Tuesday, February 16, 2016

SCOTUS Battle a Boon to Hillary?

Anything the Republicans do to remind the public that getting work done is not in their wheelhouse is bad for them, but to flaunt the Constitution -- their supposed political Bible -- could be disastrous.

Put Hillary in charge. She'll stand up to the GOP bad boys.

It's quickly becoming apparent that early Republican bluster about shutting out Barack Obama from his duty to replace Antonin Scalia on the bench might have been both premature and costly. Now Amanda Marcotte -- and others -- are positing that this whole mess accrues to the benefit of Hillary Clinton.
The fact that Sanders is promising a bunch of stuff he probably could never deliver hasn’t hurt him too much, because presidential campaigns are often unmoored from the nitty-gritty concerns of everyday governance and conducted largely in the realm of the symbolic and aspirational. But with headlines about the campaign competing with headlines about the congressional fight over this nomination, it will become impossible to keep discussion about how you get things done in D.C. at bay. Clinton will be able to use this as a way to illustrate that getting things done really is a lot harder than simply wanting it badly enough.
The Republicans have been caught up in a death spiral for a long time, where appeasing the base is unavoidable but makes them even more unpopular with the general public. This is just more of the same. The smart political move would be to let Obama have his judge and live to fight another day. But since that will be framed as capitulation by the conservative press, the Republicans will have to take this on, dismantling what is left of their reputation in the eyes of the general public. If you’re working for the DNC right now, I’d make sure the fridge is well-stocked with champagne.
It's hard to argue with that. There's a long way to go and plenty of gamesmanship and brinkmanship to go around before November. But as with any abuse -- or disuse -- of power, there are consequences. And, for now, Hillary Clinton and the Democrats look to be in the catbird seat.