Josh Holmes fills in the history leading to the imminent confirmation of Judge Gorsuch to the Supreme Court in the Politico Magazine column “McConnell is finishing what Schumer started.” Holmes’s column traces the judicial filibuster wars to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and pays tribute to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in playing his “long game” leading to what should be a happy ending tomorrow. This story has been out there for anyone who pays attention, but now Holmes can tack on the impending conclusion:
In the most ironic plot twist, the man who started it all returns to the stage in the final scene. Now the Senate minority leader, Schumer has once again set a new precedent by rallying a freshly defeated Democratic minority to attempt the first-ever partisan filibuster of a Supreme Court nominee.
Nearly 15 years after Schumer started this fight, he will have a front row seat when McConnell finishes it. A uniquely perfect way for this story to end. Regrettable, perhaps; inevitable, to be sure.
I disagree with the assertion of regret and inevitability. The result is contingent on circumstances and, moreover, McConnell stands out as the most valuable player in a long struggle that could easily have been lost if in fact it isn’t.