Professor of Pain
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You can discuss who Obama should nominate but I'd like predictions regarding whether whomever he nominates will even get a vote in the Senate and thoughts on the politics of the thing. Right now the emerging GOP consensus appears to be a resounding "no way!". And outside groups are pressuring Republicans to take the path of total obstruction.

From the latter story:
Quote:
But the outside groups pushing the tactic also argued it’s a more principled approach to blocking a nominee that Republicans will inevitably block in a vote anyway.

“It’s the most honest,” Levey said. ”The very fact that people on our side feel very strongly that there shouldn’t be a hearing before we know the nominee is because it’s not really about the nominee. ... Frankly, the real objection here is to Obama.
emphasis added

I think the optics of obstruction are bad for the GOP, especially if Obama nominates someone like Sri Srinivasan who has received widespread GOP support in the past. On the other hand some on the GOP side think that refusing to play is a winning strategy.

What do you think? Will the Senate vote on the President's eventual nominee? From a purely political perspective, should the GOP even refuse to consider a vote?
 
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Mac Mcleod
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Shushnik wrote:
Either this is all bluster to fire up the base, which I set at a 95% chance, and Obama will get another justice on the court OR the right is actually serious and will dig in and refuse to hold hearings, alienate the middle, lose half of congress at least, and the presidential race. Even I think the chances they're that stupid are exceedingly low.


Oh stop... I'm becoming seriously aroused here. So much teasing.
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I say yes, his nominations will get a vote. I still think the 'witholding' statement is nothing but saber rattling.
 
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I see you...
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Shushnik wrote:
Either this is all bluster to fire up the base, which I set at a 95% chance, and Obama will get another justice on the court OR the right is actually serious and will dig in and refuse to hold hearings, alienate the middle, lose half of congress at least, and the presidential race. Even I think the chances they're that stupid are exceedingly low.


A presidential term is 4 to 8 years. The average term for a supreme court justice is 16.

Question is, do they think one of their current candidates can beat the Dems and which is more position is more valuable in the long term.
 
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Trey Stone
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Shushnik wrote:
Either this is all bluster to fire up the base, which I set at a 95% chance, and Obama will get another justice on the court OR the right is actually serious and will dig in and refuse to hold hearings, alienate the middle, lose half of congress at least, and the presidential race. Even I think the chances they're that stupid are exceedingly low.


The score for G O P recalcitrance so far...Both houses of Congress and
More and more statehouses. I don't know where you get that the public is all fired up for Obama ' s picks...but please don't throw me in that briar patch.
 
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Chad Ellis
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I think the current strategy is very risky. I think people generally expect, and therefore tolerate, high levels of partisanship. I think people can also understand how conservatives would be freaked out by the prospect of Scalia being replaced by a liberal and would have some sympathy to conservatives saying that they would vote down a liberal justice. They ran on a platform of strict constructionism in the Scalia light and they can even say with a straight face that they believe one must be a Scalia constructionist in order to be fit for SCOTUS.

But refusing even to hold hearings, especially when it's easy to show in graphic form that there's much more time left in Obama's Presidency than it takes to vet and confirm a nominee, looks like outright refusing to follow the Constitution and do their job purely because they don't think Obama should be President. That can play well to the base that thinks Obama is a Constitution-hating Muslim who was only born in Hawaii if there's a city named Hawaii in Kenya, but it looks like a disaster for the general.

There are already some signs of the GOP wanting to walk that position back. A few people who originally signed on have said they might be open to hearings and I gather McConnell has been fairly silent since his first pronouncement. That said, there are two tactical reasons the GOP might refuse to hold hearings at all:

1. If Obama puts forward a moderate and highly-qualified candidate who would play well during hearings it could be more politically costly to vote him or her down than to block the whole procedure.

2. Having committed themselves to this path they may be highly reluctant to be seen as backing down.
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Chad Ellis
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Shushnik wrote:
Either this is all bluster to fire up the base, which I set at a 95% chance, and Obama will get another justice on the court OR the right is actually serious and will dig in and refuse to hold hearings, alienate the middle, lose half of congress at least, and the presidential race. Even I think the chances they're that stupid are exceedingly low.


