On Monday, President Trump is (at least tentatively) supposed to announce who his pick to replace Justice Kennedy on the Supreme Court will be. Several names have been batted around and their character and pasts smeared as expected. It must suck for these people to wind themselves up thinking every single person that President Trump or any Republican president appoints to pretty much any position is an incompetent cultist out to feast on the brains of brown people and nationalize women’s bodies. Must be exhausting. Of course their attention spans are so short that they don’t remember this is the same fit they’ve been throwing since the 1980s at least, and yet four Republican presidencies later none of their bogeymen have turned out to be anything like their dire predictions. Which is kind of why people are tuning them out.
This time around the Democrats are taking a somewhat different tack. In addition to their usual predictions of doom and disaster if the President attempts to appoint a justice who doesn’t think killing babies is super awesome and the disgustingly contrived precedents of Roe and Casey are cast in stone, they have also been loudly leaning on President Trump to name one person in particular: Merrick Garland, the nominee who the Republican Senate “stole a seat” on the Supreme Court from. We’re not going to rehash the “Biden rule” here today nor how the Democrats nuked the filibuster to stack the federal courts and bragged they’d do it again under Dr. Pantsuit, except to remind you that no, children, nobody “stole” anything. We’ll get into that a little more in a minute.
Chucky Schumer reportedly called President Trump directly to urge him to nominate Garland as a move for “unity.” So the first part of the Merrick Garland fantasy is that this would in any way achieve any sort of “unity” with the lunatic left. It won’t. Nothing will. Nor should it. The core of La Resistance will not be satisfied even if President Trump takes the podium Monday, announces he’s nominating Adam “Pencilneck” Schiff to the open seat, further announces he’s already fired Mike Pence and appointed Dr. Pantsuit in his place, then kneels down and orders his Secret Service detail to shoot him in the head. La Resistance would still wail for years about how this just proved how guilty he was and that he should have done it eighteen months earlier and so should all his supporters. The very suggestion that any action that President Trump could take would make him less deplorable in the eyes of the insane left is laughable.
But that’s a more generalized principle that applies to practically any move the president has taken or could take, and in all honesty I think he knows it and makes his moves accordingly. Where Merrick Garland is concerned, however, there’s a fairy tale concocted just for him, and that’s the idea that there was any possible way he would be appointed to the Supreme Court. The truth is, no matter what happened, Merrick Garland was never meant to take Justice Scalia’s seat, and his nomination was doomed from the beginning. He was nothing more than an election year football and an attempt to defuse or even flip an issue that the Democrats know damned well guides millions of evangelical voters.
There were two ways this could pan out. The first was the way it actually went, which I honestly don’t think Whatshisname and the Democrats expected to happen, and that was for the Senate GOP to find a spine, cite to Gropey Uncle Joe Biden’s own rule, and make a goal-line stand against even holding confirmation hearings. Even if this unforeseen outcome took place, the Democrats bet that they could use it to rile up their base with this silly notion of a “stolen” Supreme Court seat and maybe even sway a handful of normals along the way. In the final analysis it didn’t seem to work out that way, but hey, what did they have to lose? Throw up a name the GOP won’t get behind, try to paint him as a “moderate” and thereby smear the Senate Republicans as “extremists” and “obstructionists,” all the while knowing the nomination isn’t going to go anywhere? It was an election year and this issue was just begging to be exploited. So what if it meant Garland wasn’t a serious candidate?
The other possible outcome was what I think the Democrats were expecting and hoping for, that Mitch McConnell and the heretofore named “Surrender Caucus” would buckle to pressure and the relentless “Do Your Job” hashtag campaign and allow Garland’s nomination to advance at least as far as debate…at which point I firmly believe that for some reason, contrived or otherwise, Merrick Garland would withdraw his name from consideration and step aside. Because at that point his mission would have been accomplished. The GOP would have drawn a line in the sand (one which I have said, if they only picked one place to stand their ground, this was it) and capitulated yet again on an issue that even Trump skeptics were planning to vote for him and their less-than-impressive GOP senators for. This would have served the dual purpose of letting a lot of the air out of GOP enthusiasm AND eating up time to get closer to the election. A major surrender like this on the last march could have been gamechanging not just for the Senate but also in the presidential election itself.
The point here is that in either of these scenarios, Merrick Garland was never actually meant to be appointed. If Dr. Pantsuit had won, as the Democrats were convinced she would, regardless of whether they also controlled the Senate (as they were also convinced they would), Garland wasn’t getting his nomination renewed. Forget that. I guarantee you Dr. Pantsuit’s short list consisted of party loyalists and lunatic hard lefties and would not have been surprised in the least if her top three picks were Loretta Lynch, Eric Holder, and Whatshisname himself in no particular order. A popular theory is that in the infamous tarmac meeting between Lynch and Billy Jeff, where they supposedly caught up on old times and talked about grandchildren, Lynch was promised a seat on the Supreme Court in exchange for helping the Pantsuit investigations go away. I’m not endorsing that theory because I honestly think her first pick would have been our esteemed constitutional law scholar ex-president. Thankfully we’ll never know, but what we do know is that Garland was never anything but a red herring. Schumer trying to make him happen now really shows how little the Democrats have left in the tank.
Fun fact in closing: Justice Kennedy was nominated to the Supreme Court by President Reagan for a seat that, initially, Reagan wanted to appoint the incredibly brilliant and eminently qualified Judge Robert Bork to. Bork, of course, was the first Supreme Court nominee who got stonewalled by the opposition party in the Senate due to an orchestrated smear campaign centered on his opposition to Roe v. Wade–a tactic that feminist harpies would come to refer to in later years as “Borking.” His nomination was defeated and Justice Kennedy, who ended up being a moderate, took the seat. Judge Bork passed away in 2012, while the Democrats still controlled both the White House and the Senate. Meaning that the Democrats could have appointed Garland or whoever they wanted to this seat if they hadn’t stolen it from Judge Bork in the first place.