I tried to read Orrin Hatch’s defense of Republican obstructionism

I really did. I got as far as the first sentence: Justice Antonin Scalia was among the greatest jurists in our nation’s history, and decided that the flavor of that bullshit was going to be just a little too rank. So I skipped to the last paragraph, read Considering a nominee in the midst of a toxic presidential election would be irresponsible, and realized that I have become wise in my years in skipping all the crap in between. What’s making this election toxic, I wondered? Has Hatch looked at his fellow party members?

Fortunately, a historian examined Hatch’s rationalizations for me. Reeking ordure confirmed, and that mysterious scent stinking up the joint? That’s cowardice.

If Hatch and his fellow Republicans want to vote against Judge Garland, they have every right to do so. But they should stop being cowards. They should make a substantive argument against him. vote against him, and accept the political consequences of that vote. They should stop pretending that this reckless path they have chosen is anything but a desperate attempt to hold onto a Supreme Court majority.

Dishonest, cowardly, and contemptible. That’s our Republican party!


  1. joel says

    I do wonder what the endgame is for Republicans. Are they waiting for President Clinton to nominate someone more liberal, or are they waiting for President Trump will nominate David Duke?

  2. What a Maroon, living up to the 'nym says

    If a Democrat is elected, they’ll move quickly to confirm Garland during the lame duck session (especially if the Dems take control back of the Senate). Otherwise they’ll wait till the next president is sworn in.

    Of course, if the Democrats win, Obama may well withdraw Garland’s name before the Senate has time to act.

  3. davidnangle says

    What a Maroon, the withdrawal would ideally be accompanied by a “Yoink!” sound from President Obama, on live TV.

  4. lpetrich says

    Seems to me that the Republicans are playing Calvinball here. Loudly asserting changes in rules as is convenient for them.

  5. wzrd1 says

    Perhaps, it’s time for a tax protest. All federal taxes held in escrow until Congress ceases holding a nation hostage.
    Those quarterly taxes are rather important to Uncle Sugerdaddy, after a few weeks of no deposit and reported income, things would start to bite at the first few hundred million dollars.

  6. What a Maroon, living up to the 'nym says


    Do you really think that not paying your taxes would force Republicans to take action? Have you not been paying attention for the past 45 years?

  7. Menyambal says

    I wonder if the current nominee is just a decoy. If the Republicans actually start to move, which they will do by saying loudly that there must be progress, then this nominee will somehow plausibly withdraw, and Obama will trot out some real liberal.

  8. treeoftalking says

    Want something even more incomprehensible than Orrin Hatch? Because a U.S. history teacher (and coach, of course) in central Arkansas decided to show his students–his American history students–the movie The Passion of the Christ. And when called out on it by his superiors, he took the opportunity during the next class period to go on a bigoted, Pro-Trump rant. Here’s the story: http://www.arktimes.com/ArkansasBlog/archives/2016/03/31/aclu-investigating-mills-high-showing-of-passion-of-the-christ-teachers-classroom-rant-about-liberalism-after-complaints#more

    And the Arkansas Times, which got that scoop, also coincidentally this week published my review of “God’s Not Dead 2,” which I think you will enjoy (the review, not the movie). Here’s the first paragraph:

    “It helps to think of the “God’s Not Dead” film series as essentially “The Vagina Monologues” for evangelical Christians. Here in the United States, Eve Ensler and other writers and activists have long worked to get women to talk openly about their bodies, using that v-word that causes so much cultural discomfort. Well, in the world of “God’s Not Dead 2,” respectable people simply don’t say the g-word in public, don’t talk openly about their God or their Jesus or their Savior — whatever you want to call it. So when high school history teacher Grace Wesley (Melissa Joan Hart) fields an innocent question about her God from a student and dares to answer it openly, without employing any cute little euphemism, school officials are naturally scandalized and threaten to discipline her. But Grace is not ashamed of her God. Her God is beautiful. Her God is powerful. Most importantly, her God is not a dry, dusty, dead thing. Her God is vibrant and alive, and she’s going to court to show the world that her God can take all the thrusts and jabs from these hateful men and come back for more.”

    You can read it all here: http://www.arktimes.com/arkansas/we-watched-gods-not-dead-2-so-you-wouldnt-have-to/Content?oid=4345912

    Longtime reader, first-time commenter. Very appreciative of all that you do. MANY THANKS!

  9. consciousness razor says

    Mr. Obama has proudly suggested that “empathy” for particular people and groups should motivate a judge’s decisions — a belief squarely at odds with the judicial oath to “administer justice without respect to persons.”

    Is there a Utah, Neptune, by any chance? Because this fucking guy has to be from a different planet or something. Maybe he’s a robot? An alien robot?

    As a senator, Mr. Obama even opposed the nominations of Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. — two eminently qualified mainstream jurists — because they expressed fidelity to the law as written, rather than a commitment to progressive policy outcomes.

    But how about that, in fact they were nominated and appointed anyway, because merely opposing a nomination is a non-problem. Somebody actually did something that resembles a job, instead of just whining in front of a podium for the next year and collecting contributions from wingnuts.

    Most troubling, the president has consistently exceeded the scope of his legitimate constitutional authority, declaring that “where Congress won’t act, I will.” One result has been a concerted effort by his administration to stretch the Constitution beyond its breaking point to advance Mr. Obama’s ideological objectives — from Obamacare and environmental regulation to immigration policy and gun control.

