I hope you don’t mind a brief digression from my monomaniacal focus on the climate conversation.
I’ve corresponded quite cordially with many skeptics on this website who (AFAICT) are Republicans by persuasion. I’ve had intelligent conversations with them and they certainly appear to be bright (maybe brighter than I am), well-informed, thoughtful people. I hope I don’t offend any of them by observing that they are not being well-served by their leadership at the moment.
Perhaps it’s the spotlight of the media that makes their current crop of leaders look deranged. But in all honesty, none of the Republican candidates for the presidency impress me at all. Which is fine by me, as I am a staunch Democrat fully intending to vote for either Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders, whoever is nominated by my party.
The last 24 hours provide buttressing evidence for my opinion. With the sudden death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, Republicans rushed out with statements almost designed to cost them dearly in the Presidential race. It left me wondering with the late Casey Stengel, ‘Can’t anybody here play this game?’
Update: Apologies to all. I slapped up the first picture of Justice Scalia that came to hand and didn’t realize it came with an insult attached. Here’s a more appropriate photograph:
Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio immediately opined that President Obama should not nominate a successor to Scalia, while Trump more realistically said that nobody could stop Obama from putting a name forward, but that Republicans should ‘Delay, delay, delay.’
This is a special kind of stupid. Do Republicans want the next election to have as a major issue the prospect of electing the swing vote on the Supreme Court alongside the President? Do they really want to galvanize the often sluggish Democratic vote and guarantee the turnout that will swamp the Republican ticket at more than a federal level? Do they want to focus the remainder of the Republican race on who each candidate would nominate to take Scalia’s place? Do they want Hilary and Bernie both to have that club handy to brandish in every speech they make?
I thought it almost impossible to lower my opinion of the current slate of Republican candidates. I was wrong.
If they had a lick of sense they would rush Obama to put forward as centrist a candidate as they can leverage–and they have a lot of leverage–to get this issue off the front pages as quickly as possible. Given the ages of the rest of the bench, the next president may nominate three Justices during his/her first term.
Stalling a replacement for Scalia just makes it more likely that Hillary Clinton will nominate four judges, not three.