Whenever John McCain drives me crazy with his actions in the US Senate I try to remember the two bright sides of his tenure. As a conservative Hawk the first is his unwavering defense of the American soldier but as a conservative the second and biggest was his catapulting of Sarah Palin into the national scene. As I’ve written many times she is not only responsible for many of the actual tea party victories that ironically have given folks like John McCain chairmanships. McCain might be embarrassed by her and the establishment might hate her but in the House and Senate they love the positions of power she made possible
In the same way I have a soft spot for Mitch McConnell. While he is a poor leader of senators (Harry Reid was able to do much more with much less) his willingness to stand and fight on the Supreme Court in defiance of a media onslaught not only prevented a liberal majority but has made possible the cementing of a conservative majority if another opening comes during the Trump years.
But even more importantly while he has not been able to get his members to vote to repeal Obamacare and has yet to deliver the votes for the GOP tax plan he has kept them in lockstep when it comes to the courts as CNBC notes:
But this isn’t just about sheer numbers, it’s about ideology too. While President Trump and conservatives have diverged in matters of policy several times over the past year, the judicial nomination process is decidedly not one of them. The nominees sent to the Senate from the White House are more conservative and even younger than what we saw during President George W. Bush’s two terms in office.
Moreover this is happening at a time when the importance of the courts are (unfortunately)
In case the importance of making an impact on the courts is lost on anyone, just note the many setbacks the Trump administration has suffered this year alone thanks to the courts. Delays and changes to the White House-imposed travel and immigration bans have grabbed the most attention. But the administration is also dealing with judicial push back and other potential hurdles on everything from its opposition to the AT&T-Time Warner merger to its transgender military ban.
Now fast forward a couple of years where the Trump judicial appointment surge will have set in across the federal system. Just for this administration alone, that could make a huge difference. And for conservative causes and cases over time, it will be even more significant.
And if the GOP wants to convince conservative voters thinking of staying home in 2018 to turn out these last two paragraphs should be used as their rallying cry.
Sure, the tax reform and Obamacare repeal bills may be jeopardized by internal spats between the GOP and the White House. But real history is being made in the courts all thanks to a bad bet made by Senator Reid and remarkable cooperation between the Trump team, Senator Grassley, and Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. While the fights with other senators like Flake et al may grab headlines, these judicial confirmations will have a much bigger impact.
And unless the Democrats win control of the Senate in 2018, there’s nothing they can do about it.
So as much as Mitch & company drive me mad I’m going to urge folk to turn out and keep them in power because of one simple fact.
Lose the senate, lose the courts.
Update: I decided to change my initial link to my original piece 4 Americans Two Campaigns Bainbridge Stewart Limbaugh Palin, it’s one of my favorite pieces on two subjects I enjoy.