by: the Common Constitutionalist
Well, that didn’t take very long, did it. Just days after Justice Scalia’s untimely death and an even shorter period of time since Republican leadership declared its intention not to consent to an Obama nominee; moderates within the Republican Party are going wobbly. I guess that is not entirely accurate. The ones going wobbly were already.
The Huffington Post is happily reporting that, “Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), one of the most at-risk GOP incumbents this cycle, has broken with his party and said he’s open to considering a Supreme Court nominee put forth by President Barack Obama.” Of course they didn’t come out and say they were happy – I am just pointing out what should be obvious.
Kirk wrote in an op-ed in the Chicago Sun Times that the president has every right to nominate a replacement for the vacated seat. Fair enough. He added that, “I also recognize my duty as a senator to either vote in support or opposition to that nominee following a fair and thorough hearing along with a complete and transparent release of all requested information.” Kirk said that the Senate’s role in the process is as important as the President’s, which is also correct.
And he’s not alone in breaking ranks with the supposed hard-line stance of Republican leadership. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, Dan Coats of Indiana and of course Susan Collins of Maine (really a democrat) and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, all came out to parrot Kirk’s stance.
Now, regarding McConnell and the leadership – I say supposed hard-line stance, because we all know what a marshmallow he is when it comes to dealing with Obama. He’s actually not warning Obama – he’s begging Obama not to nominate so he won’t have to do what he always does – fold. Always remember – establishment Republicans are only tough when dealing with true conservatives. They will always roll over when dealing with democrats.
I will be stunned to see McConnell follow through with not allowing hearings when Obama nominates an ultra-radical. But I believe he could nominate Bill Ayers and McConnell would capitulate. He and the rest of leadership are more scared of being called mean, or do-nothing, or obstructionist than the destruction of the country.
This next bit by the HuffPo is surely intended for Republicans, as they reassure the GOP – should a nominee make it to a vote, he or she will need “the vote of at least 14 Republicans, as well as every single Democrat and the Independents who caucus with them.” HuffPo knows full well the dems and the press could lambast 14 spineless Republicans into voting to confirm. It’s as transparent as, “Roast me! Hang me! Do whatever you please,” said Brer Rabbit. “Only please, Brer Fox, please don’t throw me into the briar patch.”
Kirk then trots out the Constitution and his senatorial oath of office, which is similar to the oath we all took when entering the military. “As a 23-year veteran of the U.S. Navy Reserve and as a United States senator,” Kirk wrote, “I swore an oath to protect and uphold the constitution. That oath is to our constitution, not to a party or any one individual, but to the ideals that bind our nation.” He’s almost right. It has nothing whatsoever to do with our “ideals.” The original senatorial oath was the very first bill the new senate passed on May 5, 1789. It was short and to the point, just as most everything they did back then. It read: “I do solemnly swear that I will support the Constitution of the United States,” which I might add Kirk has practically never done.
I thank Kirk for his service, but that aside, it appears he is more concerned with the retention of his Senate seat in a blue state than doing what is clearly right for the nation.
We know politicians poll everything under the sun. What they don’t poll, they have advisers that tell them what to think and do. No doubt Kirk has data indicating that he must not take a hard line toward Obama, or his democrat opponent(s) will be able brand him as a hard line, unreasonable conservative republican – which no one should ever confuse him with. His Conservative Review Grade is a solid F, because they don’t have F-, at 19% – one of the lowest of all republicans.
Obama will nominate someone and it won’t be a middle-of-the-road bridge-builder. It will be someone with “ideals” that align with the Castros in Cuba, or Barack, which is redundant. Then the dems and the press will begin an all-out ravaging of liberal republicans to turn the tide toward hearings and a vote, all the while assuring them that it’s not possible to turn 14 senators. If Republicans then get brow-beaten into allowing a vote, it’s game over.