HOME



Digby's Hullabaloo
2801 Ocean Park Blvd.
Box 157
Santa Monica, Ca 90405



Facebook: Digby Parton

Twitter:
@digby56
@Gaius_Publius
@BloggersRUs (Tom Sullivan)
@spockosbrain



emails:
Digby:
thedigbyblog at gmail
Dennis:
satniteflix at gmail
Gaius:
publius.gaius at gmail
Tom:
tpostsully at gmail
Spocko:
Spockosbrain at gmail
tristero:
Richardein at me.com








Infomania

Salon
Buzzflash
Mother Jones
Raw Story
Huffington Post
Slate
Crooks and Liars
American Prospect
New Republic


Denofcinema.com: Saturday Night at the Movies by Dennis Hartley review archive

January 2003 February 2003 March 2003 April 2003 May 2003 June 2003 July 2003 August 2003 September 2003 October 2003 November 2003 December 2003 January 2004 February 2004 March 2004 April 2004 May 2004 June 2004 July 2004 August 2004 September 2004 October 2004 November 2004 December 2004 January 2005 February 2005 March 2005 April 2005 May 2005 June 2005 July 2005 August 2005 September 2005 October 2005 November 2005 December 2005 January 2006 February 2006 March 2006 April 2006 May 2006 June 2006 July 2006 August 2006 September 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006 January 2007 February 2007 March 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 July 2007 August 2007 September 2007 October 2007 November 2007 December 2007 January 2008 February 2008 March 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 August 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008 January 2009 February 2009 March 2009 April 2009 May 2009 June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 September 2009 October 2009 November 2009 December 2009 January 2010 February 2010 March 2010 April 2010 May 2010 June 2010 July 2010 August 2010 September 2010 October 2010 November 2010 December 2010 January 2011 February 2011 March 2011 April 2011 May 2011 June 2011 July 2011 August 2011 September 2011 October 2011 November 2011 December 2011 January 2012 February 2012 March 2012 April 2012 May 2012 June 2012 July 2012 August 2012 September 2012 October 2012 November 2012 December 2012 January 2013 February 2013 March 2013 April 2013 May 2013 June 2013 July 2013 August 2013 September 2013 October 2013 November 2013 December 2013 January 2014 February 2014 March 2014 April 2014 May 2014 June 2014 July 2014 August 2014 September 2014 October 2014 November 2014 December 2014 January 2015 February 2015 March 2015 April 2015 May 2015 June 2015 July 2015 August 2015 September 2015 October 2015 November 2015 December 2015 January 2016 February 2016 March 2016 April 2016 May 2016 June 2016 July 2016 August 2016 September 2016 October 2016 November 2016 December 2016 January 2017 February 2017 March 2017 April 2017 May 2017 June 2017 July 2017 August 2017 September 2017 October 2017 November 2017 December 2017 January 2018 February 2018 March 2018 April 2018 May 2018


 

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Hullabaloo


Wednesday, November 02, 2016

 
The GOP tantrum will continue

by digby














I wrote about their continued threats to hold their breath until they turn blue --- no confirmation of any judges, non-stop investigations, impeachment --- for Salon this morning. It's all that's left of their shell of a party:

When Justice Antonin Scalia died in his sleep at age 80 several months ago, I don’t think anyone thought it would be easy to replace him before the election. President Barack Obama’s appointing a justice to his seat would change the balance of the court, and that would be a fraught proposition regardless of the timing.

But it did come as a surprise when the Republicans didn’t simply delay hearings or drag their feet. Instead, they openly declared that a president in his seventh year had no right to name a Supreme Court justice at all. As it has done repeatedly in recent times, the anarchistic GOP is simply making up new rules to serve its interests and daring the Democrats to do something about it.

Despite numerous sanctimonious speeches and interviews by Republicans explaining that they simply wanted to ensure that members of the public could “weigh in” on the Supreme Court choice through their presidential selection (as if they hadn’t done that already by electing Obama twice) it now appears that at least a few Republicans are prepared to continue the blockade as long as a Democrat is in the White House. As Salon’s Sophia Tesfaye reported yesterday, GOP Sens. Richard Burr, Ted Cruz and John McCain have all made statements to that effect.

