Wednesday, March 29, 2017

No Gorsuch Thing As A Free Lunch, Con't

It's becoming readily apparent that enough Democrats will stand together in the Senate to filibuster Trump regime Supreme Court pick Neil Gorsuch over Merrick Garland's stolen seat and Trump being under investigation.  GOP Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell is warning once again that Republicans will deploy the "nuclear option" to remove the ability to filibuster Supreme Court picks if necessary, but unlike the Democrats who need only 41 of 48 votes to sustain a filibuster, the GOP may not have the 50 of their 52 Senate votes required to change the rules.

Senate Democrats on Tuesday left Judge Neil Gorsuch with two roads to the Supreme Court: winning over all of the party’s remaining swing votes, or relying on the so-called nuclear option.

The five Democratic senators up for reelection next year in states where President Donald Trump won by single digits have all endorsed a filibuster of Gorsuch, while the five facing voters next year in states Trump won by double digits all remain undecided. Gorsuch would have to carry all five of those fence-sitters to overcome a Democratic filibuster — plus his home-state Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Maine independent Sen. Angus King, and another more surprising senator.

But after liberals raised the pressure on Democrats to oppose Gorsuch and the National Rifle Association targeted four red-state Democrats with $1 million in pro-Gorsuch ads, Trump’s nominee ended the day with his chances at beating a filibuster lower than ever.

“The issue is whether Gorsuch has earned 60 votes, which according to our Republican friends, has always been the standard for a significant decision by the Senate — and at present, I don’t think they’re even close,” liberal Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) told Politico. “So I don’t see this as being a make-or-break determination for any of those red-state Democrats.”

On Tuesday alone, nine Democrats came out against the nominee — although one, Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin, has not clarified his decision on a filibuster. The flurry came as liberal activists dug in their heels further ahead of a series of nationwide protests that the anti-Gorsuch “People’s Defense” coalition has planned for Saturday.

And that leaves the nuclear option on the table...if the GOP can trigger it.

Mitch McConnell told his leadership team in private this week what’s becoming increasingly obvious on Capitol Hill: Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch probably won’t get 60 votes to avoid a filibuster.

But the Senate majority leader had an equally pressing message: Republicans should have no compunction about pulling the trigger on the “nuclear option” — with Democrats resisting a high court nominee as well-pedigreed as Gorsuch.

“Feel no guilt,” McConnell said, according to attendees.

McConnell’s attempt to buck up his GOP ranks, relayed by three sources in attendance, underscores the high stakes of the Gorsuch battle as the Senate barrels toward a likely nuclear showdown next week: His confirmation is, to put it mildly, a can’t-lose for Republicans.

That was true after Senate Republicans waged a yearlong blockade of Merrick Garland that positioned the GOP to pick someone else now. But the spectacular collapse of the Obamacare repeal effort last week makes Gorsuch all the more urgent for President Donald Trump and reeling Hill Republicans.

McConnell is so confident that Republicans will win the Gorsuch fight that the Kentucky Republican predicted he’ll be confirmed by a week from Friday.

Do we really think the GOP has its act together enough now to pull this off?  Besides, where will we be next week on Russia?

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