Fox host Harris Faulkner smeared her own Democratic colleague for having “ex-boyfriend-style” anger over Republican obstruction of Merrick Garland’s nomination to the Supreme Court. Faulkner and her Fox pals went on to suggest that the Republican deployment of the nuclear option, i.e. elimination of the requirement that a Supreme Court nominee get 60 Senate votes for confirmation, is all the fault of Democrats.
Faulkner set the stage with an announcement near the end of today’s Outnumbered show that the filibuster had been broken with a 55-45 vote in the Senate. She noted that red-state Democrats Heidi Heitkamp, Joe Donnelly and Joe Manchin, all representing states that Trump won, voted with Republicans to end the filibuster.
The show’s #OneLuckyGuy, Brian Kilmeade, attacked Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer for not pressuring more Democrats to avoid a filibuster. “Instead you’re five votes from not needing the nuclear option and they’re going to let it die, knowing they have three courageous Democrats who voted their conscience,” Kilmeade scolded.
Faulkner piled on: “So Gorsuch originally would have needed the 60, they got 55. You’re saying, ‘Come on, you couldn’t go and beg for five more?’”
The lone Democrat on the five-person panel, Marie Harf, shot back, “Let’s not pretend this is all about courage.” She pointed out that all three of the defecting red-state Democratic senators are up for reelection in 2018.
Faulkner began suggesting that the nuclear option is the Democrats’ fault and not that of the party actually deploying it. “You don’t think they could have picked up five more votes and avoided this whole thing, this nuclear option?” Faulkner asked pointedly.
No, Harf did not, not after Republicans refused to even give Garland a hearing for that same seat which became vacant during the Obama presidency. “I know this is like the bee in my bonnet,” Harf said said. But, “If the situation were reversed, how hard would that be to get over?”
An obviously annoyed Faulkner responded, “That’s the kind of idea that ... years of counseling might not undo. That is a serious amount of ‘I can’t get over you!’ I mean are you talking ex-boyfriend-style if you’re comparing this to personal life?”
Cohost Melissa Francis sneered, “Even Cher said, 'Get over it!'”
Now it was cohost Meghan McCain’s turn to go after Harf: “This is very serious! We’re talking about the Supreme Court!"
Harf interjected, “Yes, and Merrick Garland should have gotten a hearing! That’s how serious it was!”
“Wow!” Faulkner complained, as though Harf was supposed to start agreeing with Republicans.
McCain continued by suggesting Harf had trivialized the matter into the equivalent of “a bad dating experience!” She accused Harf of discounting Gorsuch’s “amazing” qualifications because “revenge is more important” to Democrats.
But McCain snarked, “That is quite the message for Democrats to use in 2020.”
Watch the poutrage below, from the April 6, 2017 Outnumbered.
First, this was a horrifying and vicious segment – typical of the Right Wing end zone dance they’ve been doing all day. I’d like to note that Mitch McConnell was actually seen happily doing high fives with Senators and aides on the floor of the Senate in celebration of his maneuver. Which puts the lie to the idea that what he or the Right ever thought this was a “very serious” matter. They didn’t. And McCain is right that someone here thought “Revenge is more important” – and that would be the Right Wing. They don’t get to walk that one back, and they don’t get to just bully other people about it.
Doors is correct that we’ve known all along, from the moment that Trump squeaked through in the swing states, that the GOP theft of the Merrick Garland seat had been sealed. There was no way that the GOP wouldn’t make it a priority to put a Hard Right judge on that seat – as a slap in the face to Garland, to the Dems, and specifically to Barack Obama. They may not have been able to eradicate the ACA yet, but they got this one through.
The Dems had a choice to make here – did they want to roll over on this seat and wait for another Pence nomination to fight, or did they want to stand their ground now and show they had some spine? It’s obvious that they did the only thing they could – they stood up for Garland, and for the fact that the GOP has put a black eye on the Senate, now in two ways. The first black eye came when McConnell and the Right refused to even allow a hearing for Garland, and the second came today when they decided that we no longer need more than a simple majority to get something as important as a Supreme Court seat filled. The result of the second black eye will be pretty much what David is suggesting – when the next Dem president is in office and has a Dem Senate, which I believe will be the case by 2020, the GOP will have no way to obstruct his or her SC nominations. McConnell even slashed the debate period from 30 hours to 8, which means nominations can be fast tracked in a single day.
Regarding Harry Reid in 2013, it’s obvious that he did what he had to do in order to keep the judiciary functioning. Everyone attacking Reid conveniently forgets that the GOP had just spent FIVE YEARS obstructing everyone and everything they could, just so they could stop the Dems and Obama from accomplishing anything. And that included judicial appointments. The only people that got through were the two SC nominees up to that point from Obama, and those were only due to the Dems having the 60 votes. If the Dems had only had 52 votes in 2009, I guarantee that the GOP would have filibustered both Sotomayor and Kagan out of sheer spite. Those two didn’t get through because the GOP was trying to give Obama a chance – they got through because the GOP didn’t have a choice at that moment.
But regardless of Reid’s actions, the bullying move today by McConnell wasn’t generated by Reid. Reid is retired and living back in Nevada, I expect. The Dems had no control over what McConnell did. This move was completely on the GOP. I really don’t understand why they don’t just own it. I realize that they want to pose as being serious, mature adults on these matters, but McConnell and the others have already exposed their true faces. (Interesting that Pence usually smirks with glee every time one of these really terrible cabinet people gets in or another vicious EO gets signed…)
I’d also like to correct some nonsensical statements made by both Dems and GOP pundits alike on this matter. Filibustering Gorsuch was not an act of revenge – it was an act of dignified statesmanship. It took courage by the Dems to do that, including several Dems who are in states where they will need to campaign very hard to win their re-election next year. I have a feeling the Dems who showed some spine, like McCaskill, will have a better time of it than the ones who caved.
The reality is that the Right Wing has been looking forward to having this opportunity to bully the rest of the country, and they were not going to be denied the delicious moment or the weeks of victory dances. They have acted in a shameful manner for the past 14 months, and that history will record their behavior.
This seat was successfully stolen. They know that.