As I noted weeks ago, Democratic Senator and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer isn’t very good at his job. Having supposedly negotiated a deal with Republicans to prevent judicial nomination hearings while the Senate is out of session, Republicans are… holding said hearings. Imagine if Schumer had decided to ‘pull a McConnell’ and go scorched earth. There are all sorts of procedural maneuvers he could had done to slow down nominations–and the members who need to go home and campaign still could have done so (I’m sure a fair number of the presidential hopefuls would have been more than happy to grandstand). Instead, he negotiated a crappy deal–that Republicans were never going to honor.
I have no idea if this would have stopped some, or even any, nominations. But if Republicans had made any mistakes, the Democrats might have put Republicans in a position where some nominations might be dropped for lack of time. In the worst case scenario, Democrats would have had repeated opportunities to contrast the two parties, were Republicans to complain. Senate Democrats could have busted out rhetoric like “we’re protecting your religious freedom, your health, your income.” Yes, this is ‘performative politics’, but performative politics are an essential part of politics. They make clear what it is you stand for (or at least what you would like people to believe you stand for…). Yet Democrats seem to think this is beneath them.
And the congregation responds: This is yet another reason why we can’t have nice things.