There was much outcry from Democrats on Wednesday after reports surfaced that President Obama was vetting Republican Governor Brian Sandoval for the Supreme Court.
Now, Obama has a history of giving in to Republican pressure, so it wasn’t entirely unwarranted. However, he has been much stronger in this last year of office, bypassing Congress and enacting crucial executive actions.
It turns out, Gov. Sandoval “[withdrew] himself from consideration for the vacant seat on the Supreme Court” on Thursday morning—how convenient! In this instance, Obama and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid magnificently played the Republicans like a fiddle.
Republican obstructionism in Congress is old news at this point, but by leaking the potential of a Republican nominee for the Supreme Court (whom he never really intended to nominate), Obama exposed their insanity in two ways:
For one, he proved beyond doubt that the sole Republican agenda is to obstruct: with Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, and the majority of Republican senators rejecting a popular, well-liked, well-qualified member of their own party as a nominee, it revealed all the cards they had in one swift play. They don’t care one iota about the Constitution, leadership, or the government—their one and only concern is blocking Obama's every move.
Two, he got a handful of Senators to actually turn on the party and admit they were open to a hearing and vote, including Susan Collins, Mark Kirk, and one anonymous senator who told the Washington Post that, “a Sandoval nomination would ‘mix it up’ for Republicans.”
Obama has proven a moderate pick, even a Republican pick, would not appease these obstructionists masquerading as lawmakers, which leaves the field wide open for him to nominate a more progressive candidate without any public backlash concerning his refusal to “compromise.”
Harry Reid was not coy about the endgame of this strategy either. As the New York Times notes, “Democrats began orchestrating a campaign of political pressure…The leaking of Mr. Sandoval’s name appeared to be part of that effort. Senate Republicans said the governor’s party affiliation made no difference — they would not even consider any nominee put forward by Mr. Obama. That only amplified Democratic rhetoric.
‘I am sorry the Republicans are treating even one of their own that way,’ Mr. Reid said.”
Reid is not sorry—he’s ecstatic, because it exposes them as the frauds they are.
Hopefully the conclusion of all this political maneuvering will lead to a true progressive on the Supreme Court, although at this point, we’ll even settle for a moderate Democrat.