I’m registered to vote in New York, so my Senators are Chuck Schumer (currently the minority leader of the Senate) and this piece of work:
Yes, that’s the junior Senator for New York, Kirsten Gillibrand, proudly (and “without evidence,” as the kids say) declaring Amy Coney Barrett unfit for office, and (also without evidence) calling the Constitutional process of the executive nominating a Supreme Court justice “illegitimate.” She claims to be doing this because she doesn’t want to “participate in the degradation of our democracy.”
I’ve been saying from the day RBG died that we could expect plenty of accusations of hypocrisy from both sides of this nomination fight, and that we could safely ignore those accusations because each side is just trying to use the rules of the game to their advantage, as is demanded of them by their constituents. And that’s what we’ve seen, and I’ve been ignoring it just fine.
There is talk now that the Democrats are going to use every Senatorial procedural trick they can find to try and delay the inevitable confirmation. Here’s a far-left website walking through a Democrat memo on the tactics, if you’d like a look. That’s fine. I assume the Republicans have circulated a memo or two on the procedural tactics they can use. Each side using the rules of the game to try and get the best of the situation: each side serving as a check and a balance on the other. That’s actually American government working (or not working) the way it’s supposed to.
But Senator Gillibrand’s tweeting of her own little speech is worth noting because it’s a signal of where the Democrats are headed outside the carefully prescribed rules of the senate. She’s not trying to use the rules to her advantage: she’s just trying to whip up emotions.
Remember: nothing that has been done or proposed so far with respect to this nomination is not following the letter of the law: Is Donald Trump the president? Yes. The legitimate president? Yes. Is there a vacancy on the Supreme Court? Yes. Are there rules about who gets to nominate justices to the Supreme Court? Yes. Who gets to do that? The president. Are there rules about when a president may or may not nominate a justice? No. So nominating a justice is not only “legitimate,” it’s actually in the guy’s job description.
What’s illegitimate? Where is democracy being endangered?
Doesn’t matter: go to any search engine you like and do a news search on “illegitimate process.” Currently on the Google version of that search, the top headlines show me that Chuck Schumer, Democratic Senator Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, “Dems,” “New England Dems,” Democratic Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia, and Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut have been using the phrase over the last couple of days. What a coincidence!
So Senator Gillibrand’s outrage is canned goods, manufactured in the back rooms of the Democratic brain trust.
Following the black-letter law of the Constitution is now an “illegitimate process.” It’s the new Big Lie, so you’re going to hear a lot of that, and I fully expect to see it repeated approvingly in Danish media any day now.
Maybe the degradation of democracy is helped along a little when powerful elected officials start calling standard Consitutional procedures “illegitimate” whenever they produce outcomes unfavorable to Democrats?
Gillibrand also deploys another talking point the Democrats seem to have settled on: that ACB is “unfit for office.” Not just unfit, mind you, but clearly unfit. No reason is given, because none is required. They just have to say it, and say it, over and over, to the willing scribes of the friendly establishment media, who will dutifully pass the observation along to their viewers and readers without bothering to ask what precisely makes this sitting judge on the seventh circuit unfit for promotion. (Note: the Constitution specifies exactly no requirements for federal judges.) Would any journalist be foolish enough to ask why, if she’s so clearly unfit, she hasn’t been impeached by the House of Representatives? They’ve had that power from the moment of her appointment to the bench. Why hasn’t Nancy Pelosi given the green light to the impeachment of the obviously unfit ACB?
If the president’s nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court is in any way illegitimate, we must know how. If Amy Coney Barrett is unfit to serve as a justice, then forget SCOTUS: we need to get her off the bench of the seventh circuit!
Politicians are allowed to lie, exaggerate, misrepresent, obfuscate, dodge, deflect, and whatever else they want. It’s protected speech, and that’s how it should be.
But the media are allowed to challenge those lies and exaggerations. CNN manages to “fact check” Donald Trump in real time whenever they’re covering him; will there ever be a fact check of the claim by Schumer, Gillibrand, Kaine, Blumenthal, and god knows who else, that the nomination is somehow illegitimate, or that Amy Coney Barrett is unfit to serve as a judge?
Not holding my breath.
And if American establishment media aren’t going to do it, the Danish media sure as hell aren’t.