Grassley Might Hold Hearings on Obama Pick

Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, told Radio Iowa that he had not ruled out holding hearings on President Obama’s eventual nominee to replace Justice Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court.

Said Grassley: “I would wait until the nominee is made before I would make any decisions. This is a very serious position to fill and it should be filled and debated during the campaign and filled by either Hillary Clinton, Senator Sanders or whoever’s nominated by the Republicans.”

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  • CA_Guy

    I love the way he mentions the Republican nominee as a sort of afterthought.

    • noice

      Absolutely, I thought it was the most damning part of that statement. When even the ghastly socialist gets a name check from a Republican senator but nobody from the clown car does, that’s just… facepalm.

      • KurtBusiek

        There are only two Dems in the race. If he lists all the Repubs, the sentence loses all momentum.

        • noice

          That’s true, but nobody was forcing him to spell out either of the Dems’ names in the first place.

        • Hagar32Grady

          Me thinks he doesn’t know all their names.

          • KurtBusiek

            Not without writing them all on his hand…

          • He knows their names, and there was one reason he didn’t endorse anyone. He has endorse other candidates in the past for the Iowa Caucus. He is also running for re election, and given his age, his idiocy, he should be vulnerable compare to his other 65%plus election wins..

        • MVH1

          It’s the order in which he mentioned them that’s so telling.

    • mhandrh

      Could it be that the mainstream republicans have realized their chances of gaining the white house are slim and a POTUS Sanders or a POTUS Clinton might appoint someone more liberal than an Obama nominee?

      • Clinton is more liberal than Obama? Excuse me: I believe I’ve fallen through a rupture in the space-time continuum.

        • i don’t think the statement is that clinton is more liberal than obama.

          rather if we go through an election, focused in large part on the supreme court, and the dems (presumably clinton) hold the white house, then the narrative is for a mandate for a liberal to fill scalia’s vacancy.

          ie: clinton’s/sanders’ nominee would be more liberal than obama’s

        • YvonneofNC

          your reading comprehension is as bad as . . . . well, it’s just really bad.

        • mhandrh

          That’s not what I said or implied at all.

      • pbrower2a

        No. There just are few mainstream Republicans by the standard of what we used to think of the mainstream. The Republican party has absorbed the heritage of Gilded-Age plutocrats and ante-bellum planters.

        So far as I can tell, almost all Republicans want a Hard Right expression of the Constitution, basically that America is rightly a Christian and Corporate State with working people as expendable cogs in a brutal machine. The Christian part? Pie in the sky when you die — if you are a submissive peon who suffers without complaint or dissent with the choices of people responsible only to themselves.

    • L2thaL

      So moderate of him

    • marktrail

      Mentioning Trump by name would undermine his case.

    • MVH1

      Very telling, wasn’t it? They are scared.

  • vidarien

    What happened to “we will not hold any hearings” Grassley?

    Trying to recalibrate after misfiring?

    • mikemiller56

      He holds a hearing at his peril, I do not think he is up to it.

      • Hawkeye

        His statement didn’t sound completely coherent. I suspect he is afraid to hold a hearing in which he might actually show that some of the lights are burned out.

        • hipsteriac

          Seems very clear to me. The Republicans intend to hold hearings but not confirm anyone before the election. This will convince most Americans that the Republicans are doing their part, and will neatly fit into an inevitable false equivalence meme brewed up by the press to explain why the Republicans aren’t really at fault — it’s just politics, and everybody does it, right?

        • abctefg

          Not coherent.
          What I got from it is: we have to do our jobs to not do our jobs.

          • growe

            I’ve told him a hundred times, first the Xanax, THEN vodka.

          • hipsteriac

            That sounds completely coherent to me, when coming from a Republican. But then again, I can never figure out what those fucknuts are thinking or why.

          • delnurse

            Your first mistake is thinking they can think, they can’t. That is why no one can figure them out.

        • mikemiller56

          Sadly, I agree Hawk. e could not bow out gracefully now he gets shown the door.

