Thursday, February 18, 2016

Accomodating Republicans

It is, at first glance, a rather routine statement made by President Obama's #2 when he in an interview with Minnesota Public Radio he remarked

The Senate gets to have a say, and so in order to get this done the president is not going to be able to go out (nor would it be his instinct anyway) to pick the most liberal jurist in the nation and put them on the court,    There are plenty of judges are on high courts already who have had unanimous support of the Republicans.

Innocous sounding, it nevertheless provides insight into Joe Biden's decision not to make the run against Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, presumably his last opportunity for a shot at becoming President of the United States of America.   Surely he would  not have been endorsed by one Anita Hill.  For as Hill could tell you and others have, if a Democrat with backbone had been chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committe at the time, Clarence Thomas would not have been gotten to the Supreme Court. He would have crawled back into the sewer from which President George HW Bush had plucked him.

If it is uncertain whether Biden thought about the Thomas-Hill affair (not the type of affair Thomas probably wanted), before deciding not to make another run at the presidency. More significantly, Biden might have been offering us a hint when he remarked "there are plenty of judges are (sic) on high courts already who have had unanimous support of the Republicans."

If so, speculation about the possible nomination of Sri Srinavavan, Loretta Lynch, Amy Klobuchar, Cory Booker (the first two much more realistic) and other neo-liberals or centrists has a disturbing basis in fact.  These are individuals who if nominated, might possibly convince Republicans to consider- consider- granting a hearing before GOP senators overwhelmingly reject them.

There still is a possibility that the President will nominate someone genuinely progressive to the High Court. But going along to get along, which the Vice-President evidently expects the President to do, is an Obama specialty.  Notwithstanding the solid selection of Sonia Sotomayor and of  Elena Kagan, President Obama usually (out of naivete or ideology)  has acted as if he believed that if he would only go halfway, the GOP will, also.

Now that the Republican Party- contrary to its approach when one of its own has been President- has condemned the notion that Obama should nominate anyone to replace Justice Scalia, the gauntlet has been thrown down.  We know how a President Biden would have responded, and can only hope he doesn't know the Presdient's mind.

Next up: Pope Francis and Donald Trump go at it.

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