I must admit, I have actually been heartened by the Democratic response in the last 24 hours since Notorious RBG left us. Senate Minority Leader Check Schumer has sounded a lot more like Mitch McConnell and a lot less like Mr. Rogers, thumping the podium, and gravely threatening dire consequences if McConnell fucks up. Over the years, whenever the Democrats get into a bare knuckle political brawl with the GOP, I tend to look at it as the Chess Club rumbling with the Crips. They don’t want to get their new sneakers bloody.
In a conference call with his caucus, Schumer told his Senators that if McConnell goes ahead and pushes through Trump’s nomination, All bets are off of the table for next year. All of them. This was widely viewed by political observers, and I agree with to be an implicit threat. If McConnell rams through this nomination, and the Democrats win the White House and the Senate, Schumer’s first act on opening day will be to torpedo the filibuster, and reconstitute the high court with 13 members, giving the liberals a 1 seat edge. The implication being that McConnell can either give that opening to Biden to fill, and keep a 1 seat advantage, or the Democrats will pack the court and take over the edge.
I absolutely love this threat. Because it doesn’t have to be a threat. If the Democrats hold the House, take over the Senate, and inaugurate Joe Biden, it can become a reality. It’s legal, it’s constitutional, and if the Democratic caucuses hold together, it can be done in the first month or so of Biden’s presidency, leaving him free to start considering candidates.
And it should work on McConnell. Mitch McConnell is the most corrupt, morally bankrupt politician in history whose last name isn’t Trump. He’s like the Sith Emperor in Star Wars. His only reason for existence is the control of, and use of raw political power. And with that threat out in the open, it creates a problem for McConnell, but also a serious problem for Schumer.
The problem for McConnell is his one life lust, the control of and use of power. If Schumer nukes the filibuster for legislation, than Bitch McConnell’s sole reason for living, his political power, is gone. Without the filibuster, McConnell wields no more power in the Senate than GOP House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy does. He will be powerless to stop anything that the Democratic majorities want to push through. He may as well stay at home and pester Elaine Chou, who will also be unemployed.
But that dynamic also presents a very serious problem for Chuck Schumer, it tends to negate his entire threat. Because if you look under the surface, Schumer has absolutely no choice but to nuke the filibuster on the first day of the new congress, and that takes his bargaining chip away. If Biden wins the White House, and Schumer becomes Senate Majority Leader, they will do so with a thundering mandate from the people. The people are sick and tired of gridlock, political gamesmanship, and partisan bickering. They want swift action, and that’s why they’re turning over complete control of government to the Democrats.
Which, regardless of what happens to Ginsberg’s seat, means that above all else, Schumer must nuke the filibuster as the first item of business on opening day of the next congress. If he doesn’t, he loses the ability to do so for two years. And as long as the filibuster exists, McConnell will be able to stall every single piece of legislation that makes it through the House. This is not what the people want. Schumer has no choice but to nuke the filibuster, to speedily advance Biden’s agenda.
And this brings us to my nightmare scenario on this SCOTUS seat. McConnell dumblefutzes along for a while, going through the preliminary mechanics of setting Trump’s nominee up for a vote. If we get into early or mid October, and the polling makes it clear that the Senate will almost certainly change hands, then McConnell will act. He will ooze off to Schumer and offer him a deal. He will propose that he will ensure that Trump’s nominee will not be brought to the floor for a final vote unless Trump wins on November 3rd. And in return, Schumer pledges that if Trump loses on November 3rd, Schumer will agree to not nuke the filibuster in January. Which Schumer absolutely cannot do, lest he doom at least the first two years of Biden’s first term to dismal legislative failure.
But being a sneaky, conniving black hearted Irishman, I have a fix for that, and it’s suh-weeeeet! If Schumer takes the deal, and Trump loses in November, Schumer honors his deal, he doesn’t nuke the filibuster out of existence. Instead, he reverts it back into its original format, namely a talking filibuster. In other words, any member of the minority party can filibuster any bill he likes, but once he collapses to the floor from exhaustion and dehydration, they cart his silly ass off to the infirmary, and hold the vote! Schumer will have kept his word, not eliminating the filibuster, but restored it to more manageable terms, where one asshole can’t tank a piece of legislation for an entire term of congress. You’ll notice, I take my joy where I find it.SC