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The New GOP: the Grand Obstructionist Party

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 29/03/2016 Brian Tyler Cohen
SUPREME COURT © Ryan McGinnis via Getty Images SUPREME COURT

Just a few days ago, Paul Ryan (R, WI) and Mitch McConnell (R, KY) reaffirmed their commitment that "the American people should have a voice" in filling the Supreme Court vacancy and denied a hearing for President Obama's nominee, Merrick Garland. And so we have it, our collective "voice," the GOP's latest scapegoat in a long-practiced tradition of obstructionism, with which the Republican party has become synonymous.
Ironically, when it comes to the voice of the American people, it suddenly becomes necessary when a Democratic president may nominate a Supreme Court justice to the nation's highest bench--per his constitutional duty, nonetheless. Less necessary when the majority of Americans favor commonsense gun legislation that would disallow suspected terrorists from purchasing a gun. So lucky for McConnell that this crucial voice is only crucial sometimes!
But, in this case, I say to Ryan and McConnell, go for it. Block the nomination. What they're doing, then, is pinning their hopes on a Republican winning the general election. And as much as they don't want to admit it, their candidate is looking more and more like it's going to be Donald Trump. In effect, the GOP leadership is relying on the same candidate whom they are actively trying to obstruct from clinching the nomination to then go on to win the whole thing in November. I for one cannot wait to see Mitt Romney's follow-up address to the nation, aptly titled, "JK LOL."
Of course, the GOP is using their thinly veiled and hypocritical semantics to hide the fact that they're simply holding out for a more conservative nominee. If McConnell truly cared about the "voice of the American people," he'd consider that it was that very "voice" that elected Obama to the White House. Twice. But really, I'd say that's a pretty weak mandate by any standard; by year seven, everyone knows that Obama is barely even president anymore. I'm surprised they let him even keep his security detail at this point in his presidency. After all, the only thing we as a nation should be focusing on by now is banning all Muslims and breaking ground for that magnificent wall we've been promised.
The flip side to this gamble is that if the American people decide not to elect a racist demagogue as president, then the virtuous voice of the American people will call for a Clinton or Sanders presidency and his or her own judge selection--and certainly a more progressive one, at that. You see, by McConnell's logic, if Obama's nomination isn't valid by virtue of the voice of the American people, then neither will his very diplomatic, moderate selection be. The chances of Clinton or Sanders electing another white male, especially one like Garland whom Fox News called the "most conservative nominee by a Dem in the modern era," are about as likely as Chris Christie holding any more elected office in New Jersey.
But hey, keep up the obstructionism. It's worked pretty well so far. Just ask the imminent GOP nominee, Donald J. Trump.

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