Add Prince LightJoy (aka Ohio Gov. John Kasich) and U.S. Sen. Rob Portman to the growing list of Republican dunderheads who somehow believe the American people didn’t overwhelming re-elect President Barack Obama in 2012 giving him a clear and inarguable Constitutional responsibility to fill any vacancies on the U.S. Supreme Court between January 2012 and January 2017.
Try as I may flipping through my pocket version of the U.S. Constitution, I can’t find the paragraph where it says that a sitting President somehow losses this responsibility if it’s politically inconvenient to the opposition party. In fact, I’m sure that’s not in there. I’ve read this thing cover to cover at least a couple hundred times over the years.
Nevertheless, let’s pull up our pant legs and wade into the political sewage Prince LightJoy and Portman of the Senate are currently flooding into the basement of our Republic.
From the Columbus Dispatch:
“He’s going to send somebody. The Senate is going to do nothing,” Kasich told ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos, adding that because of the presidential election, “people will, in a very unusual way, indirectly sort of pick the next judge of — justice of the Supreme Court.”
John, they already did. It was the 2012 election. Barack Obama wiped the floor with Willard Mitt Romney, including in our Buckeye State. Presidential terms are not up after three years. The abject obstructionism that will come from the U.S. Senate now, which you seem to support, is nothing short of open hostility toward the American people for re-electing President Obama in that election cycle.
Listen, I know that whoever becomes our next Supreme Court justice will play a critically important for the direction of court and country. That Ninth vote represents a new swing on huge issues such as the future of equal rights, the future of Roe v. Wade, the future the Affordable Care Act and the future of immigration.
Despite your claims as the Prince of Light and Joy, John, you and your party stand on the wrong side of history on each and every one of those issue. You and your party stand for active regression. You stand for taking away equal rights, taking away reproductive rights, taking away health care and taking away any path toward citizenship. In short, you’re narrow-minded, ungenerous, callous dickheads. You stand for falling and failing, and as such, you will fall and fail.
We can have that talk with the American people this election cycle, and you will lose. You’ll lose for a very simple reason that you seem to almost understand, John. You’ll lose because telling people who to hate and who to hurt will only get Republicans so far. The American people still largely prefer a politics of optimism and a positive political message. That’s what you’ve based your entire primary campaign on, John, despite the metric tons of hypocrisy you’ve had to truck in to do so.
Anyway, let’s see what Portman of the Senate had to say. From the Columbus Dispatch:
“There’s a very vigorous debate going on right now about the direction of the country,” he said. “This seat is about the direction of the country, and it’s kind of unique because its sort of a swing seat. I think it would be better to have it be part of the presidential election process.”
Listen, Rob, there’s never been a point in the last 228 years since the U.S. Constitution was ratified that there wasn’t a vigorous debate going on about the direction of the country. That’s been pretty much the entire point. That’s what a democratic Republic is designed to accomplish.
Even the New York Times editorial board is blistering today about this heedless politicking:
“The latest Republican talking point is that for 80 years it has been “standard practice” not to confirm any Supreme Court nominee in an election year. Besides being untrue — Justice Anthony Kennedy was confirmed by a Democratic Senate in 1988 — the claim actually insults Justice Scalia, whose originalist, text-based approach to the Constitution would surely have found room for one of a president’s explicit constitutional obligations…
Senators are free to vote yes or no on any nominee. But not to vote at all is an enormous insult and grave disservice to millions of Americans awaiting justice.”
Now as much as the American people re-elected President Obama in 2012, giving him the Constitutional responsibility and obligation to nominate a replacement for Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court, in 2014 they handed control over the U.S. Senate to the Republican Party.
That being the case, I fully expect Portman of the Senate and the rest of his Republican colleagues to continue to obstruct the President and abdicate their own responsibilities for an unprecedented year in order to avoid approving the President’s nomination.
But it’s going to be a really bad look for you all. And it’s going to cap off eight years of bad looks and unprecedented ill-will and obstructionism. So good luck with that, boys. No amount of light and joy will hide that ugly truth, and we’ll have plenty of time to let the American people know what’s at stake.
D.C. DeWitt is a writer and man of sport and leisure. He has also written for Government Executive online, the National Journal’s Hotline, and The New York Observer’s Politicker.com. He is the Associate Editor of The Athens NEWS in Athens, Ohio. DeWitt can be found on Facebook and Twitter @DC_DeWitt.