On The Supreme Court, And Scalia's Vacancy.

(NOTE: Based on time elapsed since the posting of this entry, the BS-o-meter calculates this is 3.618% likely to be something that Ferrett now regrets.)

For once, I have a lot of sympathy for conservatives.  Yes, they’re threatening to lock out Obama for his final year in office.  Yes, they’ve been a bunch of big whiny babies, shutting down the government as the equivalent of “I’m gonna hold my breath until I turn blue if you don’t gimme what I want!”
But Scalia’s seat?
That’s the first time I looked at it and went, “Yeah, that’s worth risking everything for.”
Look. Scalia’s been the only thing holding up some pretty tenuous court cases.  A 5-4 liberal court would have ramifications for conservatives way beyond what Bush did, and it would go on for decades.
If you are a conservative, finally, you have found a sword worth falling on.
…not that the hype they’re generating around it is anything but a cloud of toxic lies.  Obama is well within his Constitutional rights to appoint a nominee, and it is historically unheard-of for Congress to delay the appointment for three hundred goddamned days, and I hate that the media is treating this as “Well, both sides have a point” as opposed to “One side is doing what Presidents have always done, and the other side is rising up in an unprecedented rebellion to try to stop him.”
(As someone asked of Ted Cruz on Twitter, “If elected, when in your presidency would you abandon all power?”)
And I like to think that if the positions were reversed, I would allow the appointment to go forward but start causing gridlock if the Conservative President tried to appoint anyone but the most dishwater middle-of-the-road guy he could find.  (Who would still be rightish, of course, we all know that, but some rightish people waffle – as see John Roberts on Obamacare.)
But who knows?  I’m not in that position.  They are.  And I think what they’re doing is slightly scummy, and I disagree vehemently with the rollbacks they want to accomplish, but good God strategically speaking this is the time to pull out all the stops.
That said…
I’ve seen my conservative friends posting, “Well, Obama filibustered Alito!”  Which is true; he did.  Obama, ineffectively, tried to take part in a Kerry-led rebellion so Alito could not get on the court.
There are huge differences, though:
1) He disagreed with “a specific person,” not “Anyone who Bush might ever nominate ever ever ever.”  This is a massive change.  Idiots who are crying that they’d filibuster anyone are basically stating that “This President will never choose anyone I agree with” before the process has begun, and my God I hope he chooses Elizabeth Warren just to piss you off.
2) This was in 2006, not in 2008, and Obama was not claiming – as many do – that the President had no right to appoint someone in his final year in office.
3) At the time, Obama acknowledged that the merits of a filibuster were arguable, and – my words, not his – this was a moral choice he was using to promote an edge rule, not some grand tradition he was carrying on.  (He voted on Roberts, though negatively.)
Those three things make his actions very different from what the Republicans are doing now.  Don’t let them tell you otherwise.

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