Senate Republicans are, one by one, confirming that the ruthless drive to power is their deepest and possibly only true belief. Monday night, Sen. Lindsey “use my words against me” Graham told Fox News that Republicans have the votes lined up to confirm Donald Trump’s choice to fill the Supreme Court vacancy left by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Graham’s latest lie is that he changed his mind on confirming a Supreme Court nominee in a presidential election year because Democrats were mean to Brett Kavanaugh (by asking him about the credible sexual assault allegations against him). Except that Graham said “If an opening comes in the last year of President Trump’s term and the primary process has started, we’ll wait till the next election” after Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings. The man lies. Constantly and shamelessly, as if he’s apprenticed himself to the latest powerful figure he follows around like a lap dog.
Sen. Chuck Grassley was also forced to get creative in his excuses for flip-flopping. His claim now is that, sure, if he were still the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, he would follow his repeated previous public statements that he would not launch hearings in a presidential election year, following his 2016 precedent … but as Graham is now the committee chair and he is going ahead with hearings, Grassley will vote on a nominee. And he’ll vote yes.
Republicans aren’t only moving ahead—they’re planning to get to a vote before the elections. That would mean ramming a nomination through in close to record time. Not since 1981, for the unanimous confirmation of Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, has there been a confirmation process faster than Republicans are now planning. Not since 1993, for Ginsburg herself, has a Supreme Court justice been confirmed in less than 62 days.
So Republicans are, to sum up, planning the fastest confirmation process since 1949, and the confirmation closest to an election in U.S. history, four years after claiming it was holy principle that they not even hold hearings nine months before an election. It can’t be emphasized enough: All they care about is their own party’s power. Everything is partisan to today’s Republicans. Everything.
And don’t forget, part of the rush is to get a new justice seated by November 10 in order to hear the case that Republicans hope will wholly dismantle the Affordable Care Act, leaving millions of people without preexisting conditions protections, in the middle of a pandemic that is giving millions of people a complicated new preexisting condition.