    • Rhysem

      I think the saner voices are starting to take over. The GOP is actually much better off with an Obama nominee, which given the current Senate would necessarily be a more moderate nominee. The writing is on the wall that they will lose the Senate and the WH in November… which would equate to a much more liberal nominee. The GOP is actually better off negotiating with Obama on a pick now rather than HRC/Sanders later.

  • brainscoop

    Coming around to the idea that you should at least go through the motions, eh? So good of you to set aside that holy principle that no president can nominate a SC justice in his last year in office. Sure, Obama can nominate. He just can’t have his choice confirmed.

    • delnurse

      Correction, no Democrat can nominate a SC justice in his last year in office. Repthuglicans can do anything, because IOKIYR

  • conspiracy

    That’s incoherent at best.

  • Wynstone

    Still not saying President Obama deserves a vote on his nominee. What would be the point of hearings if there is no vote?

    • conspiracy

      I guess you could argue it represents slight movement from the original position. It’ll take an enormous build up of pressure to move things any further.

      • Wynstone

        They’re going to cave because Dems will stop working with them on their other agenda items.

        • Jimofthejungle

          If they do cave, I don’t think that will be why. it will be because by that point in the year all hope will be lost that a Republican can win the Whitehouse and the Senate will be in play. I expect Obama to name someone who reflects his own, centrist approach and that would be more palatable than a Clinton or Sanders pick when they may not have the ability to stop it.

          • Hawkeye

            You would think that experienced politicians would have thought of that before they immediately opened their pie holes and committed themselves to something stupid.

          • abctefg

            Lol.

            You’re being funny, right?

            Right?

          • delnurse

            We are talking about the gotp since when could they ever think?

        • embo66

          I think they’re going to cave before that. I sense they are already losing this fight in the court of public opinion.

          • mhandrh

            Normal people will see the GOP as total, absolute obstructionists with no intention to function according to their sworn oaths. If a few Repugs join Dems it could be interesting. Then again, we do have Cruz threatening a filibuster on any vote.
            If the GOP stands to lose a few Senate seats due to public disgust, they may decide their best chances are now.
            So many possibilities, unknowns, and all of them a gamble for the GOP.

            What we need are reporters informing the public of the Constitution and Obama’s rightful obligation — rather than letting the bloviating pundits tell people what to think.

          • Hagar32Grady

            Rafael filibustering every vote and the Repub Candidate ??? What a delicious dish to serve before the self appointed king. That will play so well in Peoria, wouldn’t it.

          • Eric_in_Ann_Arbor

            He would physically need to be there to filibuster. McConnell and crew ain’t gonna carry his water anymore. And he can’t do that if he’s campaigning…

          • RadicalCentrist

            Better than reporters, we heard that very eloquently from the President himself. I think the Rs are coming to realize that McConnell made a Boehner-like boner by stating that the Senate would not vote. Some foot dragging and even an eventual no vote might be acceptable, but a flat out, “I’m taking my ball and going home” is very, very bad PR.

          • mhandrh

            I just heard that the Prez met the press today — I am glad he explained to them what the Constitution states and his obligation.
            But to those who hate him (I am really at a loss to recall what he’s done that explains their hatred and disrespect) hearing his words won’t persuade them — they need to hear the facts from the voices they listen to — the columnists they read…if those people can ever bring themselves to actually educate instead of bloviate.

          • RadicalCentrist

            I’ve read quite a few columns and editorials yesterday and today calling for the Senate to hold hearings and vote on whomever the President nominates. That viewpoint is probably much more prevalent than the one that supports McConnell et al among columnists that I have seen.

          • hipsteriac

            Black.

          • Travis Shaw

            They hate him because he won…Twice.

          • Hawkeye

            Wouldn’t Cruz have to have support to filibuster, and he may not have enough of it to sustain one either.

          • Hagar32Grady

            ….. There is still dozens of children’s books he hasn’t read into record yet 😉

          • mhandrh

            The rules permit a senator, or a series of senators, to speak for as long as they wish and on any topic they choose, unless “three-fifths of the Senators duly chosen and sworn (usually 60 out of 100 senators) brings debate to a close by invoking cloture.

