After president Obama nominated Merrick Garland for the Supreme Court the talking heads including those on CNN droned on about everything except the current reality.Which is what they usually do, talking about reality as if the same reality exists today as it did a month ago when Republicans were adamant that they wouldn't even meet with a Supreme Court pick nominated by Obama.
Its almost as if of the GOP elephant in the room, didn't exist. That GOP elephant is Donald Trump. And despite the fact the talking heads can't figure it out, it changes everything.
The only purpose for the GOP dominated senate not to hold hearings or confirm a Supreme Court pick nominated by Obama was to preserve the pick in the hopes that a Republican will win the presidency in November. Its purely partisan and everyone knows it. They have also been afraid that if they allowed Obama to name a Justice and confirmed that nominee their partisan constituency would take it out on them at the ballot box in November.
But in the last few weeks everything has changed. It's become obvious ( to everyone except the political talking heads at CNN) that the Republican nominee is going to be Donald Trump. The same Donald Trump almost everyone in the Republican party has been bashing, attacking and refusing to support from elected officials to party officials past and present and who most Republicans are on the record of hoping to stop from Lindsay Graham to Mitt Romney. Even Bob Dole got into the bash Trump act.
So after all that how do Republicans justify not even holding hearings on Garland in order to preserve the hope of a Supreme Court pick for a presidential candidate that most Republicans think is a horror show and have been trashing in ways no one has seen before?
How do they think that is going to play with the rest of the country and in the party?
Now that it is a veritable certainty that Trump will be the nominee, a nominee that most GOP senators and party officials have disowned, rejected and attacked, refusing to meet with, hold hearings on, or even confirm Garland is not just an endorsement of Trump but an embrace.
After all the Republican attacks on Trump do they even have any viable position both politically and institutionally? Are they willing as a party to compromise the institution of the senate and the Supreme Court and let it function with only 8 justices for a year in the hopes of preserving a Supreme Court pick for a candidate they are trying to stop from even getting the nomination? Are they willing to live with that both politically and as a matter of conscience?
Andrew Breitbart, the well known conservative, called Trump a " gold plated sleaze" and " a moral cretin". Is that who senate Republicans are blocking Garland for in the hopes of preserving a Supreme Court pick?
How do GOP senators up for re-election run on and defend that in the fall? Are they really willing to risk the condemnation of most Americans including their own Republican officials in the hope of savinga Supreme Court nomination for candidate they publicly despise?
Those are the real stakes and the real issues. Nothing else. And certainly not "principle".
Democrats for the most part have proved themselves to be the most politically pathetic collection of non-strategists and bumbling idiots in anyone's memory dating back to Al Gore's incompetent presidential campaign in 2000.
But if Democrats cant win this fight, if they cant attack Republicans on Trump over Garland, and beat up Republicans including McConnell and others who have publicly trashed Trump and accuse them of the worst form of partisan dishonesty and hypocrisy in memory in willing to go against their own judgement and beliefs so they can preserve a Supreme Court nominee for a candidate most of them despise, if Democrats cant beat them up over that and make them back down politically, then Democrats would be a political embarrassment too.
Here is a tip for Republicans running for re-election. Confirm Garland and you take the moral high ground especially from Hillary Clinton if she should be the Democratic nominee, something still very much up in the air, and even doubtful but missed by the same talking heads.
This is the chance for Democrats to put every Republican in the U.S. senate on the line, or hook for Donald Trump and either confirm Garland or make them look like partisan hypocrites willing to save a Supreme Court nominee for someone they say is unqualified to be president.
And to make matters worse for Republicans, refusing hearings or to confirm Garland could be portrayed by Democrats as Republicans supporting Trump's character over Garland's for purely partisan reasons when they don't believe it themselves.
A number of Republicans while acknowledging Garland's qualifications said its not about the person its about a principle. No its not. It might have been 3 weeks ago but not now. It's no longer about a principle its about one reality and two persons, Donald Trump and Merrick Garland.
If Republicans want to go to the mat over trying to preserve a Supreme Court pick for Donald Trump, if they want to make that an issue for senate Republicans up for re-election to have to defend, let them.It's no longer about principle. Its about who Republicans in the senate stand with and want to support, Merrick Garland or Donald Trump. And if Democrats cant win that argument they should just go home.
This is a fight you'd have to be not just incompetent but an idiot to lose. Its now up to Democrats and their so called strategists to prove that they're not.