Monday, February 15, 2016

Can Anybody 'Win' the Supreme Court Showdown? (Hint: Yes)

Obama yucks it up with the Supremes.
My friend Elise Roberts suggested this morning (from Africa, where it must be evening) that "we can't let Obama go without winning this thing," which, of course, is the pending Supreme Court nomination. He will make one and then the Republicans take over and do what Republicans do.

I responded to Elise thusly,

"I don't know what would represent a 'win,' but there are opportunities to put the far right wing in a position of being permanently marginalized (as it once was when the snake-handlers were laughed at and not idolized). 

"One self-perceived 'win' for the GOP would be a Republican freez-out of any potential candidate. Another would be voting down a squeaky-clean, highly respected candidate that they'd unanimously approved for the lower court (Sri Srinivasan). And another would be a stonewalling a minority or a woman who has a good reputation. 

"The only win the GOP can hope for here is a limited one: with the base, which represents maybe 20 percent of the American voting population. But Republicans already have those votes. There is no way for the Republican Party to create new populations of voters (young, colored, poor, minority, etc.) with its strategy--or any strategy that I can foresee, even one that would show it in a completely different light than the one expected."

I'm not sure Democrats can lose here, but I've felt that way many times before and the mule has kicked up the improbable (ever heard of Bernie Sanders?). It appears Obama will nominate--very shortly--an already vetted candidate who holds a high office (probably judicial in nature), and he will do it very shortly, maybe during the recess--as an appointment. That would rile the Republicans and stir the Democratic base to new heights.

A recess appointment--and remember, Obama has done that in the past for lower courts, as did his predecessors, so it would not be unprecedented--would be a bold move and a proper exclamation point on his successful presidency. I'd love to see that. And I would consider it a win.

On the other hand, we could all wait for Clinton or Sanders to move into the White House and appoint Obama to the court. The Repubs would have a mass, joint seizure.


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