Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, like recently deceased Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, was appointed to the court by the Patron Saint of Modern Republicanism, Ronald Regan. And even she is calling “bullshit” on Senate Republicans trying to block President Obama from filling Scalia’s now vacated seat as nothing more than politics.
Okay, so the words Justice O’Connor used weren’t nearly as profane as the ones I put in her mouth, at all. And her prose was much more diplomatic, but the context is the same. Per the Huffington Post, O’Connor had the following to say about filling Scalia’s vacancy.
“I think we need somebody there to do the job now and let’s get on with it,” said O’Connor, the first woman appointed to the Supreme Court. (source)
And to add logic to argument, she said this:
“You just have to pick the best person you can under the circumstances, as the appointing authority must do,” she said. “It’s an important position and one that we care about as a nation and as a people. And I wish the president well as he makes choices and goes down that line. It’s hard.” (source)
How can you argue against her? She’s completely right — in these situations, the process should default to what the Constitution says, not what suits the Republicans’ political agenda. Yes, it’s rare for this to happen in an election year, but tough shit. Do we really think Republicans would be urging a Republican president to show restraint in his last year as president should the roles be reversed? Of course the wouldn’t, and they’d be pulling out their pocket Constitutions at every chance to prove their point.
In my view, that’s the real damning piece of evidence against them — their lack of Constitutional citation. They’re not and cannot point to any clause that says things are different in an election year. So what are they arguing with? Emotions, and nothing else. Now, I’m not a Vulcan or a sociopath, so I don’t really care if people mix-in emotion with their argument, but the bottom line is a vapid and emotional argument they’re making because they know the procedure is clear cut and irrefutable. So they have to lean hard on rhetoric and hope it sticks…which I can’t see it doing.
Justice O’Connor’s comments show us just how far down the derp-en path Republicans have strayed from conservatism. Reagan didn’t put her on the bench because she was a radical feminist; she was a female conservative of her time. And conservatives of that time put the business of functional governance over political theater. That’s not remotely the case right now. If an old school conservative like Sandra Day O’Connor can easily argue why Obama should get to make the appointment, then there is no reason that modern day conservatives can’t accept that argument on its face.
Oh wait, there is a reason they can’t — they’re told they can’t be right-wing ideologues. Again though, I can’t help but point out the fact that the group who professes the deepest, almost sensual connection possible with the Constitution isn’t citing it right now. In fact, they’re hiding it out of sight. They want to argue an extra-Constitutional reason for stymieing Obama, and they don’t care how much the rest of us can see through them — their voters never will call them on it.
They don’t want gay marriage being the law of the land, they don’t want Obamacare sticking around, and they don’t want Roe V. Wade on the books anymore. Republicans know that a liberal justice would mean at least another couple decades of that God awful liberty, freedom, equality, and compassion for our fellow Americans, and that is a nightmare for them, really. That’s why they think there should be an invisible clause enforced on Obama about election year appointments to the Supreme Court, and Sandra Day O’Connor can see through the bullshit.
…the rest of us should see right thorough it by now too.