Cruz, as usual, made the most fatuous comments, claiming that there’s “historical precedent” for leaving the court short of a full nine justices for extended lengths of time. Historical is the right word. What he failed to mention was that it hasn’t happened since 1844 when the court only had eight justices for two years. Burr, on the other hand, just blurted out that he thinks the seat should be left empty for four years if Democrat Hillary Clinton wins.

This is all assuming the Republicans are able to maintain their Senate majority. In the past they might have been able to achieve this epic obstruction even if they were in the minority with the use of the filibuster.

But outgoing Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, who clearly has gotten wind of this plan, explained that he has prepared the blueprint for a Democratic majority to nuke the filibuster for Supreme Court justices if they have to: “I’ve told ’em how and I’ve done it, not just talking about it. I did it in changing the rules of the Senate. It’ll have to be done again.” Added Reid: “They mess with the Supreme Court, it’ll be changed just like that in my opinion.”

But if the GOP fails to win the White House and maintains its Senate majority, there’s a good possibility that the Republicans won’t confirm any new justices appointed by Clinton, ever. Indeed, one can imagine if other justices retire or die, the court dwindling down in number for years. Keeping the Democrats from nominating Supreme Court justices is now a GOP litmus test.

And let’s face it, this is a foreshadowing of something even more disruptive and dangerous. Ever since the presidency of Ronald Reagan, Republicans have increasingly seen Democratic presidents as illegitimate. They said Bill Clinton wasn’t “their president” because he won with a plurality rather than a majority (which may well happen this year as well). The GOP-led Congress spent years trying to drive him from office on trumped-up charges.

Many in the Republican rank and file believed that Barack Obama was ineligible for the White House because he was a secret Muslim who had lied about being born in America. Republicans’ decades-long “voter fraud” myth has created an underlying sense among their voters that our election systems are always tilted against them by Democrats’ attempts to steal elections.


But this election has taken it to an entirely different level. We’ve never seen a presidential candidate state in advance that he believes the vote is rigged and declare that he will only accept he outcome if he wins. Even if Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump ends up conceding in some technical sense, his voters will never truly accept his loss and he will be a martyr for their cause. In that sense, Trump has already won regardless of the actual vote count.

We’ve also never had a presidential candidate delegitimized before the election even occurs. Trump routinely claims that Clinton should “not have been allowed” to run because she is “guilty as hell” of unnamed crimes and has promised to imprison her if he wins the office. His followers are convinced this is true and chant “Lock her up!” and “Hang the bitch!” at his rallies. (The outrageous actions of the FBI director last Friday have made such people only more certain in that belief.)

On Tuesday night in Wisconsin, Trump declared that if Clinton wins the election “it would create an unprecedented crisis and the work of government would grind to an unbelievably inglorious halt.” In fact, he and the Republicans are now making that an explicit promise. Some, like Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson (who faces likely defeat in his re-election battle), are actually running on that agenda. He told a local newspaper this week that he believed Clinton will be impeached should she win the office.
I would say yes, high crime or misdemeanor, I believe she is in violation of both laws [related to gathering, transmission or destruction of defense information or official government record]. She purposefully circumvented it. This was willful concealment and destruction.

Unfortunately, Johnson is not the only one already talking about impeachment:




It’s always possible that this is an election season bluff designed to make some people vote for Trump out of fear that the Republicans will completely shut down the government if Clinton is president. It’s the kind of thuggish hostage-taking gambit in which they’ve come to specialize. (“Nice little country you have here. Be a shame if anything happened to it.”) But it’s also possible they will follow through on these threats simply because it’s all they have. As Brian Beutler wrote in the New Republic:
[W]hat they’re seeking is to hold together their broken party for long enough to make another run at complete control of government in 2020. Republicans are no longer seeking any substantive ends in the interim — just the power to obstruct and the power to manufacture scandal.

The crippling of the Supreme Court is just a first step. If Republicans fail to win the White House, the destruction of Clinton will be their common purpose, the only goal that can bring them all back together.