About eight years ago, right about the time a *gasp* black man won the presidency, Republicans chose to stop governing and become known only as the party of
During the eight years Republicans were holding their collective breaths until they turned orange, they managed to block a lot of pretty common sense legislation, like infrastructure investment and protecting military personnel from losing their children while fighting GOP wars. The most egregious example of GOP obstructionism, though, was toward President Obama’s third Supreme Court Pick, Merrick Garland.
Joe Biden, in a speech at the newly minted University of Pennsylvania Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement, said he spoke to a lot of the Senators and several confessed to him that not giving Garland the up or down vote was a mistake, but they went along with it for the worst possible reason.
“I call 17 Republicans and say, ‘You know better,’” Biden said Thursday. “Nine of them said to me, ‘You’re right Joe, but I can’t do anything about it because if I do the Koch brothers or somebody is going to drop $5 million into my race and I’ll lose my primary.’”
Biden’s solution I something that most of us can agree upon, get money out of politics:
“You want to change American politics tomorrow? Pass public financing of elections,” Biden said.
Republicans actually blamed Biden for their refusal to confirm Garland. They blamed the “Biden rule,” which supposedly said that they shouldn’t confirm a lifetime appointment in an election year. Republicans are wrong. Biden did say that election years are contentious times to make a lifetime appointment, but he also said that confirming after the election is just fine.
“Some will criticize such a decision and say it was nothing more than an attempt to save a seat on the court in the hopes that a Democrat will be permitted to fill it. But that would not be our intention, Mr. President, if that were the course we were to choose in the Senate — to not consider holding hearings until after the election. Instead, it would be our pragmatic conclusion that once the political season is under way, and it is, action on a Supreme Court nomination must be put off until after the election campaign is over.”
So, if Republicans really wanted to play by Biden’s “rule,” Garland should have gotten a vote in November.
Featured image via Monica Shipper/Getty Images.