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Tipsheet

The One Fear Democrats Have About the Amy Coney Barrett Fight...And It's Not a Hard One to Figure Out

AP Photo/Alex Brandon

If you’re going to lose, you might as well not do more damage to yourself in the process, right? Judge Amy Coney Barrett was officially nominated to fill the vacancy left by the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Saturday. This move has all the makings of a total liberal meltdown. RBG is dead. Trump is still president. Trump names RBG’s successor, and it’s a conservative Catholic woman. Nothing is more triggering. To top it all off, for all their talk about blocking this nomination, Democrats can’t. They can thank their old Senate boss, Harry Reid, for setting the precedent on that by chipping away at the filibuster. All Republicans needed was 50 votes, and they have that. Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT), one of the main squish squad members, is onboard. Sens. Cory Gardner (R-CO), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), and Pat Toomey (R-PA) are also ‘yea’ votes. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) is walking back her initial opposition. This is over folks. 

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Meanwhile, scores of Senate Democrats have opted to not meet with Barrett, not shocking, and railed against how this nomination is illegitimate or something. It’s not. The president nominated judges and the Senate approves or disapproves. Trump won the 2016 election and the GOP expanded their majority in the Senate in 2018. Sorry, elections have consequences.  We’re filling this seat. One area that has been attacked is Barrett’s faith. She’s a devout Catholic, and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) took an anti-Catholic line of questioning when Barrett was being considered for the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. 

This is bound to pop up again. Maybe more so from progressive groups still infuriated that this Supreme Court fight is even happening. Regardless, there is now an effort to ensure that things don’t go off the rails when the Senate Judiciary Committee convenes for Barrett’s nomination hearing on October 12. 

Barrett being a successful working mom also shows that not only is she the perfect candidate for a like like this, but she's also the embodiment of the American Dream as well. Democrats want to attack this? Good luck. For all their disgust over the situation, there is now a recognition of defeat.

Axios says to expect two issues to dominate in these proceedings from the opposition: Health care and labor rights. The publication added that Sen. Kamala Harris will probably be shoved front-and-center in these proceedings, but Democratic operatives also added that the attacks on her faith will blow up in the Left’s face, and that going after Barrett's adoption of two Haitian children is idiotic (via Axios):

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Democrats privately fear that going too hard on Judge Amy Coney Barrett in her confirmation hearings could wind up backfiring if senators are perceived as being nasty to an accomplished woman.

[…]

Senate Democrats recognize the danger. A top Democratic strategist pointed to three pitfalls: "liberals mishandling this by boycotting or treating her with disrespect; [Sen. Dianne] Feinstein [top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee] screwing it up; someone looking like a religious bigot."

"One more fear on Barrett: the adoption thing," the strategist added. "Gotta avoid that."

Some liberals (not elected officials) tweeted slurs about adoption yesterday and were slapped down.

A top Senate Democratic aide said the party has a three-part plan for avoiding those traps: "Health care, health care, health care."

[…]

Focus attacks and questioning on Barrett's views on health care, including the Affordable Care Act and reproductive rights.

Argue that she'd help take away coverage and protection during a pandemic.

Give the spotlight to Sen. Kamala Harris.

Stick to issues, including labor rights.

What about boycotting the hearing? Again, Republicans have the votes. This does nothing. In fact, Axios added unnamed Democratic aides admitting that it would only speed up the confirmation process and give the GOP free reign to promote Judge Barrett without any opposition. I was hoping for Democrats coming to full froth in this fight. It looks like they won’t—and that could have implications for their base. They want their elected officials to fight Barrett, to destroy her on national television, but they won’t. I see a lot of infighting coming down the line. 

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Still, even with attacks on Barrett focused on health care, you have Harvard Law professor and pro-Trump impeachment advocate Noah Feldman saying that ACB is brilliant, qualified, and should be on the Court

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