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Assault on America, Day 21: Long past time for a GOP scorched earth strategy on judge nominees

Chucky Schumer delays










It’s hardly surprising that the highly visible spat between President Trump and congressional Democrat leaders over border wall funding and the government shutdown has occupied more than its fair share of the country’s attention for the past several months, but there’s another matter of great importance where Democrats are being equally obstructionist and destructive (to the country’s best interests): judicial and administration personnel confirmations.

Americans witnessed a shocking display of pontificating and stonewalling during the drawn out confirmation hearings for now justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, but Democrats’ ugly opposition tactics hardly ceased at the entrance to the Supreme Court chamber (remember the leftists wackos banging on the doors?).

Led by Minority Leader creepy “Chucky” Schumer, in the past two years Democrats drove Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to file cloture well over a hundred times to force final votes on deserving nominees (even those considered non-controversial and would pass by sizeable majorities).

The media doesn’t report on this tragic abuse of time-honored rules and procedures. Citizens need to know what’s going on… and two years into President Trump’s first term, Republicans are belatedly plotting measures to unclog the jam.

Alexander Bolton reported at The Hill, “Senate Republicans at an off-campus meeting on Thursday discussed making a rules change to speed the confirmation of many of President Trump’s nominees after Democrats slowed the process during Trump’s first two years in office...

“Republican senators who attended Thursday's meeting said their preference is to reduce the time it takes to process nominees through a permanent standing order, which would need 60 votes to pass and require the support of at least seven Democrats.

“But one GOP senator said if Democrats refuse, Republicans will then seriously consider changing the floor rules through a simple-majority vote — a controversial tactic known as the nuclear option.”

“Controversial?” The only thing provocative about the so-called “nuclear option” is wondering why it hasn’t already been deployed to streamline a process that shouldn’t take much time if circumstances were normal and liberal lawmakers actually cared about the wellbeing and efficacy of the republic. Not only are the lower federal courts plagued with bench vacancies and over-burdened case dockets, many, many administration positions (below cabinet level) still aren’t filled because the senate won’t act on confirming nominees.

Republicans are merely suggesting debate time be limited on lower level nominees so Trump can get people in place to do the work of government. Isn’t that what Democrats typically want, for the government to hum along so it can regulate and steer everything within shouting distance? If the federal bureaucratic octopus can’t get its tentacles wrapped around the people, how else can it survive?

The Founding Fathers never envisioned future senators would require sixty percent agreement (the filibuster rule) for rules changes in the first place. Most laypersons -- including the senators themselves -- probably don’t have a clue how these archaic practices even started. And now Democrats are brandishing “rules” like Darth Vader’s light saber to prevent the duly elected president from doing his duty and executing the laws.

As would be expected the use-any-excuse-to-delay Democrats countered that they’re only dragging out the nominations because Republicans refused to honor the “blue slip” tradition where home-state senators give their permission for court nominees to move the process forward. The original thinking -- way back when the “blue slip” procedure began -- was that information on certain appointees was difficult to come by and senators from their home regions would be in much better position to vouch for a person’s character and abilities.

But this is the 21st century where there’s the internet, social media, mountains of official records at every governmental level, FBI investigatory reports, background checks and virtually anything and everything about a nominee right at your fingertips. The possibility of a lesser-known guy or gal squeaking through is a virtual impossibility now, so the blue-slip tradition is absolutely being abused by Democrats to stall consideration of jurists who might disagree with them politically.

Of course this includes anyone who believes in limited government, individual liberties and constitutional originalism. Why, for example, would a leftist ideologue like California Senator Kamala Harris return a “blue slip” on a qualified conservative Golden State nominee if she speculates that person won’t robotically rubber stamp a liberal priority? Or if a judge once worked in a non-politically correct capacity… it equates to instant rejection.

In addition, “Chucky” Schumer says important nominees should receive bipartisan approval to be confirmed. Why? The Constitution doesn’t mention anything about parties in the first place, so what basis is there to argue senators from both modern factions must agree on an appointment? If Democrats portend to care so much about what the voters want, how could they credibly maintain a senator from a blue state must give his or her go-ahead for a judicial nominee from a red state? Should a New York senator be able to hold up a qualified would-be public servant from Mississippi?

Democrats’ default position on virtually every nominee is the “deplorables” disqualifier, namely that the person is racist, sexist, xenophobic, homophobic or some other kind of “phobic,” charges that are easy to assert but nearly impossible to completely refute. If you don’t believe it just ask “Senator” Roy Moore. Democrats figure they’ll win the public opinion war by shaming someone regardless of who they are or what they’ve done (see Kavanaugh, Brett).

Who knows, Democrats might’ve even besmirched Jesus too.

The system is badly broken and simple rule changes are the least that should be done to try and right the listing ship of Congress. President Trump has two more years -- at least -- to send forward nominations and he’s not going anywhere despite the Democrats’ dreams of impeachment and removing him from office before his time.

Rich Lowry wrote at National Review, “It is true that the odds of Trump somehow not serving out his term are, given his erratic personality and the wild card of the Mueller investigation, higher than those for a normal president serving in normal times. But they are still slim...

“Despite media reports that Trump is perpetually furious and feeling besieged, he has never shown the slightest brittleness or sense of being overwhelmed in public. He’s always his same ebullient, combative, outrageous self. He’s the least likely president to get worn down by an impeachment fight. What would discourage or deflate the normal human energizes him…

“[N]o one should really hope for a premature end to the Trump presidency. Whatever the exact circumstances, it’d be a trauma to the republic and not accepted by a significant plurality of the electorate. The wish fulfillment of Trump’s critics is better directed toward the less spectacular, yet difficult-enough task of beating him in 2020.”

And it will be very difficult to beat Trump, despite what Democrats think (Victor Davis Hanson offered an excellent analysis on this subject last week). “Leaders” like creepy Chucky Schumer are holding out hope that if Democrats stall the process long enough, they’ll eventually outlast the outsider president and replace him with someone who’ll appoint administration members and judges more akin to their liberal tastes and approval.

Try as they might, Democrats can’t delay everything forever, especially if Republicans grow a spine and make them participate in the process -- or they’ll just be steamrolled. Democrats play for keeps…it’s about time Republican leaders acknowledged it and countered fire with fire.

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