            A hold is a parliamentary procedure which allows one or more Senators to prevent a motion from reaching a vote on the Senate floor.
            If the Senator provides notice privately to his or her party leadership of their intent, then the hold is known as a secret hold. If the Senator actually objects on the Senate floor or the hold is publicly revealed, then the hold is more generally known as a Senatorial hold.

          • Hawkeye

            So you think Cruz has 2/5 of the Senators behind him on anything? He might have 2/5 of the House, but that would be pushing it pretty hard in the Senate, especially if McConnell agreed to bring up the vote, which I doubt McConnell would agree to schedule unless he was pretty sure of enough to vote a nomination down. A Cruz filibuster would likely get quashed to allow the GOP Senators to vote down the nomination. I don’t see McConnell allowing a vote at all if he didn’t have the votes to vote it down.

          • abctefg

            Cruz would need a Jebby “clap for me.”

          • hipsteriac

            Rather than bringing the process to a vote, or having to filibuster, can’t the Republicans simply hold hearings until the election, or beyond it? Seems to me the Benghazi hearings have gone on for years, and as far as I know are still ongoing?

          • Hawkeye

            That is what makes the GOP statements so ridiculous. They didn’t have to say anything, just continue to drag their feet. Now they just look foolish and are backtracking already.

          • abctefg

            It might be useful to not call potential allies of the Dems as Repugs.

          • pbrower2a

            Unfortunately the people who fund the Orwellian ads that smear any politician who fails to believe in pure plutocracy are not normal people. They, alas, have the power. You saw those ads in 2014 — and those ads worked.

    • Rhysem

      I don’t have a problem with it. The whole point of the Senate is to “advise,” if after the hearings they can’t support the nominee then fine, e.g., Bork. That’s the game. However, denying the President a hearing on his nominee is flagrant politics.

      • brainscoop

        However, Bork did get a vote. He had hearings. He failed the committee vote, but was given a full vote in the Senate anyway. He was not filibustered. He just couldn’t get a majority to vote to confirm. I’ll be managing a unicorn herd before Obama’s nominee–whoever it is–gets the same degree of consideration that Bork received.

        • RadicalCentrist

          You know what, I’m a sucker for longshots. Give me 5-1 and I might just bet that Obama gets his nominee.

          • The Republicans in an election year, know they may get murdered by Democrats by not having a vote, but they may be feel more pain,when Social Conservatives stay home on election day, if they allow a vote on SCOTUS nominee.

          • LK234

            Because they’d rather have Hillary replace Ginsburg, Breyer, and Kennedy too?

          • growe

            “This is Samantha, she is 27, black, runs marathons, went to Wellsley and was 3rd in her Harvard law class…”

            “This is Pedro, he is Latino, 28 and a half, cross trains, was first at Stanford and 4th in his Yale Law class….”

            “Um, could I ask my Democratic colleagues in the Senate to let me finish speaking before approving my nominees? Thanks!”

            Yes, I imagine this little movie is playing in many heads over at the FOX-RNC complex, but not amusing them as it does me.

          • hipsteriac

            They’re not logical.

          • abctefg

            DIYDDIYD!

          • brainscoop

            I’ll bet you the Trump Tower against one gross of “Make America Great Again” trucker hats. Although I’m not sure what I’d do with all the hats.

            In all seriousness, I do think Obama is skillful enough to pick the right person and apply the right pressure to have some chance at getting a nominee through. But I think his odds are worse than 5-1.

          • RadicalCentrist

            Then you’ll give me 5-1 right?

          • brainscoop

            Yes!

          • RadicalCentrist

            You’re on!

          • brainscoop

            What are the stakes?

          • RadicalCentrist

            I’ll put up $20 vs your $ 100.

