A great, effective ad … but. The RNC takes us on a trip down Memory Lane to 2016, when Senate Democrats along with Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi lectured America on the necessity — nay, the constitutional mandate — to immediately fill Supreme Court vacancies. Can’t wait for the DNC’s response video about what Republicans were saying at the same time, though:
Not long ago, Joe Biden said that “the American people deserve a fully-staffed court of nine.”
Fill the seat! pic.twitter.com/K8GpnAMEly
— Ronna McDaniel (@GOPChairwoman) September 21, 2020
The double inclusion of the same Joe Biden clip, declaring in 2016 that “the American people deserve a fully staffed court of nine,” is no accident. (Neither is the more recent clip of Kamala Harris.) The Trump campaign and the RNC plan to shove those words down the throats of Democrats and the media, probably every day. Here’s Kayleigh McEnany, telling CBS This Morning host Gayle King earlier today that she should ask Biden about his principles on filling Supreme Court vacancies:
President Trump says he will soon nominate a justice to replace the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court.
— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) September 21, 2020
King volleys back at McEnany that there are plenty of clips from 2016 of Republicans justifying leaving a SCOTUS seat vacant, too. Isn’t this just “power politics,” King wonders? McEnany denies that, but then goes on to explain exactly how this is power politics — that Republicans had the power to hold up a confirmation in 2016, and now they have the power to press forward on one in 2020. That’s all the “divided government” argument means in the end, after all.
With that in mind, this ad won’t convince many that Republicans have a superior principled argument for plowing ahead. At best, it will impress upon viewers the fact that everyone in Washington is a sanctimonious hypocrite when it comes to the decades-long judiciary wars in the Beltway. That might help Republicans look a little less self-serving, but it’s still a power play. Why not just embrace it and deal with it honestly? That, at least, might be persuasive on the basis of novelty alone.
Anyway, enjoy the ad while it lasts. Will the RNC put this on air, where it might have a broader impact?