When you have power in Washington DC, use it. That saying is true for both parties. There has been much distress on social media in the past few hours, with people declaring that a Supreme Court vacancy prior to this election will tear the country apart, putting unimaginable stress on the Republic as it attempts to hold together in the face of Trumpism. TikTok users are screaming into their phones while driving. CNN personalities are threatening to ‘burn the entire thing down’ if Mitch McConnell attempts to push through a nominee. Writer Laura Bassett proclaimed that ‘if McConnell jams someone through, which he will, there will be riots.’ That seems a threat more than a prediction. Even writers at the supposed ‘real conservative’ website the Bulwark warned of a political crisis, where the only way out would ‘require the prudential coordination of elites’.
It’s all nonsense. There is no crisis. Fill the seat.
For those imagining a crisis into existence, don’t fret: the process will play out. The President will nominate a replacement. The Senate Majority Leader will call for a vote and the Senate body will vote to confirm or deny. There’s not a single thing Twitter busybodies, rioters, media personalities or Democrats in the minority party can do to stop it. Nothing.
The national media is already doing its best to shame members of the GOP-led Senate for their position on President Barack Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland in 2016 following the death of Antonin Scalia. The process worked just as it was designed then as well. The Senate is not a subservient body to the President and the executive. Advice and consent is very clear and is meant as a powerful check on power, should voters decide in favor of a divided government. That’s the way things are. Deal with it.
In the coming weeks, there will be hundreds of journalists and Democrats unearthing clips of supposed rank hypocrisy from GOP politicians over their position in 2016. They will claim these Republicans have reversed their position on filling Supreme Court vacancies in an election year. Pundits on the right will also unearth clips of the current Democratic nominee and his so called ‘Biden rule’ or Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer tweeting in February 2016, ‘Attn GOP: Senate has confirmed 17 #SCOTUS justices in presidential election years. #DoYourJob’. Activist groups will demand to shut down the country and fringe groups will attempt more political violence, just as we’ve seen for the past months. Celebrities will sing ‘Imagine’.
Democrats are already again threatening to eliminate the filibuster and pack the Supreme Court should they gain power, but they were already making this threat prior to Ginsburg’s passing. None of this matters one bit. The process is all laid out in Article II, section 2.
The constitutional process unfolding as designed by the Framers is not a crisis — no amount of tweets or New York Times opinion pieces can make it so. Nor can the celebrities making threats to take to the streets while never leaving their palaces; nor can antifa activists burning down businesses. Lululemon cosplayers will once more attempt to barnstorm elevators, just as they have done for the past four months in cities across the country. If you’re the political side threatening violence if you don’t get what you want politically, perhaps you should revisit your assertion that Mitch McConnell or the Republican party are the power-hungry fascists. If the ne’er-do-well Twitter punditocracy are looking for a scapegoat, might I suggest directing your ire toward former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, without whom we would not even be entertaining this ‘crisis’.
The system is working as designed. Though it may have been Ginsburg’s final wish to not fill her seat until after the election, it’s not her call, with all due respect. Instead it falls to the people who voted for a Republican majority and a Republican president in 2016. The people threatening violence are the people without the constitution or guns on their side.
Mitch McConnell is exercising his constitutional authority, just as he did in 2016. Ultimately whether or not President Trump’s coming nominee sits on the Supreme Court will be decided by a small handful of Republicans. Not Joe Biden. Not Hollywood. Not reporters on Twitter or millennial women on Instagram. On November 3, voters may choose a different path. The Constitution will endure regardless.