          • brainscoop

            Then there’s the question of the cutoff date: election day 2016 or inauguration day 2017? If Clinton (or, conceivably, Sanders) wins, the incentives of Senate Republicans are transformed. I’ll gladly take your bet if the resolution date is November 8, 2016 (although I’m not sure how we’d settle it exactly). If the date is January 20, 2017, I’m suddenly not so sure about the bet.

          • RadicalCentrist

            Well… The argument is that Obama is President for a full term, so the bet runs to Jan 20. I’m betting he gets his nominee and anyone up until then is his.

          • brainscoop

            Ha! Well, you have forced me to think about this more carefully. The most likely path to an Obama nominee making it to the SC is (1) Obama nominates a highly qualified and ideologically moderate jurist, (2) the Senate, despite proclamations to the contrary, holds hearings on this nominee but does not schedule a final confirmation vote before the election, (3) Democrats win both the presidency and the Senate in November, (4) facing the prospect of a more liberal nominee making it through the new Democratically-controlled Senate, Republicans confirm Obama’s moderate nominee. Let C (“nominee Considered”) denote events 1 & 2, P is “Democrats win Presidency”, S is “Democrats win Senate.” Assuming prob(confirm|C, P, S) = 1 and noting that prob(C) is independent of P & S, prob(confirm) = prob(C, P, S) = prob(C) * prob(P, S) = prob(C) * prob(S|P) * prob(P). I’ll give C 50-50 odds (it does look really bad for Republicans to just ignore a nominee entirely), prob(P) 75%, and prob(S|P) 75%. That gives us a 28% chance of confirmation by that pathway. Allowing for other lower-probability pathways, I’ll give you 3-1 odds for Jan. 20 resolution. But I’ll give you 10-1 for November 8!

          • RadicalCentrist

            Ah, but you have forgotten the wild card, or perhaps the Trump card, which is the likely Republican nominee. Assuming he has the nomination sewn up or close to sewn up by April, the Republicans need to consider whether or not they might prefer Obama’s nominee (who will unquestionably be highly qualified and likely fairly moderate) not only to Hillary’s or Bernie’s, but also to taking their chances on Trump picking his sister or whomever else his impulses of the day might select. Blue state candidates might need to consider whether hurting their own re-elections is worth it in view of the likelihood of getting someone they don’t like regardless of the election. So, I think 5-1 by Jan 20 is fair. You might even call it, “The Art of the Deal”

          • brainscoop

            Well, by your argument, I’m UNDERESTIMATING the chances that Senate Republicans confirm Obama’s nominee with my 3-1 argument. So how could 5-1 be fair? Shouldn’t it be 2-1, then? I’ll stick to my 3-1 offer for Jan. 20. But there’s still 10-1 on Nov. 8! Considering the privacy-compromising aspects of an actual money transfer, it may be best to leave it at bragging rights. But if you accept 3-1 on Jan 20 or 10-1 on Nov 8, I’ll go $100 on my end.

            It’s pretty tricky trying to predict the behavior of crazy people.

      • Wynstone

        I’m not saying they can’t vote “no”.

      • hipsteriac

        I think the point is that Republicans won’t allow the “after the hearings” until “after the election.” Until then, they can make themselves look very patriotic, with their (extremely) detailed questioning and vetting and pontificating on the importance of choosing the right judge etc.

        • Snakegirl Lyn

          Well, they WOULD have been able to pull that stunt with little chance of severe blowback if Loose Lips McConnell hadn’t blown their cover by declaring there would beno vote.

    • Hawkeye

      Time and space filler that can be spun to appear like an active Congress.

    • pbrower2a

      It’s all about power, and not service. Give us what we want, or nothing gets done.

      Welcome to a Machiavellian America, the nightmare that the Founding Fathers did everything to avoid making possible.

  • monroe_says

    The election that decided who should make this nomination was won by Obama in 2012. Period.

    • GatorLegal1

      Word.

      • abctefg

        Respek!

      • Snakegirl Lyn

        3 words: get over it.

