Senate Republican Leaders Say They Won’t Meet With an Obama Supreme Court Nominee
This is just weird. Like I said, as a citizen of our glorious republic, I don’t understand why you wouldn’t just have a hearing, and then either filibuster or vote no because you don’t like the guy. You can even be honest, and say “we don’t like the guy”, because that’s a perfectly normal, Senate-y thing to do (general historical deference to nominees aside, as that’s been dead since, I dunno, Bork or someone).
But saying “please don’t nominate someone” is bizarre in this scenario. You could definitely say “we’ll have a hearing if you do because it’s our job, but we really don’t want to and we’d ask you not to nominate someone at all”, and that would be at least be logically coherent. It probably wouldn’t work, but like I said, then you just have a hearing and say no. Same result. Instead, the ask is “hey, please do us a favor and don’t nominate anyone – but if you do nominate someone (which is your Constitutional obligation, by the way), we want the world to know that we’re going to not only not do you any favors, but we’re actively going to not do our job in response to you doing yours, because we hate you so much.”
I guess the thing that makes me uncomfortable here is that McConnell and the gang are taking a path that has no functional, tactical difference in terms of getting the outcome they want, but makes them look like assholes when there’s a functionally equal alternative that doesn’t. That leads me to conclude that it’s politically advantageous in some way, all things being equal, to try to look like an asshole. And that’s not good for the future of the Senate, no matter who’s in charge.