Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) told his colleagues Thursday morning that he would not be voting for Judge Neil Gorsuch.
On the Senate floor Schumer said, “After careful deliberation, I have concluded that I cannot support Judge Neil Gorsuch’s nomination to the Supreme Court.” “His nomination will have a cloture vote. He will have to earn 60 votes for confirmation. My vote will be no, and I urge my colleagues to do the same.”
Good! Look, keeping the powder dry now to filibuster a second nominee later does nothing, because Republicans will just use the nuclear option then. Indeed, they will have more incentive to do so because they will be likely replacing a Justice Ginsburg or Breyer.
But scaredy cat Democrats like Chris Coons and Tom Carper worry that the Republicans will use the nuclear option now to end the filibuster of Judge Gorsuch now. So what?
There has to be some punishment for blocking Merrick Garland. Dylan Matthews lays out my thinking:
“I hate to say this, but I’m afraid it’s time for some game theory. In the 1980s, the game theorists Anatol Rapoport and Robert Axelrod found that if you play the famous prisoner’s dilemma game (where cooperation helps both parties but they face strong incentives to defect) again and again, one of the best strategies you can use is “tit for tat”: do whatever your opponent did the last time. As political scientist Seth Masket points out, in the case of the Supreme Court, this implies that Democrats should respond to the obstruction of Garland by obstructing Gorsuch. In the long run, tit for tat produces more cooperation than the alternatives, and showing Republicans that Democrats won’t tolerate that kind of obstruction could have some long-term benefits for the party.”
You hear that Chris and Tom? If you want Republicans to think you are weak and easily rolled over, you will vote yes for cloture. If you want to be seen as an equal and able negotiating partner in the future, you will vote no. Make them fucking respect you, for chrissakes, instead of rolling up in a ball and crying in a corner.
Plus, the filibuster for Supreme Court picks is going to end. I much rather have the GOP be responsible for its end due to their unprecedented obstruction of Merrick Garland.