  • LK234

    Seems to me that politically the best way for them to handle this would be to have a vote and just vote no. That’d probably be enough for them to avoid the accusation of obstructionism, while still allowing the chance that a Republican president will eventually fill the vacancy. It sounds like that’s what they’re coming around to. In a way I’m a little disappointed because it won’t be as easy for Dems to take the Senate.

    • Wynstone

      That “no” vote could have huge consequences depending on who it is. They don’t want to be seen as blocking a qualified minority “just because”.

      • Hagar32Grady

        You may be giving them too much credit for making the intelligent move. That went out the door when they blurted out their intent as soon as they heard of Justice Scalia’s demise. The intelligent move would have been to keep your mouth shut until at least the funeral. They don’t seem to fear upsetting minority voters.

        • RadicalCentrist

          They may not care about minority voters, but those in blue/purple states need votes from Independents and even some Dems. Looking like petulant children isn’t the way to get those.

        • abctefg

          You forgot sad. “Sad demise.”

      • hipsteriac

        Because Republican voters are going to feel sympathetic for a qualified minority? Last I knew, Republican voters wanted to build a giant wall to keep minorities out, and cheer the police when they choke a minority to death for selling loose cigarettes.

        • Wynstone

          Yet you think there’s an opportunity for Dems to win them over.

          I’m talking about the republicans in more moderate states not strongholds in the South.

          • hipsteriac

            Yes. I believe even the worst can be led to see the light. But expecting that to happen in the short term, and in such numbers as to effect Republican Party strategy, would be, I concede, nothing more than wishful thinking.

          • Snakegirl Lyn

            The problem with that idea, and I agree with the basics of your premise btw, is coming to a mutual agreement on what the light is in the first place.

    • conspiracy

      That would be the normal reaction. “We’ll see who the president nominates, ask them some questions, look at their record and then make a decision.” I’m surprised they didn’t come out straight away with that even when they have no intention of confirming anybody.

      • Carolnm

        Because their base loves that sh**. They can’t get enough of it.

        • drzaius

          Which means they’re more concerned about placating their base then Telegraphing their moves with negative consequences involved.

      • Snakegirl Lyn

        They’ve lost any semblence of self control in their haste to retain control of others.

    • chisholm

      Yeah but what, they hold hearings and vote no X times? Meaning, they shoot a nominee down, BO nominates a new one, they shoot that one down, ad nauseam?

      • conspiracy

        Maybe he should nominate Garland first. Build the pressure and you might get somebody more liberal actually confirmed.

      • APV

        They can filibuster and not have a vote to run out the clock. Democrats will need 14 Republicans to break the filibuster.

        • Coterie

          14?

          • APV

            There are 54 Republicans in the Senate. Assuming all Democrats, Sanders, and King vote against the filibuster, they will need 14 Republicans to get to 60 votes.

          • SeattleDemo

            Unless we take control of the Senate on January 3rd and, even with a GOP president, we could confirm a justice in the ensuing 17 days by nuking the filibuster.

    • Jimofthejungle

      I think its the same either way. If they don’t confirm Obama’s appointment, the GOP is still effectively putting the SC on the ballot. Think of it- millions of new voters are actually going to get to decide whether the country moves to the left or the right for most of their adult lives. This has never happened before- young people have a chance to determine the course this country will take for at least a generation. I think they’ll turn out for that, and I don’t think they’ll be voting for the GOP.

      • KurtBusiek

        Would that young voters — or even older voters — understood that every election has the chance to determine this sort of thing. Humans are mortal. Your favorite justice can die, your favorite senator can get hit by a truck, your favorite whatever can collapse. Things can always change.

        Presidential elections, midterms…hell, local council elections, state elections, school board elections are the kind of thing that put in place the people you’ll be choosing between in ten or twenty years; never mind that they’ll affect your day to day life locally, too.

        Every election could be a game-changer. Every one could be crucial. The choice is stark this year, but it’s there all the other years too.

        • Wynstone

          What if another Justice kicks it this year? I wasn’t betting on Scalia to be the one.

