Democrats sounded more than a little defeated during their opening statements on Monday’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing for Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court confirmation.
Rather than use this time to try to stop Barrett’s confirmation with the ludicrous stalling tactics we saw during the confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh two years ago or to question Barrett’s legal bona fides or to make any of the wild claims about hidden documents and rape we saw in 2018, so far, Democrats are reduced to doing the equivalent of a cable news appearance.
Democrats do not appear to have a plan of any kind to lay some sort of groundwork to derail Barrett or to pick off the three or four Republican senators needed to kill her nomination. Democrats are, instead, using this allotted time to plug Obamacare as something it’s not — worth a damn. They’re also attacking President Trump as a racist and coronavirus super-spreader, firing off anti-science complaints about how this hearing might result in their catching the coronavirus, and, of course, lying about how confirming a Supreme Court justice during an election year is unprecedented — fact check: it’s not.
That’s it. That’s all they have.
Democrats apparently believe grocery store clerks should go to work, but not U.S. senators.
The Democrats’ goal here, at least for now, is not to try to stop Barrett, but to use the national television time to hurt Trump’s reelection chances. This is excellent news for those of us who want to see Barrett on the High Court.
How effective this will be, no one knows. It’s not as though Democrats have not already been screaming this same stuff for months. That’s why opening statements sounded like a cable news segment. A tired one.
As far as defeating Barrett, the fact that Democrats seem paralyzed (at least so far) is really their own fault. There’s simply no question the ugliness of the 2018 Kavanaugh battle — not just the delaying tactics, but the false and now-debunked accusation he was some kind of serial rapist — blew up in their face. The blowback was brutal. During a midterm election where the party that does not hold the White House almost always sees gains, Democrats lost seats in the U.S. Senate.
And now, here the Democrats sit, two years later, with fewer Democrats in the U.S. Senate and all out of ideas to destroy Barrett, who is undoubtedly more than qualified to sit on the Supreme Court.
Behind the scenes, using left-wing news outlets like the Washington Post, Democrats are undoubtedly trying to smear Barrett as a crazy Catholic, as some sort of sleeper agent who will deliver the Dystopia of the Handmaid’s Tale to fruition, but this also appears to be backfiring. The only audience for these kinds of attacks should be those three or four Republican senators who can vote with Democrats to keep Barrett off the Court, and there’s no indication any of this is working.
As of now, Republicans appear confident of Barrett’s confirmation.
This could all change, of course. Like they did with the fake rape allegation against Kavanaugh, one of the Democrats might come up with a dirty trick at the last minute.
Hard to see how that works, though. It didn’t with Kavanaugh and is likely to backfire even worse if its tried again.
Perhaps the dumbest argument against Barrett is not really an argument against Barrett herself, but a broader political argument, this argument that confirming Barrett is “packing” the Supreme Court, that it is somehow a violation of the Constitution.
Well, filling vacancies is not “packing” the Supreme Court or any court, and it’s hard to see that argument going anywhere to stop Barrett’s confirmation.