Liddick: Democrat nonsense over a nonesuch Gorsuch (column)
February 12, 2017
It's Neil Gorsuch, and Senate Democrats are in full howl as they try desperately to claw traction from a situation they created. It's amusing, pathetic and not a little dangerous.
Comforted by the foolish belief that, because he hadn't a popular majority President Trump is a passing aberration they can ignore, Democrats from safe seats in the bastions of Progressivism continue to sneer at his voters and ignore his picks. Here's a thought: If you take your dishes and dolly and go home when you can't have your way, it reveals you for the petulant children you are, bereft of the character for the responsibility your office confers.
As for congressional Republicans: It's your turn. You asked for this opportunity repeatedly, promising each time to do great things. Better get doing them instead of turning over every rock in sight, searching for another excuse to avoid action and responsibility. Time to cowboy up and keep your word; the president is.
The coming four years will be difficult; power fights to perpetuate itself, and that fight can be ugly. The battle over Neil Gorsuch's confirmation is a preview of things to come.
Already one can see the outline of attack. First, attempts to marginalize as "extreme": Senator Schumer's comments about "bipartisan support" was the opening shot; "bipartisanship" has long been the cry of the minority party, but if anyone thinks the left wing of Senate Democrats will accept someone to the right of Sonia Sotomayor, that person has…issues. "Bipartisanship" is Schumer-speak for "No conservative need apply."
Second, calumny. Nancy Pelosi assures us Neil Gorsuch will poison our food, water, air and court appearances. If that does not work, he will doubtless slip into our homes in the dead of night and murder us all in our beds. It's utter lunacy, but it's part of the standard Democrat playbook. Remember the television ad about Paul Ryan throwing his granny off a cliff?
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Then there's the really nasty stuff: No, Neil Gorsuch did not found the "Fascism Forever Club" at Georgetown prep school. So say his classmates, teachers and school documents. But media from US News to Salon insisted he did — until the story was exposed as another example of "fake news." Expect much more of this.
Finally there is the argument that the seat really belongs to Merrick Garland, Obama's nominee whose name never came before the Senate. Nothing better illustrates the Democrats' elitism and sense of entitlement: it is not "Merrick Garland's seat," as it was not Antonin Scalia's before him. It, as all others in government, belongs to the people; those who occupy them are merely temporary employees and it's long past time many in Washington were reminded of that fact, unpleasant though it may be to them. One might also note that Senate Republicans were only heeding the advice of Joe Biden, who argued in 1992 as Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee that no nominee of a president in his last year should be accepted; Senator McConnell simply repeated his argument.
Those who call for a filibuster of Gorsuch to "pay them back" for Garland seem to forget earlier examples of Democrat conduct toward Republican nominees, Robert Bork and Clarence Thomas among them. Everyone would now be better served by understanding that evil treatment will beget more of the same, causing unhealthy excitement among more rabid partisans and slowly poisoning the decorum on which our Republic depends.
Make no mistake. Progressives will oppose Neil Gorsuch not for reasons they will speak, but because he believes in the Heresy of Originalism: he thinks the Constitution means exactly what it says it does. No more, no less. This has profound implications, because it posits a federal government of strictly limited and explicit powers instead of one that feels perfectly justified in telling citizens how much fat they can consume and how little water a toilet must use.
Judge Gorsuch believes the Constitution should not be bent like a pretzel to accommodate fashionable social theory. If change be required, there is an explicit process that doesn't involve applying foreign law, as Justices Ginsberg and Breyer would like; nor searching constitutional "penumbras" for the shadows of shadows. He also understands that, in delineating "rights" one must be careful not to expand the rights of one group at the expense of the rights of others. For this alone, Progressives will try to bury him, by fair means or foul.
For this alone, he deserves a place on the nation's highest court.
Morgan Liddick writes a weekly column for the Summit Daily News. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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