Let’s stipulate that Judge Gorsuch is a fine, upstanding guy.
Let’s stipulate, too, that his brilliance and experience qualify him for the Court.
There are loads of places I’d surely hate his decisions, if he were confirmed. (He’s written a whole book on why I shouldn’t be allowed to get help, if I ever encounter such agony or despair that I want to end my life. That decision, he believes, should be left up to him, not me.)
But policy differences come with the territory. That’s not the line along which Democrats should unanimously reject his nomination. This is:
We should play by Mitch McConnell’s rules.
We hate them, but he set them — hours after Scalia’s death — and his Republican Senate colleagues aggressively adopted them, so we should hold them to their word.
Those rules were: We must wait to see what the PEOPLE think.
It wasn’t enough that the people expressed their preference for President Obama in 2008 and 2012. The Republicans insisted, Constitution be damned, Obama should not be allowed to select the next Justice. We should wait for the next election to see which way the American PEOPLE were leaning.
(Not how the Electoral College was leaning – the people.)
And now we know.
The PEOPLE again confirmed in 2016 – by 3 million votes — that they leaned the Democrat.
(It would have been by yet more millions if it had not been for Vladimir Putin. Still more millions if the media hadn’t assured everyone Trump had no path to 270. Safe to stay home, Hillary would win. Safe to vote third-party. Safe, even — knowing there was no real risk of his actually becoming president — to “send a message” and vote for Trump.)
Democrats should insist we play by Mitch McConnell’s rules: Wait to see the will of the people. And it is: MERRICK GARLAND. That’s the only Justice we should vote to confirm.
Next time there’s a vacancy, if Gorsuch is nominated, there’s a good possibility he would be confirmed.
But for now? We’re with Mitch.
Jim Burt: “One of the late Jimmy Breslin’s most quotable characterizations was of Rudy Giuliani as ‘A small man in search of a balcony.’ Rudy has company. One wonders if the root of the expression ‘Il Duce ha sempre ragione‘ (‘the Leader is always right’) might not have been that he, like our current orange malediction, never admitted error and never apologized. For anything.”