          • LarryBurt

            Not to be morbid, but it depends. If Ginsberg happened to go, they’d be happy to obstruct with absolute inflexibility. If Thomas did, they would have a complete meltdown.

    • LarryBurt

      It would have been, but now the lights are already on.

    • Travis Shaw

      I disagree a bit. Filling the seat and GOP obstructionism are process stories that won’t get much traction outside of committed partisans. But if you frame the question as “Who do you want filling Scalia’s seat, and potentially a few more? I think that can swing many pro choice married women who nevertheless still lean Republican.

  • Hagar32Grady

    I think that someone might have pointed out that the nominee could still hold their day job if there were no hearings.

    • conspiracy

      That has to play a part in Obama’s decision. Somebody has to be prepared to accept they might never end up on the court. That might not be so straightforward.

      • hipsteriac

        Especially if the nominee is running for Senate in California.

    • Rhysem

      Moot. If he nominates from the sitting appellate bench.

  • fgtayl01

    Grassley may realize even an Obama nominee would better than a Trump one.

    • coyote521

      The closest Donald Trump ever gets to naming a supreme is if he can talk Dianna Ross into appearing on “The apprenctice”.

    • hipsteriac

      You’ve got a problem with Gary Busey as a Supreme?

    • pbrower2a

      If he lets Republicans block every Obama nominee for reasons other than incompetence, unreadiness, or corruption (Obama is squeaky-clean, and he demands good performance) solely to play political hardball, then he puts his Senate seat at risk. So far the polls show Senator Grassley very safe, but that can change abruptly.

  • Clutterbox

    As mentioned in other post, Jane Kelly would be top (or near the top) of the list then since he supported her nomination on the bench for the 8th Circuit and won o 96–0 confirmation by the Senate.

    • coyote521

      Yeah yeah but “that was different”

      Translation: Our hopes and dreams of dismantling the entire Obama Legacy weren’t at stake then.

  • MrBeale

    Baby steps.

  • mikemiller56

    The Register came out with an op-ed and he folded yet again.

  • nycguy

    The only person filling that spot is Obama. Get with it and stop being stupid!

    • LarryBurt

      He may need to wait until the new Democratic senate is seated on January 4, 2017, but that’s not too late.

  • Lat1
    • A related link enumerating how a SC Justice is chosen is also pretty great:

      Step 10: Following months of direct questioning, witness
      testimony, and poring over the nominee’s qualifications and judicial
      history, the Senate votes on whether they like the president or not”

  • CSStrowbridge

    This is what is known as backpedal, backpedal, backpedal.

    I guess someone at the GOP hired a polling firm to ask about this and they didn’t like the results.

    • APV

      Thom Tillis (R-NC) also backed down. So they must be sensing a blow back.

      • Hagar32Grady

        Thom Terrific did not actually back down. He doesn’t want to look like an obstructionist but if BHO doesn’t nominate Antonin II , then Obama forced their hand. They will just wait until the POTUS is out of office.

        • pbrower2a

          But that could easily mean that President Hillary Clinton or President Bernie Sanders gets to appoint the replacement for Antonin Scalia.

    • embo66

      Not much of a backpedal. He said he would “be open” to holding hearings on Obama’s nominee, but then went on to insist that it should all happen after the election (or at least until the parties pick their nominees).

      It’s almost as if he started by expressing his real thoughts, then remembered to toe the party line.

      • Hawkeye

        They are starting to waffle.

        • abctefg

          Mmmm. Belgian waffles.

          • Hawkeye

            Perhaps real sour cream with hot syrup…

        • embo66

          Yup. (That didn’t take long!)

  • OBX47

    I already fired off an email to Grassley. How can these people just decide to change the way things have always been done and then lie about it? I think I will call the office, as well. We should all take a minute to put some pressure on this guy.

    • Jimofthejungle

      Be sure to point out that he took an oath to uphold the Constitution and ask why we can’t trust him not to break it.

      • embo66

        That’s it — spit their own stupid rhetoric right back at ’em!

