As my CNN news bulletins tell me, Trump’s nomination of Neil Gorsuch as Supreme Court justice is in serious danger. Gorsuch needs 60 “yes” votes in the Senate for confirmation, and there are only 52 Republicans. Further, several key Democrats, including Chuck Schumer, have already said they’ll vote no on Gorsuch. So did Bernie Sanders.
My view? Given that the Republicans unconscionably and reprehensibly held up the nomination of Merrick Garland until after the election, this is not only payback, but payback that’s warranted since Gorsuch himself will tilt the court to the right for many years to come. Although I don’t like stalling the legislative process, like holding up budgets, in this case I think it’s justified. The Democrats should stick together and vote “no” on every one of Trump’s choices until he nominates a centrist to the court. Until then, the Court can proceed with eight members, which is fine by me.
And I note with approval that the “TrumpCare” bill, which will render millions more Americans unable to afford healthcare, appears deeply mired in Congress, with Republicans unable to agree on it. The conservative Republican Freedom Caucus in the House of Representatives wants an extreme version of the bill that doesn’t appeal to mainstream Republicans (if that’s not an oxymoron), but won’t approve a bill that the mainstream GOP wants. No Democrat will vote for the bill. The passage of the bill, then, is stalled by an internecine war between “mainstream” and conservative Republicans.
What the Republicans are doing is madness. Their only goal is to undo Obama’s Affordable Healthcare bill—simply because it was enacted by Obama. They have no credible replacement, and the government’s own nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has estimated that under the Republican bill, 24 million fewer Americans will have healthcare than under Obama’s present plan. That is a lot of sickness, death, and disease—all to get back at Obama. In other words, Republicans, to make a political point, are willing to let many Americans die.