On the mournful day after Representative Eric Swalwell pulled the plug on his 2020 campaign, your Big Red Car is taken with the behavior of Senators running for President.
Here is the candidate on The View in better days. He is a pleasant, fresh faced chap from California and I am overtaken with sorrow at his decision.
They — the Senators — change. The second they announce for President the behavior of Senate candidates change.
It is hard to be a successful candidate for President, if you have served in the Senate, because you have a track record upon which
to run away from to be held accountable.
Running on track records
There is substantial mirth in a former amateur politician with a three year track record as President running on his actual record against a Joe Biden 42-years in politics potential candidate who is running to change Washington.
Why isn’t former VP Biden running on his record? Guy knew George Washington, he’s been in government so long. Oh well.
Back to Senators. When a Senator decides to run for President one of the first things he/she does is to begin to clean up their record, particularly their voting record. They cannot change it, but they can certainly prepare pre-canned, focus-grouped, vetted explanations as to what they did and why.
This shows up in Joe Biden’s “explanations” of how he got along with segregationists (totally self-inflicted wound, Joe, come on, man), the 1994 Crime Bill, and the
Anita Hill SCOTUS nominee Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings.
Senators and judicial nominees
But there is a more immediate example for us to peruse: the confirmation of Judges to the Federal bench as proposed by the current administration.
The second a Senator decides to run for President, they completely abandon their existing approach to the confirmation of Judges — a sacred duty granted to the Senate and the Senate alone — and become a new, different person.
Allow me to provide some detail (evidence).
Senator Elizabeth Warren, no fan of the Trump admin, voted IN FAVOR of Trump judicial nominees during the 2017-18 session 46% of the time. Since she announced for President — ZERO.
Senator Bernie Sanders voted for 47% of Trump nominees in 2017-18. Since announcing for President — ZERO.
Senator Kamala Harris — 47% before, ZERO since announcing for President.
Senator Amy Klobuchar 64% before, 3% since announcing for President.
There are other Senators (Booker, Gillibrand), but these ones are typical of the dramatic change in their conduct.
One is tempted to suggest that the change in their behavior is solely because they are running for President?
On the issue of Judicial appointments there has been another development: the poison black bean/blue slip, pocket veto privilege for Senators on District Courts in their states has, effectively, been terminated. Also appellate courts.
Some Senators have been quite public about it. Senator Kamala Harris has announced she will “oppose every nominee to an appellate court” until President Trump changes the nominating process to arrive at something she calls a “fair process.” [She already opposed 53% of all nominees anyway.]
Nothing in the nominating process for Federal Judges has changed under President Trump.
The President sends a name up to the Senate.
The Senators of both parties interview the candidate one-on-one.
The nomination goes to the Judicial Committee which holds hearings.
The Judicial Committee of the Senate votes and makes a recommendation.
The entire Senate votes on the nomination. Voila!
There doesn’t seem to be much about the process that President Trump controls once he sends a nominee forward.
I think that Senator Harris, like all the other Senators, is not prepared to give President Trump a victory on …………………………………… anything.
The Supreme Court of the United States
The behavior of Senators on the Judicial Committee during recent SCOTUS Justice confirmation hearings (Justices Gorsuch and
Frat Boy Kavanaugh) has been horrific. It has been a circus complete with the little clown car and the unending stream of clowns posing as Senators.
The Dems as a whole have refused to accept the outcome of the 2016 election (BTW Donald Trump won) and have been lobbying to increase the size of the SCOTUS as a means of blunting the power of the conservative Justices appointed by President Trump. [This is part of the “If we can’t win elections, let’s refuse to accept the outcome and change the rules” electoral strategy. Wait until RGB steps down and President Trump appoints another conservative. Yikes!]
Senators Cory Booker, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris and Kirsten Gillibrand have all come down from the mount with a stone tablet that says the SCOTUS requires “new blood” particularly liberal blood. Their solution is to expand the Court and give the right to appoint new Justices to — wait for it — Hillary Clinton. OK, just kidding. They have a formula that ends up with the Court being bent to their wishes. Surprised?
We have, of course, seen this movie before back in the Roosevelt administration. You have to have been a student of history as the Roosevelt admin is long gone.
So what, Big Red Car? It’s just politics, right?
OK, dear reader, yes it is quite predictable, but it underpins the notion that everything to do with the Dems and the presidential nominating process is all-politics, anti-Trump, all-the-time. Period.
When in that frame of mind, the people’s work is left undone. Still, they want you to vote for them. Well, because.
Senators will not run on their track records for a simple reason — they would never get elected. Candidate Barack Obama had a blessing. He had been in the Senate such a short period of time, he had no record.
But, hey, what the Hell do I really know anyway? I’m just a Big Red Car.
Here is a pic of the Dem nominating process as depicted in Florence.