Senate Democrats, in a signal display of spine, have the votes necessary to filibuster the confirmation of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.
Obviously, this is bring howls of opprobrium from the usual quarters. From our favorite septuagenarian g33k-sp33k aficionado Chuck Grassley:
Of course, the threat is that the GOP will now employ the "nuclear option" and dispense with the filibuster for Supreme Court nominations. Like a hostage taker, they've been threatening to kill the filibuster ever since Gorsuch was nominated, when it became apparent that the Democrats would make this their stand. And, Chuck Schumer et al have called their bluff. The ball is now in Mitch McConnell's court.
My advice: Nuke the fucker.
Stop talking a big game and just kill the filibuster. Republicans can't win any other way than by changing rules mid-stream. Their agenda is vastly unpopular. Even though Democrats face a much more perilous 2018 Senate electoral map, there's a 50-50 chance that the party could retake the Senate thanks to the disaster which is Donald Trump. So, Mitch, do it. Pull your head out of your shell and show those evil Democrats what's what.
Of course, remember, we wouldn't be here if you, as leader of the last Senate, had allowed Merrick Garland—Barack Obama's nominee to fill the seat vacated by the blessedly deceased Antonin Scalia—a vote. You could have easily defeated him in an open vote. Sure, it would have been nakedly partisan to reject a well-qualified nominee. But you would have at least observed the process.
But by denying Garland even a hearing, you set the stage for what's going to happen this week. You and your cohorts effectively filibustered Pres. Obama's nominee. You just didn't have the guts to do it openly. Democrats are willing to have the filibuster killed because of Gorsuch's unsuitability for a life-time appointment to the Court, and because this was a stolen seat. A seat stolen by you, Mitch. They're putting all their cards on the table. You have the winning hand, if you want to play it.
But we know you're not that brave. You're quite lily-livered, actually. You denied a qualified nominee even a hearing last year. What will you do now that Democrats are calling you out on your shit, and daring you to blow up a filibuster which is useless anyway if you always hang the Sword of Damocles over it? Will you be an alpha-male, rip off your shirt, and further destroy the Senate, the same way you did when you swore that you wouldn't work with Democrats on passing any legislation from 2009 onward? Or will you find some face-saving gesture and find a way to save what's left of comity in the body you lead?
However, if you do find some accommodation with Chuck Schumer, you doom yourself with President Twitler and his base. The howls from those betrayed will be as banshees baying in the night. You will be subject to days of rage-tweets from Trump, calling you a loser, sad, a failure. Hell, you may even take the heat off of Paul Ryan for a couple of news cycles.
If you had given Merrick Garland a vote, even if you denied him confirmation on nakedly partisan grounds, Democrats would probably have no stomach for a filibuster fight. But by your bone-headed decision last year, you guaranteed this would happen if the worst occurred and Trump were elected. It's hard to feel sorry for someone who shoots himself in the foot. Good luck figuring a way out of this.