Here we go again. If recent history is any guide, GOP establishment types are going to turn an easy win into an epic loss as drama surrounding a replacement for the late Antonin Scalia unfolds. They’ll do what they always do – either try and play bipartisan with hardline Democratic partisans who are uninterested in reaching across the aisle, or they’ll tuck tail and hide when Obama plays his predictable hand.
Obama’s going to nominate someone. That’s fine. That’s his job. And he’s excited about it. For the first time in his Presidency he’s actually talking about things like Constitutional responsibilities and appropriate Executive and Legislative Branch roles. Why? Because his short list of nominees cuts two ways — either way gives him a win.
Obama can nominate a liberal judge who’s issued a handful of rulings conservatives like. Someone who’s been supported by Republicans before. Maybe even someone George W Bush appointed to a lower court. That way the media can run four dozen or so look-at-how-extreme-Republicans-are-they-wouldn’t-even-confirm-George-W-Bush’s-appointee hit pieces. Not to mention the jabs they’ll take at Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio – as Senators both will be treated as walking, talking examples of anything the Senate does or doesn’t do with Obama’s nominee.
That’s if Obama only wants to bring a knife to a knife fight. “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun”, Obama said back in June 2008. The gun he’d bring to the SCOTUS fight might be named Loretta Lynch. A Lynch nomination gives Obama three things:
– Someone that Senate Republicans have voted to confirm once before.
– A black and female nominee.
– An empty Attorney General’s seat just in time for the FBI to present the results of their investigation into Hillary Clinton to the Justice Department.
The hooks, lines and sinkers that would emerge about how Republicans confirmed Loretta Lynch for Attorney General but kept a black woman down when it came to SCOTUS fit in perfectly with liberal narratives. #BlackLivesMatter can’t wait.
An Attorney General vacancy that coincides with a completed FBI investigation into Hillary’s server would buy Madame Secretary valuable campaign time. It would also give Obama an excuse to defer any action – indictment or a grand jury – against his preferred Oscar-white successor.
Sure, Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates – the number two at Justice – is authorized by law to perform the Attorney General’s duties when the position is vacant or the Attorney General otherwise can’t do them. Yates doesn’t operate on her own though. She isn’t going to take action if Obama says to hold off because a case against Hillary Clinton is unique in that it might affect the outcome of a Presidential election. Obama could play the fairness card and claim that the judicial process is best served by allowing an Attorney General – one fully vetted by the Senate — to review the results of the FBI’s investigation before the Justice Department acts.
SCOTUS’ drama is the GOP’s to lose – is the GOP establishment taking note?