    • pbrower2a

      The pressure is the fear of defeat in November, something that he has yet to endure.

  • Decided Voter

    Filled and debated during the campaign or by the nominee? He contradicted himself.

  • Vonus

    in other words, Obama is still black

  • Creed Pogue

    Do people forget Grassley’s slow-walk playing of Baucus on Obamacare??? Grassley was never going to sign on but he delayed it for a long time. Same game here.

    The President should appoint former Justice Sandra O’Connor as a recess appointment NOW. She was good enough for Ronald Reagan so what will the Republicans say. You have to make obstructionism costly. Otherwise, the Senate GOP will continue to do it.

    • drzaius

      She might have something to say about that.

      • Creed Pogue

        I think she is still sitting at appellate courts. She was very disappointed to leave the Court especially since her husband died shortly thereafter. She is against Citizens United, etc.

        • drzaius

          Well if she’s up for it I’d go for it. My understanding was she retired and that was that I didn’t really understand her motivations

          • hipsteriac

            How about GWB’s secretary? What’s she been up to lately?

    • chisholm

      dude she’s like a million

      • Creed Pogue

        We’re only talking about a recess appointment for less than a year.

        Nobody is getting confirmed.

    • Hagar32Grady

      You do not win at Chess by giving up control of the central squares. When you have prime position, your opponent will have to give up pieces to get that territory back. As of now they are playing poker and badly.

      • Creed Pogue

        This isn’t chess. This is “Grand Theft Auto.”

        What is your suggestion???

        • Hagar32Grady

          Do not make a recess appointment nor consider one…that is to their advantage . (it gives them cover) They are already panicking over a Trump or Cruz Candidacy. Wait until this debacle gets fleshed out …… They have much more to lose and little to gain.

        • Coterie

          No, it IS chess. Mitch thought it was “Tag, you’re it.”

          Obama is as good a strategic thinker as was Teddy Roosevelt – so good he didn’t even have to strain to be in control this time.

          • Creed Pogue

            The main problem with your analogy is that most chess games end in a draw. If the goal is to get a fifth person on the Court, then playing into McConnell’s game is a loser. Instead, make the recess appointment of someone like O’Connor and get the fifth vote on most issues while making the case for a regular nomination.

          • Coterie

            Chess games among equals may sometimes end in a draw. I don’t see this as a contest between equals.

            The problem with making a recess appointment is that the outrage of the voters shifts against Obama for gaming the system rather than staying with the Rs for gaming the system. In an election year it would be (IMO) a pretty foolish thing to do.

          • Creed Pogue

            You are assuming that the Republicans will stick with “NO!” as opposed to slow walking the nomination all the way through. In the meantime there is no fifth vote on a lot of issues.

            The virtue of appointing O’Connor is, how do Republicans attack someone who was good enough to be Ronald Reagan’s first Supreme Court appointment?

          • Coterie

            “no fifth vote” So? No appeal against a liberal lower court decisions will get passed.

            “… how do Republicans attack…” You’re suffering from a severe failure of imagination! Remember that the R base requires only a remotely plausible excuse. For example:

            a) At her age she’s too set in her ways to pass judgement on modern issues.
            b) At her age she’s unlikely to get much done before she dies.
            c) Her past decisions reveal a disrespect for the Constitution as written. We would not want to make the same mistake again.

          • Creed Pogue

            All of that just shows how radical the current GOP is.

            The Fifth Circuit (the immigration appeal for example) is majority GOP appointees to name one.

            My path gets a fifth vote. If the fifth vote isn’t important, then we can do something else. But, don’t complain when we need a fifth vote and don’t have one.

      • abctefg

        Good call.
        (And I gotta learn chess.)

      • pbrower2a

        The President plays chess. His opponents play slot machines. Chess is pure strategy, and slot machines are pure luck. Occasionally someone makes a killing playing slots and fares better for the rest of his life than does a chess Grandmaster… but no wise person wants to depend on luck in a worse-than-zero-sum game.

