Senate Republicans are furious. That’s the inside-the-Beltway story this week. This is one of the few surprising things I’ve learned working inside said Beltway. It is not surprising that they are angry. If ever there was a collection of aggrieved old white guys, perpetually stewing in their unsalvable outrage over not being loved for their tireless work serving the interests of the rich, this is them. But one had come to assume that they had settled into some kind of steady state of grim, world-weary determination as they stooped lower and lower into the mire to fulfill their taskmasters’ demands.
But no. Now they are furious. They are furious that they are unable to abuse their power in ramrodding justices who don’t support the American consensus onto the Supreme Court by whatever process they see fit to slap together and call due deliberation. Why, it’s an absolute affront to them to get anything other than unresisting acceptance of whatever they choose to deliver, however they choose to deliver it.
This from the hardest of the hardball players. Imagine the indignity to them of having anyone question their tactics. Investigations? Egad! Witnesses? Outrageous! Evidence? There’s no TIME for any of that! They want their court, any way they can get it, and they want it now! And if anyone doesn’t like it, well, expect their fury in return. What good is unrepresentative power anyway, if you can’t abuse it with impunity.
And so today, we will all be required to sit and watch their version of due process, as one accuser is allowed to make a statement, and be grilled for it, in the absence of any investigation of the facts underlying the charges, or other witnesses, or other accusers. The GOP senators will put on their serious-not-furious faces, to suggest that this is the best process of all possible processes. And that they are serious adults interested only in serving the American people. And President Trump will perch to the side as a juror, or wrestling referee, making his call based on the infallible instincts of his gut — i.e., his personal political interests. The news media will cover it as sport. You have already seen, one presumes, analyses of what each player “needs to do” today.
Popcorn, not justice, will be served.