Do The Democrats Have A Death Wish?

The Democratic Party not only lost the fight over who would fill Antonin Scalia’s Supreme Court seat, but they might also be conceding defeat for the future. Talking Points Memo quotes Senator Ed Markey:

“When the Democrats return to the majority and capture the presidency, which we will, that day is going to arrive, we will restore the 60-vote margin,” Markey told MSNBC’s Katy Tur. “We will ensure that, for the Supreme Court, there is that special margin that any candidate has to reach because that is essential to ensuring that our country has a confidence in those people that are nominated, rather than just someone who just passes a litmus test.”

Do Democrats secretly wish to lose?

Assuming that he isn’t saying this for political posturing without any intent to do so, and that his views are representative of the party, this makes no sense. Why allow the Republicans to confirm Justices with only 51 votes, but then go back to requiring 60 votes to confirm liberal Justices to undo the harm caused by the Republicans?

Maybe Markey wants to stand up for principle, but if so there are far more fundamental liberal principles which the Democratic Party has repeatedly compromised on than the view that a Supreme Court Justice should require sixty votes for confirmation. Maybe this could be reconsidered at some future point should the Republican Party return to sanity, but this is not the time to make such a decision. In the meantime, perhaps the Democrats should stick to principles on matters such as defending civil liberties and reversing the surveillance state. Perhaps they should fight to avoid repeating the mistakes of the Bush years in intervening in the middle east. Instead we have Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer supporting Trump’s airstrikes in Syria, and other Democratic leaders including Howard Dean attacking Tulsi Gabbard who has been promoting peace.

Of course we should not be surprised, considering how the Democratic establishment rigged the 2016 nomination for Hillary Clinton, who both was to the right of Antonin Scalia on civil liberties, and favored far more extensive, and dangerous, intervention in Syria than the attack by Donald Trump. Of course that was also another example of the Democrats showing an inability to win, in nominating the worst possible candidate to run against Donald Trump. If you are going to rig a party’s nomination, at least do so for a candidate who can win–unless you have a death wish.

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1 Comment

  1. 1
    Joseph Auclair says:

    And well might you ask.

    On the day the GOP senators took out the judicial filibuster the thought came to me that the Dems might be just stupid enough to put it back in order to cripple themselves if ever they regain control of the senator.

    What a powerful, personal commitment to losing they all seem to have!

    As for Hillary being more hawkish than Trump, we will need to find somebody younger and braver than Bernie if we want the Democrats to not only capture but deserve the anti-war banner.

    Someone who embraces peaceful and progressive global involvements of the kind Trump has been sabotaging while rejecting the military globalism Trump has now so abruptly signed onto.

    How many Democrats actually believe, and would dare to publicly urge, that the US ought to withdraw from its far-flung, Cold War military alliances, drastically cut back the military budget, and not only in rhetoric but in reality commit the US in future to engaging in military action only when absolutely necessary to defend itself and its vital interests?

    As it is, Trump has joined the legions of both parties according to whom America must always be on the prowl to slay evildoers wherever they appear in the world, not only when such intervention does us no good but also when it will foreseeably do nobody any good, and instead set off a train of disasters such as has been set off by the "global war on terror" launched by Bush II, back when he decided in the aftermath of 9/11 to wreck not just one but two large and populous Muslim nations.

    Trump at least raised the issue whether Americans really want to keep up the worldwide military commitments built up during and since the Cold War, from participation in NATO to acting as the nuclear guarantor for South Korea, Japan, and Oceania.

    Hillary very frankly and even enthusiastically embraces those commitments and would even enlarge them.

    Who among the Democrats would dare to insist it's time, in a gradual and planned way, for the US to back away from all that, beginning perhaps by scheduling a phased withdrawal of US troops from South Korea and Japan and proceeding thereafter to phased withdrawals from Europe and the Mediterranean?

    Anybody?

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