Can Insanity Succeed?
There is, of course, no constitutional crisis. But the Democrats are going beyond the usual hyperbole. Shockingly, their just-defeated vice-presidential nominee, Tim Kaine, is urging the party’s faithful to make like Brownshirts:
I don’t believe any major American political figure has previously urged his followers to fight in the streets; not since the Civil War, certainly. Things may be about to get even more dangerous for Americans who dare to show their support for our duly-elected president, and for our democracy.
It probably is true that the Dems have a strategy. They certainly have message discipline, which is half-way to a strategy. But as President Trump fulfills one campaign pledge after another, surprising only the most cynical, the Democrats, to a person, are reacting like toddlers denied a second helping of ice cream. What they need is a good spanking.
At the polls, I mean. The Democratic Party has been in decline for a number of election cycles. The verdict on the Democrats’ strategy of synchronized hysteria will be rendered in November 2018. My guess is that after two years, most voters will have seen enough of the Democrats’ vileness. Watch for the Democrats to slide nearer to irrelevance in 22 months.
Confirming Judge Gorsuch
If it comes to this, I suspect that McConnell will be willing to go nuclear and will get the votes he needs.
Meanwhile, Democrats should understand that invocation by Republicans of the nuclear option to confirm Judge Gorsuch might hurt the Dems when Trump makes his next nomination (if he gets that opportunity). It is the next nominee, not Judge Gorsuch, who could give conservatives five reliable votes on the Supreme Court. Gorsuch just gets them back to four.
If the filibuster does not survive the Gorsuch confirmation fight, Trump will likely feel free to send up as conservative a nominee as he pleases next time, assuming the GOP still controls the Senate. If the filibuster is still around, he might feel more constrained.
So the battle to confirm Judge Gorsuch figures to be a fascinating game of chess. It will be nerve-racking and infuriating at times. But barring a very unexpected twist, Gorsuch is likely to be confirmed one way or the other.