    Therefore, we shouldn’t fill positions in the Supreme Court. Obviously.

    Given that the American people have elected a president and a Senate majority with drastically different views on the nature of legitimate constitutional government — a split decision of sorts — it seems appropriate to let 2016 voters decide which of two very different paths the Supreme Court should take.

    It does? What part of the ballot will that be on in the November election? I’d vote on it, if voting for Supreme Court justices were something that I could actually do. But wouldn’t we need to amend some bits of the Constitution?

    Even if anything like that were happening, what’s stopping the Republican-controlled Senate from hearing a nominee now? Why wouldn’t that be an example of the 2014 Republican voters getting what they wanted? All you have to do is get off your ass and do something. What seems inappropriate about that?

    Wait. Are you saying congress should be dismantled every four years and all of its members should be permanently fired, because they periodically lose the ability to do their jobs? And it would be immediately replaced with a functioning legislature? You’re going to be one of the first to go, but I think I’m okay with that.

    But the American people can influence that course only if the Senate holds confirmation proceedings after the election season has ended. This should not be a controversial position.

    But it is controversial anyway, mostly because it doesn’t make any sense. You just said there was an influence from the 2014 election that says something about something that somebody should still care about. Was that just bullshit?

    After all, both Republican and Democratic leaders, including Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., have argued in the past that the Senate should defer consideration of life-tenured judges until after presidential election cycles.

    So we should keep doing the same stupid crap every time, because you clearly agree so very deeply and sincerely with the stupid crap Biden does. You should be proud that you’re standing up for what you really believe. You’re a real hero.

    Throughout its history, the Senate has never confirmed a nominee to fill a Supreme Court vacancy that occurred this late in a term-limited president’s time in office. Considering a nominee now — in the middle of the nastiest election campaign in recent memory — could damage the judicial confirmation process beyond repair.

    Not even taking the time to examine a nominee, because it’s inconvenient for your political party and you can’t come up with a substantive complaint about their record or qualifications, is damaging the judicial confirmation process beyond repair.

    Having served on the Senate Judiciary Committee for nearly four decades, I have witnessed firsthand the deterioration of the confirmation process. Neither party has clean hands on this front.

    So, let’s get our hands extra dirty one more time. Good thinking.

    The bitterness began when liberal senators attempted to savage the reputation of Judge Robert Bork in a campaign of character assassination led by Mr. Biden, who then was chairman of the Judiciary Committee. So unprecedented was this vicious effort to sully the nominee’s good name that the Democratic strategy generated its own verb: to bork.

    As in “your argument for congress doing jack shit for a year, because that’s what it usually does anyway, which is what makes you bitter, although we don’t care what makes you such a bitter asshole, is totally borked.”

  10. Artor says

    What a Maroon, I think wzrd1 was suggesting that the feds withhold paying Republican districts already-collected taxes. Most red states rely heavily on federal support to stay afloat.

  11. F.O. says

    I wonder if in a decade or so we will be forced to vote for “progressives” that hold the same ideas as the current right-wing nutcases, the ideas we hate right now, because the future right-wing nutcases will be even worse.

  12. wzrd1 says

    Artor, no, I was indeed suggesting taxpayers that want Congress to do their jobs, rather than hold our nation hostage, withhold their taxes in an escrow account.
    As in, in multi-state numbers. Those tax payments are either once or twice a month, when paid by corporations and those dollars swiftly add up to hundreds of millions of dollars. That would be quickly noticed, when governmental income starts to be impacted.

  13. What a Maroon, living up to the 'nym says

    So my point still stands. It seems to me that withholding taxes would be a singularly ineffective way of getting Republican Senators to do their jobs. It’d be like telling Daesh “You’d better stop killing people or we’ll establish a Caliphate and put you in charge!”

  14. anteprepro says

    It is so heartening to see the Republicans carry on Scalia’s true legacy: the method of taking legal history, picking and choosing what you want, distorting everything else, topping it off with things that are blatantly fabricated, all to suit your political agenda, and then turning around and claiming that it is perfectly reasonable and logical and objective decision you have made, and not the desperate hackjob that it appears to be to the lyin’ eyes of libruls.

    Scalia lingers on. Long live his tainted, putrid influence, forever enshrined in the party of undying stupidity and eternal amorality.

  15. wzrd1 says

    Ah, so the GOP wants to eliminate all federal income, including the over half of our expenditures in the DoD?
    While creating their micromanagement directorates, of course.

    @anteprepro, yeah. One case in point was Scalia’s excellent history behind the second amendment, with full panoramic detail, with the glaring omission of state regulation of firearms usage/ownership that also went hand in hand with that history.
    It was a great history, with highly specific omissions. Pity, it’s actually much better without those omissions. But, he couldn’t push his political views by impartially describing that history.

  16. joehoffman says

    Apropos of Scalia, there’s a group out there trying to rename the law school at George Mason University (in the Washington DC suburbs) after him. The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia still has to approve the change, though. My representative in the House of Delegates is running a petition drive to help him oppose that. If anyone would care to help out with that, he and I would be much obliged:

  17. wzrd1 says

    joehoffman, I can’t see that being appropriate.
    I can, however, see naming a toilet at Comedy Central after him.