It is too early to count on a Republican Senate 15 hours from now, but haven’t you noticed all the articles in the last couple of weeks from liberals saying, “Oh, won’t it be terrible for Republicans if they have a Senate majority! Just think of all the problems they’re going to have!” These articles do offer their comic amusement.
There is one from this genre worth noting: Jeffrey Rosen’s New Republic article on what a disaster it would be if a GOP Senate refused to confirm an Obama Supreme Court appointment. Now, I know Jeff, like him personally, and think he makes good constitutional arguments from the left (though still wrong, as I’ve delighted in telling him on several occasions). But this piece is a howler. Take in this, for example:
Democrats can point to bipartisan Supreme Court confirmations, like justices Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia, where they have voted for nominees with whom they disagree.
Bipartisan? Has Jeffrey forgotten that Democrats went out of their way to destroy Clarence Thomas for no good reason other than their reverse racism, and over the last several years more and more liberals (like John Kerry I believe) say they regret their confirmation vote for Scalia. But for a tiny handful of centrist Democrats (like Joe Lieberman) who feared for their re-election, Thomas would have succumbed to the worst Democratic demagoguery since the Civil War.
Rosen is hoping we overlook the elephant in the room with this very rapid elision of where things took a wrong turn:
There are, of course, several examples of the reverse dynamic, where Republican presidents faced Democratic Senates: Dwight Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush. As we know, the nominees weren’t all successful (Robert Bork) but the presidents eventually found nominees that Senate Democrats considered acceptable (Justice Anthony Kennedy).
Oh yeah, there was that Bork guy. By the way, if you click through to the Bork link here, you can see that Rosen knows exactly how wrong was the treatment of Bork and Thomas. But in this piece he’s trying to airbrush the reality of those squalid Democratic smear campaigns that now set up Republicans for long overdue payback.
Time for payback.