Saber-rattling, or a genuine threat? Left-wing groups are warning Democratic Senators that if they don't fight against President Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch, they may find themselves out of a job. It's unclear if these organizations have the wherewithal or resources to follow through on that challenge, but Chuck Schumer's caucus is no doubt acutely aware that their base is demanding nothing short of full-blown "resistance" at every turn -- and some of the loudest elements of said base are making sure that these lawmakers never forget it (via Jazz Shaw):
Left-leaning groups are sending a stern message to Democrats who consider backing President Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court: Do it and risk a primary challenge in 2018. Liberal activists say Senate Democrats are not doing enough to focus the public’s attention on Neil Gorsuch, a conservative judge who has attracted praise from both sides of the aisle. "A Democrat that votes for cloture on Gorsuch is a Democrat voting to overturn Roe,” said Heidi Hess, senior campaign manager at Credo Action, a liberal advocacy group with an email network of 5 million people, referring to the landmark Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade, which established a woman’s right to an abortion. “This is absolutely a fight they should be fighting and that we will hold them accountable if they don’t fight it,” she said... “We’re hearing an enormous amount of anxiety among the grassroots — and this isn’t just our membership — about the lack of conversation they’re hearing,” said Ilyse Hogue, the president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, a leading abortion-rights advocacy group...“This is a do-or-die issue,” she said. “It is of supreme concern to people around the country.” Asked if Democrats who vote for Gorsuch might face primary challenges, Hogue replied, “We would keep all options on the table.” Eleven liberal groups, led by NARAL Pro-Choice America, sent a letter to Senate Democrats Monday criticizing them for not putting up more of a fight against Gorsuch.
A "do or die" issue, says the woman from the extreme abortion lobby. Fact check: Literally true. A quick digression on abortion, since the Left is obsessed with maintaining America's radical status quo on the issue: In case you missed it, Planned Parenthood turned down an offer from the Trump administration to maintain its federal funding if the organization stopped performing abortions. That's no surprise. Despite all the misleading and downplaying spin, abortion is a major component of Planned Parenthood's business model -- especially when they could augment their revenues through the ghoulish sale of harvested fetal organs. It should be underscored that in the event that Roe v. Wade were overturned, abortion would not become illegal nationwide; instead, states would set their own abortion-related laws, with some abortions remaining legal in all 50 states. Many jurisdictions would, however, implement additional common-sense restrictions on the practice, a good number of which are broadly popular with the American people. Anyway, back to Gorsuch. The Hill piece notes that conservatives are "winning the message war," as liberals have failed to convince the public that Trump's pick is an extremist:
The Judicial Crisis Network, a conservative group that backs Gorsuch, is spending a $10 million budget airing ads promoting his record in red states represented by Democratic senators. The media response from the left has been muted. People for the American Way, a liberal group, launched a 30-second online ad in early February charging that Gorsuch doesn’t respect the Constitution and would “put powerful interests ahead of the American people.” Overall, however, conservatives are winning the message war. Democratic efforts to torpedo Gorsuch have stalled because he isn’t viewed as a controversial pick — at least not yet.
Yet some within the professional Left are ratcheting up their threats, led by unserious bomb-throwers like Michael Moore (who recently tweeted about the wonders of Socialism in, um, collapsing Venezuela):
There’s a growing realization that the best way to yank Democrats out of possible complacency over the Supreme Court debate is to drop the P-bomb: primary challenge. Activists are warming up to the threat leveled by liberal filmmaker Michael Moore. He tweeted on Feb. 1 that if Democrats don’t block Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, “we will find a true progressive and primary u in the next election.” Neil Sroka, communications director for Democracy for America, a liberal advocacy group with 1 million members nationwide, says any Democrat who votes for Gorsuch will be out of step with the party’s base. “If you’re voting against the interests of the vast majority of Americans by voting for someone like Gorsuch for this Supreme Court position, that should be one of many things that should open you up to primary challengers,” he said.
These rumblings must be music to the National Republican Senatorial Committees' ears. The Democrats' left-wing base is not representative of the overall American electorate, especially in the 30 states carried by Donald Trump last fall. Senate Democrats from ten of those states (this list, plus Michigan) are up for re-election next year; five of whom represent states Trump won by 19 percentage points or more. If incumbent Democrats are forced to spend energy and money fending off insurgencies from their ideological left, they'll be in an even weaker position in a general election setting. Numerous Democrats have already indicated that a Gorsuch blockade isn't going to materialize, with some candidly admitting that he'll be confirmed. I'll leave you with some positive reviews from Democrat-aligned Maine Sen. Angus King, who's sounding an awful lot like a "yes" vote:
Parting thought: If the not-entirely-unsubstantiated buzz is true, and there's another vacancy on the Court opening up in the relatively near future, the calls for an all-out Democratic filibuster will grow much louder. If Schumer and company choose to go that route, Senate Republicans must be prepared to follow through on the Reid Rule and break the filibuster with 51 votes, or re-implement the 'two speech' precedent. The stakes would be too high not to hold Democrats to their own standards.