They call this de-politicizing the issue? More like hyper-politicizing. If politics weren’t in play, the fact that it’s an election year wouldn’t make a speck of difference. Everyone is scrambling clumsily for the high ground, demonstrating beyond doubt that there is no high ground. The ‘highest’ court turns out to be right down here in the mire with the rest of us.

It is rare when the assertion so clearly proves its opposite. The assertion that this delay is non-political just turns on the big spotlight illuminating how the Supreme Court is now regarded as being overwhelmingly political.

The process is political, and the outcome is political too. Why do both sides act like the stakes are so high? Because they are. Democrats see how the Court has leaned effectively against their agenda since the Republicans figured out how to vet their picks in a way that virtually guarantees ideological reliability.

Democrats understand this and the Republicans understand this. And the voters have a pretty good idea about it too. So where does that leave us?

If you can’t nominate a candidate in an election year, that means you can’t nominate a candidate in 25% of all years.

If the stakes are this high in an election year, it means they are this high in a non-election year too, and expect similar levels of honesty and cooperation.

If an election year is a new reason to derail a nominee, someone can think up other new reasons too.

The whole Court process now is, to paraphrase Clauswitz, the continuation of politics by others means. In other words, a new form of war.