As the debate over replacing Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court rages on, we’re seeing a lot of media outlets highlighting flip-flops from politicians who seem to be viewing the current battle very differently than the one over Merrick Garland in 2016. But much of this discussion has focused only on one group of elected officials, primarily Republican Senators. This article from the Hill offers a sterling example of the phenomenon. Numerous Republicans who had plenty to say about the nomination of Merrick Garland in 2016 are having their old statements thrown back in their faces now. (And deservedly so, I might add.) But there’s another side to this story that mysteriously seems to be missing. First, here’s a look at some of the GOP members accused of having a “change of heart” to put it mildly.
Questioned aggressively by Fox News’s Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday over whether Republicans were being hypocritical on the issue, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) held his ground.
Wallace played video of comments by Cotton in 2016 arguing it would be wrong for the Senate to vote on a replacement for Scalia before the presidential election.
“Why would we squelch the voice of the people? Why would we deny the voters a chance to weigh in on the makeup of the Supreme Court?” Cotton said on the Senate floor in 2016.
“You don’t see any hypocrisy between that position then and this position now?” Wallace asked.
Tom Cotton is hardly the only one facing this sort of scrutiny. Lyndsey Graham has been reminded that he said such replacement shouldn’t be made in an election year and people should remember what he said. But he’s now supporting a hearing for Trump’s nominee. Lamar Alexander is in a similar boat. Mitch McConnell himself made arguments against a hearing for Garland in 2016 but is now preparing to move forward. His explanation of why party control of the Senate and White House is the determining factor is, to be honest, rather weak tea.