart’s old haunt is dunking on them for their impotence.
Don't listen to the pessimists. There are numerous ways the Democrats can stop Trump's Supreme Court pick. pic.twitter.com/UiZDsLed4z
— The Daily Show (@TheDailyShow) June 28, 2018
If that sounded familiar, it’s because it’s the same seven-part plan they had to block Neil Gorsuch.
That isn’t the only satire to go mini-viral on the right today. This tweet fooled hundreds of people:
— CNN Poltics (@CNNPoltics) June 28, 2018
Read the account name closely and you’ll realize it’s a parody account. Waters never said that. But it’s all too plausible, isn’t it? Within the week, some woke Democrat — maybe that socialist who just knocked off Joe Crowley — will insist that having a Court that “looks like America” requires putting an illegal or two on there.
As for the secret plan to block Trump’s nominee, it does exist but it’s not a secret. And there’s really only one step:
1. Convince Collins or Murkowski (or ideally both) to vote no.
If that happens and suddenly it looks like the nomination is going down, I think Schumer’s caucus will swallow hard and vote no as a bloc, ensuring no more than a 49/50 split for the nominee. Red-state Dems like Manchin and Donnelly will despair, knowing that Trump’s gonna bludgeon them with their no votes on the campaign trail before the midterm, but they’ll have no choice. Bailing POTUS out by voting to confirm when the two key Republican swing votes are prepared to bork the nominee would be a sin against the left so grievous that they’d never be forgiven. Voting yes when there are already 50 Republicans in favor, thus ensuring confirmation, is one thing. Voting yes to rescue Trump from a political disaster in the making would be apocalyptic.
And there’s a chance that Trump might need rescuing. Collins and Murkowski don’t sound sky-high about his shortlist of judges:
Both senators suggested Trump need not pull a judge from his list of potential nominees, a document filled with down-the-line conservatives that would dramatically shift the balance of the court to the right. Collins said an “outside group” should not be dictating whom the Senate considers; Murkowski said Trump has already kept his commitment to the list by elevating Gorsuch to the Supreme Court and should extend his search beyond that list.
Gulp. The constitutional power to advise and consent technically resides with the Senate as a whole but for practical purposes in this case resides with Collins and Murkowski and, to a lesser extent, Dean Heller and maverick-y Rand Paul. I assume the White House will get pre-approval on the nominee from each of them before announcing it publicly. It makes no sense to surprise the squishes with it, not knowing how they’ll react. The tricky part will be if anyone demands a pro-Roe nominee. What does POTUS do then? Concede and go find one? Call their bluff by picking who he wants and daring them to vote no, knowing that the right will go ballistic at them? Get on the horn to Manchin or Donnelly or whoever and negotiate some sort of administration position for them if they lose their elections in exchange for voting yes? Get Cocaine Mitch to supply them with some primo Colombian yeyo if they play ball?
Whatever happens, there are only two outcomes. Either the nomination fails very narrowly or it passes comfortably with 55 or so votes. Once Collins and Murkowski commit to voting yes, all of the red-state Dems will stampede towards doing the same knowing that the left won’t be *too* mad at them for supporting a nominee who’s going to be confirmed anyway. Once confirmation is assured, there’s no reason not to pander to the Republican majorities back home.