As the old saying goes, to govern is true beauty but to troll is divine.
Just kidding. Nobody actually says that. But maybe they should after President Barack Obama expertly trolled Republicans with his recent Supreme Court nomination.
Republicans were put in an awkward situation after After Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia passed away in February. They knew that Barack Obama appointing another justice would tip the balance of power in the supreme court, causing us to potentially end up with a court that upholds laws that protect people like gays, minorities, and women in addition to kicking big money out of politics. Republicans simply can’t have that, so Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell vowed that Republicans would refuse to even consider anyone that Obama nominated within hours of Scalia’s passing.
It didn’t matter that this kind of obstruction was unprecedented or that the move could potentially cause Republicans to lose the Senate in November, all that mattered for Republicans was preventing Barack Obama from successfully appointing his third justice to the nation’s highest court.
Republicans played the waiting game for a whole month. They insisted that President Obama shouldn’t appoint someone in an election year because er, um, and stuff.
No, really… they actually tried to convince their constituents that a president shouldn’t appoint a justice in his last year even though it has happened six previous times including once with their iconic President Ronald Reagan. Since that particular argument didn’t fly, the new line became that even if Obama ended up doing his constitutional duty and nominated someone, that person would be a liberal judge whose dastardly views on modern life would be so outrageous that Senate Republicans would have no choice but to deny him or her a hearing. Even as Obama publicly whittled down his nominee list, senators like Utah’s Orrin Hatch insisted there was “no way” that Barack Obama would ever nominate a moderate — someone whose political views could appeal to both Democrats and Republicans.
So, Barack Obama went ahead and nominated moderate judge Merrick Garland of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia as his nominee. Not only is Garland a moderate and thus ideologically acceptable to Hatch and other Republicans, but he also won their support when he was voted on and approved for his current position in 1997 in a 76-23 vote, which included “yes” votes from Hatch and seven other current Republican senators.
It makes it kind of hard to say you don’t approve of someone if you’ve already gone on public record as having approved of them.
So, Republicans have painted themselves into a corner. They have to either hold out on voting for Garland, which could cost them the Senate, or acquiesce to the sinister Kenyan/Muslim/socialist in the White House and allow a vote on what could potentially be his third(!) Supreme Court justice. Should they hold out, they are essentially putting Barack Obama on the ballot in November by having the election galvanize Democrats who will be sick and tired of Republicans once again using partisan politics to sabotage the greater good of the country.
If they give in, it will be seen as another political stunt, much like shutting down the government, which most likely won’t accomplish anything other than providing evidence to the American people that the Republicans would rather create a big blustery hissy fit than work toward common sense solutions. Either option is not a good look, but once again Republicans have nobody to blame but themselves.
President Barack Obama’s troll level: expert.