RUSH: There is a piece at CNN. Interestingly enough, it’s an op-ed piece by Ilya Shapiro, senior fellow of constitutional studies at the Cato Institute, editor-in-chief of the Cato Supreme Court… Cato is a libertarian think tank, so I don’t know how anybody there got published at CNN. Somebody at CNN obviously doesn’t know what they’re doing here. Because this piece… I mean, it’s right on the money, but CNN would never report…
I know it’s just their website. It wasn’t on their TV air. The headline is: “Democrats Have Zero Leverage After Gorsuch.” Ilya Shapiro makes five observations about the confirmation of Gorsuch and how it happened and what it means, and it’s all bad for the Democrats. And essentially it revolves around the fact that the Democrats strategically goofed up. You know the theory that Gorsuch is a noncontroversial nominee, that he’s just too qualified. It was silly to trigger the nuclear option. It was silly to filibuster this guy, because now the Republicans pulled the trigger.
Now, I’m gonna tell you again why they did this, why the Democrats did this. But this piece’s point now is that since the nuclear option has been triggered, it’s 51 votes for every nominee now, and Trump likely is gonna have minimum three more. Now, here’s the way the strategy theoretically worked, that if the Democrats would just go ahead and have enough of them vote for Gorsuch to confirm him, then McConnell would not have to trigger the nuclear option. Which means that in the next nominee, that next nominee would have to get 60 votes
The theory is that Trump, in order to get 60 votes, would have to nominate a moderate and that the Democrats could have saved the triggering of the nuclear option for somebody they really wanted to stop. Well, the Democrats triggered the nuclear option, and now the rules of the Senate prior to 2003 have been restored, and I want to reemphasize something here. All that this did, triggering of the so-called nuclear option, was return the Senate to the rules it had operated under for decades prior to 2003. This did not upset long-standing Senate tradition.
This, in fact, returned the Senate to long-standing Senate tradition. But because Schumer pulled the trigger that caused McConnell to go nuclear, that means every other nominee to the Supreme Court now only needs 51 votes. That’s much easier than getting 60, which means that Trump now can nominate anybody. He can nominate somebody as conservative as Scalia. He doesn’t have to go moderate. He can go all the way here because there’s nothing the Democrats can do to stop it.
Now, why’d the Democrats do it? Well, if you have my excellent memory, you’ll remember that last week we divulged the reason. The Democrats believe that triggering the nuclear option was going to so anger their base that the Democrats would win election upon election upon election after having done this, that it would increase their fundraising. In other words, this was done not for any strategy to deny Trump nominees on the court down the road.
It was strictly done with the belief that the Democrat base would celebrate this so much that the Democrats are gonna elections that they never even figured on. This is silly, it’s a great miscalculation, but that’s why they did it. ‘Cause strategically, folks, serious, there was no reason to trigger the nuclear option on Gorsuch. He was gonna get confirmed anyway. (interruption) Well, I know Democrats didn’t… There weren’t enough Democrats in the day to vote for him, but had the nuclear option never come up and all that, he would have been confirmed. They blew it, I can’t tell you how many ways.
RUSH: On the Democrat filibuster, I forgot there was a key element of their thinking. When they claim that by forcing McConnell, the Republicans to trigger the nuclear option that they’re gonna generate countless votes, win countless elections, their base is gonna love it. The reason for that is that what they’re setting up is the idea that Gorsuch lost, he lost the first vote. It wasn’t until McConnell changed the rules that Gorsuch was confirmed.
And therefore they’re gonna say that Gorsuch is not legitimate. Like Trump is illegitimately president because of the collusion between Trump and Russia, they’re gonna say Gorsuch is not really a member of the court. He’s not a legitimate justice. Illegitimate, in fact, because he actually lost. The Republicans have to trick another election, rig another election for Gorsuch to win. And therefore his rulings, the decisions that he makes are also going to be constantly questioned as illegitimate and unjust, because he’s not really a legitimate member of the court. That is what they’re setting up. Total resistance to virtually everything.