Many have accused Senate Republicans of embracing the nonexistent “Biden rule” and refusing to even hold hearings on President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee for purely political purposes. However, on Sunday, Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan explained that nothing could be further from the truth.
In a video posted on Twitter, the House speaker earnestly outlined the made-up principle Republicans are fighting to uphold: The American people should get a chance to weigh in on Justice Antonin Scalia’s replacement by selecting a new president (with a mere ten months left in office, President Obama, who was elected twice, doesn’t count).
Okay, but lets say the GOP Establishment’s various election plots don’t pan out, and Hillary Clinton is elected president in November. Then during the real lame-duck session (not the entire last quarter of Obama’s second term), Senate Republicans would be willing to consider Judge Merrick Garland, the centrist white guy praised by Democrats and Republicans alike, right? Wrong. “That’s not going to happen,” Mitch McConnell told Fox News Sunday. “The principle is the same. Whether it’s before the election or after the election. The principle is the American people are choosing their next president, and their next president should pick this nominee.”
As Chris Wallace confirmed, that means that Senate Republicans would let Clinton make a nomination rather than holding a vote on Judge Garland. “I can’t imagine that a Republican majority in the United States Senate would want to confirm, in a lame-duck session, a nominee opposed by the National Rifle Association, the National Federation of Independent Business that represents small businesses,” said the majority leader, attacking Garland’s judicial philosophy for the first time. “I can’t imagine that a Republican-majority Senate, even if it were assumed to be a minority, would want to confirm a judge that would move the court dramatically to the left.”
Clearly the smart (not to mention noble) move is to cross their fingers and hope that Clinton nominates a gun-toting, abortion-hating, Citizens United–loving conservative.