  • growe

    Remember when Biden headed Judiciary and refused to hold hearings on Reagan
    nominees to SCOTUS and appellate courts since he planned to run for President in 1988?

    Ha ha, just kidding, Biden did head Judiciary in Senate but Reagan nominees got fast up or down votes, with Scalia confirmed 97-0.

    Maybe smiling Joe who did the job with integrity will soon come out swinging?

  • coyote521

    can we review this statement?

    1. “it should be filled and debated during the campaign”
    AND
    2. “It should be filled by Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders
    OR whoever’s nominated by the republicans .

    Hey, you better stop smoking that Grass, Grassley,
    Having it both ways is reserved for Marco.

    • GatorLegal1

      Why beat around the bush. What Grassley and other Republicans are essentially saying is, “we’re just going to mess with the black President as long as we possibly can”.

      • chisholm

        I really don’t see this is as a black thing. They’d block any D nominee for anything. “All scorched Earth, all the time” — GOP approach to politics.

  • I think it is kind of funny, given that President Adams nominated John Marshall for Supreme Court in January 1801, about two months after the 1800 election, and was confirmed by January 31st, 1801..

    • abctefg

      EIGHTY YEARS PRECEDENT!!!

      (Minus Kennedy and some other shit.)

  • growe

    October 2016 with SCOTUS vacancy.
    “Hey everyone before you vote, think about the Supreme Court…”

    * do you think birth control should be treated like it is medicine, available through your doctor and covered by insurance, like Viagra is? Republicans don’t!

    * do you think it is good but only a start, that Lily Ledbetter got to sue the assholes who paid her less than men for decades and snatch back some pay? Republicans don’t!

    * do you think people like Santorum should use the police in your bedroom to literally arrest you if you have unapproved consenting sex? Republicans do!

    “You are not just choosing a President, you get to pick a Supreme Court. You can have a Court with a wall calendar reading 2016, or one thinking it is 1816. If you like a fascist state where civil rights go to the few, vote Republican! If you think freedom, liberty and justice for all are the true American way? Hey, better vote Democrat…”

    • chisholm

      yeah there’s a shit ton at stake. i mean there always is but with scotus shit gets real

  • LarryBurt

    Trying to be objective, but this is a really lame transparent attempt at damage control.

  • Better Left Said

    When will the GOP get it:

    Black Presidents Matter

  • Nic_Starling

    ‘Might’, huh? Oh, how generous and constitutional of him.

    • Red Phillips

      Hey, coming from today’s republicans, that’s like a 21-gun salute.

  • qwerty

    Sounds like Republicans are realizing how stupid their initial reaction was and are already starting to walk it back. We’ll see what actually happens.

    • Coterie

      That’s my reading, too. In fact, I’ll bet that almost all of them were taken by surprise by Mitch’s announcement, felt they had to go along, then started seeing the public reaction, and are now going to start walking it back.

  • John_Cabal

    You might let the president be in charge for a while – well thank you very much !

  • hipsteriac

    And so begins the inevitable slow-walk.

  • Saywhatyouneedtosay Saywhatyou

    I dont understand what Grass man is saying. First he says the seat has to be filled during the campaign. Then he says the seat has to be filled by Bern, Hill or the repub. What?

  • growe

    “Grassley might grudgingly go through the motions, and pretend to do his job.”
    How is that any different from every other Tuesday he has soiled the Senate?

    • abctefg

      Soiled.

  • Lynda Groom

    There is nothing that keeps the GOP controlled Senate from taking an up or down vote except their own denial of reality. It seems to me that they just don’t want to have that “NO” vote hanging on their resume come the next election. It would be so refreshing if they would just do their job and leave the agenda drivel nonsense at the door.

  • woodt

    Said Grassley: “I would wait until the nominee is made before I would make any decisions. This is a very serious position to fill and it should be filled and debated during the campaign and filled by either Hillary Clinton, Senator Sanders or whoever’s nominated by the Republicans.”

    That does not sound like he said anything about having a hearing on Obama pick?