When Democrats are willing to make a "deal," you can bet something's rotten somewhere.
Although Sen. Chuck Schumer has officially announced that there will, indeed, be a Democratic filibuster of Judge Neil Gorsuch's nomination to the Supreme Court, multiple sources interviewed by Politico say that several Democratic senators are afraid that, should Republicans use the so-called "nuclear option" to force a vote on Judge Gorsuch, they will come out of this deal empty-handed with no cards to play for the next SCOTUS nominee.
Thus, reportedly, active discussions are taking place among at least a few Democrats about the possibility of brokering a deal with Republicans. Dems would offer a non-filibustered, up-or-down vote, and Republicans would promise to refrain from the nuclear option on the next Supreme Court nominee.
Sounds like a good idea – for Democrats – but why would Republicans, even the most hand-wringing, pearl-clutching, virtue-signaling, RINO ones, even dream of taking it?
After all, aren't they supposed to hold ALL the cards? They have a supremely qualified, well-spoken, non-controversial nominee with no major skeletons lurking in his closet, a united conservative base (at least on this issue), the majority in the Senate and, thanks to Harry Reid, the availability of that handy "nuclear option" if all else fails.
So why would they entertain, even for a second, the possibility of making any kind of a deal with Democrats on this nomination? Not to go all "Hitler" on the libs, but wouldn't that be like the Allies being willing to broker a conditional peace treaty with Germany after they had Berlin surrounded? I mean sure, Hitler would have taken that in a heartbeat, but Eisenhower would have been crazy to offer it, right? Politico reports that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell may not be too keen on the idea of changing Senate rules on a SCOTUS majority vote. Granted, Reid changed it, but that was for non-SCOTUS judicial appointments only. Once this can of worms is open, the logic goes, and it can be used against both sides.
I get it, but that kind of stuff only applies to reasonable people, and this brand of Democrats, the kind whose base wears vagina-hats, are far from reasonable people. Surely McConnell knows that Democrats, should they regain power, won't hesitate to impose their will anyway, regardless of what Republicans do now.
And from McConnell's standpoint, that nuclear-option can-o-worms might as well get out there anyway, because – let's be honest – when have Republicans ever fought a Dem-appointed SCOTUS nominee? Case in point: Obama appointees Elena Kagan (63–37) and Sonia Sotomayor (68-31) were met with only token resistance from Republicans who have generally acceded to the notion of the president getting to pick his or her own judges, assuming they are qualified for the position.
Whether a future Republican filibuster is viable or not, if and when Democrats propose another SCOTUS nominee, I'd bet my house on them hammering it through, with plenty of Republican "support."
But Mitch McConnell may not have anything to do with a deal either way, which is even scarier. Should it go forward, an offer like this would only require a few Republicans to agree, just enough to pledge not to allow the nuclear option to take effect on the next nominee. So conceivably, a few RINO Republicans like Lindsey Graham, John McCain and Olympia Snowe, who all would probably like nothing more than a chance to betray their conservative voters yet again, could make this thing work. The next nomination could very well tip the court in a conservative direction for a generation. It would be equivalent to a political 10.0 Richter scale earthquake and could keep in check any future Democratic liberty-crushing shenanigans if and when they take back the White House and/or Congress.
Trump SCOTUS adviser Leonard Leo doesn't think it'll happen. In fact, he calls Democrats who would offer it "delusional." "Democrats must be delusional to think that Leader McConnell or any of his Republican colleagues would reward Democrats for their awful treatment of Neil Gorsuch," said Leo. "One way or the other his confirmation is all but assured."
Let's hope Republicans, even ones like McCain and Graham, aren't delusional as well, because a deal like that would be more than stupidity on a massive scale, it would be total and absolute surrender to an enemy holding none of the cards.
In these political wars with the other side, this seems to be a constant issue. It's like Republicans are fighting using the laws of medieval chivalry, unable to realize they are in a WWII-style total war. It's time to fight fire with fire. To further the warfare analogy, if you don't bomb their cities, they're gonna bomb yours twice as hard, and they aren't taking any prisoners.
Smart Republicans understand that this is our moment, possibly our last chance to get our agenda passed before the curtain closes. Smart Republicans will do what it takes, come hell or high water, Democrats be damned, because that's the only way it works, and that's how they would treat us.
But then again, nobody has ever accused establishment Republicans of being all that smart.