The thing is, if it's bluster to fire up the base then it's tactically about the stupidest thing they could do unless they plan to stick with it. The base isn't going to be fired up (when it matters) if they say this and then cave and hold hearings.
 
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Steve
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Chad_Ellis wrote:
Shushnik wrote:
Either this is all bluster to fire up the base, which I set at a 95% chance, and Obama will get another justice on the court OR the right is actually serious and will dig in and refuse to hold hearings, alienate the middle, lose half of congress at least, and the presidential race. Even I think the chances they're that stupid are exceedingly low.


The thing is, if it's bluster to fire up the base then it's tactically about the stupidest thing they could do unless they plan to stick with it. The base isn't going to be fired up (when it matters) if they say this and then cave and hold hearings.

I think that there will be a vote, but that it will be a NO vote. It doesn't matter who Obama nominates, during the hearings something will be found to be used as the excuse for the no vote.

The vote will be 51 to 49 and some Repubs will vote yes too avoid a straight party line vote. This goes for the cloture vote also, some Repubs will vote for cloture but no for the final vote. This gives then something to say in a TV ad.

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Chad
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I think that Obama's choice gets out of committee and is then rejected by the Senate*.


* huge asterisk based on who is nominated
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J.D. Hall
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I think, at the end of the day, the Republicans in the Senate are going to stick to their guns and not even hold a hearing on any nomination put forth by the president. They will delay and delay through procedural tactics until after the election, and thus get to see which way the wind is blowing. The GOP senators up for re-election this cycle are going to be more cautious than members of the House, since the House districts are carefully gerrymandered to ensure maximum electability for Republican candidates. The senators, however, face all of the voters in their states and need to be more nuanced in their approach.

A sickening scenario, but hey, that's how it's been for the past 7 1/2 years. Why should it change? After all, as has been pointed out, the GOP has enjoyed substantial electoral success over the past two elections. That is, after all, why the GOP exists -- to get people elected who have "R" next to their name. Governing? Puh-leeze.
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They also know that 34 new Senators are up for election this year. 10 Democrats and 24 Republicans. Out of those, only 2 will competitive for Democrats, and 7 will be competitive for the Republicans. One tossup being Mark Rubio's seat that he is relinquishing, and now stating that he would not do his job.

I don't know. Sure is risky, with a good possibility of a Democratic President, and a possible power change in the Senate. After November, the Senate may be at the mercy of whatever really crazy Liberal the president might throw at them.
 
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Chief Slovenly
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In their approach to managing political fallout, just as with their wars and their approach to government in general, nobody ever accused these people at being competent.
 
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Christopher Yaure
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1. Likelihood Obama's first nominee does not get a vote in the full Senate: 60%
Likelihood Obama's first nominee gets a vote in the full Senate, but is rejected: 35%
Likelihood Obama's first nominee gets a full vote in the senate and is confirmed: 5%, and only if he she is a current Senator
2. I do not think this will rile up the average voter as much as political junkies think it will. That said, I think denying Obama's nominee vote will increase voter turnout by African-Americans, helping Clinton in the D primary and the D candidate in November. I think giving the nominee a vote will help Trump in the primary, but have little effect in November, if the nominee is rejected. I think that confirming a nominee would guarantee a Trump win in the R primary. I think the best tactic for the Rs (best meaning most likely to help their chance of winning the presidency), is to allow a vote, and reject the nominee.

Interestingly, the Iowa Electronic Market's implied estimate of the likelihood of the Ds controlling the Senate increased from 45.9% to 58.0% from 12-Feb to now.
 
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Senator Chuck Grassley, chairman of the judiciary committee, had this quote:

Quote:
"This is a very serious position to fill and it should be filled and debated during the campaign and filled by either Hillary Clinton, Senator Sanders or whoever’s nominated by the Republicans"

This is in the same interview that he said:

Quote:
“I would wait until the nominee is made before I would make any decisions”

Sounds contradictory, but I think if you read between the lines of the first quote, you might find a threat...not to Democrats but to Republican senators:

Do you want an Obama nominee to the SC, a Clinton nominee, a Sanders nominee or a Trump nominee?

Yes, I'm giving Grassley too much credit, but it's still fun to think about.
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