There are only a few weeks left to President Obama’s historic and historically successful run at the White House. Sadly, this means he’s just about out of time to move the country forward while also pissing Republicans.
But there’s one last thing he can do: Withdraw his nomination of Judge Merrick Garland.
In the coming weeks, Donald Trump’s campaign is going to unravel in the most publicly embarrassing way imaginable. It’s inevitable since the man is incapable of acting like anything other than a spoiled child throwing tantrum after tantrum. The knockdown effect is going to almost guarantee that Republicans lose control of the Senate as well.
Currently, the Senate is out of session until September. By the time they some back to work, the writing should be on the wall for the 2016 election. My guess is that faced with the loss of control over the nomination process, Republicans will “suddenly” decide that, why, heck yes!, they’re more than happy to confirm Garland to the Supreme Court.
The reasoning is painfully simple: Obama nominated Garland because he’s a centrist that even Republicans don’t actually find objectionable. They only blocked his appointment in the forlorn hope that they would win the White House and put a new far right lunatic on the Court. Once it becomes clear that isn’t going to happen, they’ll want to take the best deal they can get. Despite the wailing and gnashing of teeth over Hillary Clinton being an evil right winger in sheep’s clothing, the reality is that she’s going to nominate a liberal justice. And with Democrats controlling the Senate, she won’t be shy about picking an obvious liberal that will support her long term agenda.
Obama has to know this as well so when the Senate “suddenly” decides to do their job, he should walk up to the podium, smile, and tell Republicans to go fuck themselves. It is a bit of a gamble. After all, Clinton could slip on a banana peel the week before the election. But if the polls are painting that dark a picture for the GOP that they’re willing to hold their nose to confirm Garland, it’s not that much of a risk.
It would be a final slap in Republican faces after 8 years of unprecedented hostility, dishonesty and obstruction and some well-earned payback for Obama.
But even if he doesn’t withdraw Garland and Republicans confirm him, President Clinton will almost certainly be replacing Justices Kennedy (he just turned 80 on July 23), Ginsburg (83) and Breyer (78 in August). That will tilt the court 6-3 to the left for decades even with Garland’s centrist record. If that’s not enough of a reason to elect Clinton over Trump, I don’t know what is.