Democrats need to borrow from the GOP playbook


Democrats must block Neil Gorsuch’s nomination to the Court. Graphic by Lauren Grimaldi.

By Lauren Grimaldi
Managing Editor

Senators John McCain and Ted Cruz made a vow during the 2016 election. If former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton were to become president, the GOP would fight her vigorously on anyone she may attempt to nominate to the Supreme Court to replace the late Antonin Scalia.

Because no one believed that Donald Trump had a chance, the Republicans were already planning to give Clinton and the Democrats the same partisan opposition that President Obama dealt with for eight years. But now that President Trump has assumed office, Democrats would be wise to follow suit.

The president recently nominated Neil Gorsuch, a federal judge on the U.S. court of appeals, to take the vacant seat on the Court. Gorsuch is indeed qualified for this position on paper in terms of experience, but an impressive resume can only get one so far. The New York Times likened Gorsuch to Antonin Scalia, and Democrats cannot sit idly by while the Court’s future hangs in the balance.

Gorsuch’s record shows that he clearly allows his religious and political beliefs to affect his decision making. For example, he sided with Hobby Lobby in the landmark case regarding whether employers could be required to provide birth control to their employees under the Affordable Care Act. While all judges use their discretion, Gorsuch’s voting record clearly shows he cannot separate his beliefs from how he interprets the Constitution.

And his voting record is not the only concern. The Human Rights Campaign announced its staunch opposition to Gorsuch due to his dismal record on LGBT and civil rights. In 2005, Gorsuch published a scathing essay with the National Review in which he likened same-sex marriage to being merely a part of the “liberal social agenda”.

His biases would be detrimental to any hopes for a progressive Court going forward. This is why true Democratic leaders must stand against him just as the Republicans did against Merrick Garland and refuse to hold any confirmation hearings for him.

Claire McCaskill (D-MO) has said that she will consider Gorsuch’s nomination, despite many calls from her fellow party members to block it. In normal times, it would be customary for the nominee to be given a chance, but nothing about our current situation is ordinary and therefore we must adjust to reality as it currently stands.

If the first few weeks of the Trump administration have proved anything, it is that they must be stopped. As our Commander-in-Chief continues to throw temper tantrums on Twitter and hangs up the phone on our most loyal allies, every action he has taken thus far proves he is unfit to be President of the United States.

And the Democrats’ duty to stop President Trump does not end with the battle for the Supreme Court seat, or even with confirmation hearings for the cabinet.
The decision to appoint Steve Bannon to the National Security Council is preposterous, terrifying and dangerous. Bannon, Trump’s chief strategist, was an editor for the right-wing ‘news’ website Breitbart prior to being given a job in the White House. Now, he sits in on NSC meetings and makes key decisions about how the U.S. will comport itself into international affairs.

This is a reality that should rock all Americans to their core, and one that our elected Democratic leaders must stop. Key officials in the party have already begun plans for legislation to remove Bannon from the NSC as soon as possible.

In a column for Newsweek, Kurt Eichenwald argued that Democrats must give the GOP a taste of their own medicine for the betterment of the country.

“So what should the Democrats do? Fight. Recognize the nature of the other party,” Eichenwald writes. “There is no longer reason; there is no longer fidelity to our history or to the Founders’ intents; there is no longer compromise.”

In a new country where seemingly anything goes in politics, it is time for Democrats to start acting like they want to fight Trump. If they do not, then we are truly headed for disaster and a further devastating collapse of sense and reason.

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