If the short time President Trump has been in office has taught us anything, it’s that Democrats clearly subscribe to the old adage “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again!” However, the adage “those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it” may more accurately describe the party.
Indeed, here we are again. Just a short time after the testy confirmation battles of Trump’s cabinet, Senator Chuck Schumer has confirmed that the party plans to filibuster the confirmation of Judge Neil Gorsuch.
Schumer announced the news in a series of tweets this morning:
Like the battle over Betsy DeVos, the Democratic effort is doomed. The party that epitomizes short-term memory loss has forgotten their own history. It was Democrats who changed Senate rules to eliminate the filibuster for cabinet confirmations, only to see that history come back to bite them when DeVos was confirmed on a tie-breaking vote by Vice President Mike Pence. Democrats also changed Senate rules to eliminate the filibuster for lower court confirmations, a move that now threatens to bite them as well.
The only stone left unturned is to eliminate the filibuster for Supreme Court confirmations. The problem for Democrats is that the shoe is now on the other foot, and Republicans would only be following Democratic precedent.Oh how times have changed!
Unless eight Senate Democrats break with leadership and vote “yea” on Gorsuch, the party is about to make a colossal mistake. Voting “no” is hard to justify, especially against a judge with an impeccable record endorsed by the left-leaning American Bar Association.
Of course, voting “no” also proves just how shortsighted the party is. After all, Gorsuch is just filling the seat of the late Antonin Scalia. His confirmation does not tip the balance of the court in any meaningful way. Moreover, with almost four full years left in Trump’s term, there’s bound to be at least 1 or 2 more vacancies on the high court. If the GOP-held Senate kills the filibuster for Gorsuch, it will only pave the way to fill those seats with more conservative judges in the future.
The Democratic Party is so desperate to oppose “everything Trump,” it risks a generational swing in the balance of the court with this move. One might believe the party is opposing Gorsuch out of legitimate concerns, but Democrats have already proven they are willing to oppose anyone out of spite. Try again as they might, this time their own history will come back to haunt them.
[Note: This post was written by Michael Lee. Follow him on Twitter @UAMichaelLee]