I am about to say something I’ve not heard from anyone on the right. A position so bold, so shocking, and so unthinkable that you haven’t ever heard it uttered out loud — unless you already read the headline of this post.
As long as the Senate is controlled by Republicans, the only candidate they should accept as a replacement for Antonin Scalia is an originalist — even if a Democrat wins the next presidential election.
I often hear people on the right say that we need to adopt the tactics of the left. When this means deception, trickery, and other dishonest tactics — and yes, some people on the right do advocate this — I cannot agree. But there is one thing that I think the left does better than we do, and I think that needs to change, and that is: using the power they possess, as ruthlessly as necessary to achieve their objectives.
This is not to say that Democrats don’t worry about how their actions look. It is to say that they don’t change what they do based on concerns about how their actions will look. So they do what they want anyway, and just portray it in the best possible light — an easier task for them than for the GOP, to be sure, since Democrats know that Big Media will have their back.
I think Republicans need to be like the left, and say: we’re doing what we think is right, and damn the consequences. Republicans need to step up and say:
Antonin Scalia was an originalist. We need to maintain the balance of the Court, and therefore we will not accept anyone, in any adminstration, that does not continue his important originalist role. To do anything less would disrupt the balance of the Court and sacrifice our fundamental rights, mostly notably under the Second Amendment.
But you can’t do that! people will say. You can’t say that! It’s certain electoral suicide!
Maybe it is and maybe it isn’t. I’ll leave the bit about making it look pretty to others. Power for power’s sake is for those who want nothing out of life besides perks. For the rest of us, power is a tool to be used. There’s precious little that really matters: preventing our children from inheriting crushing debt, fighting the expansion of welfare programs like ObamaCare, and the Court. For these things, if you have power, follow the example of the Democrats and use it.
Saying this out loud may help move the “Overton window” — the narrow range of things that society considers acceptable to say out loud. I’m not interested in hearing about how we can’t do this. Revolutions aren’t started by people who worry what people will think.
As long as Republicans hang tight — and I maintain there’s no real reason to think they won’t — this is a moot point until next year. But it’s worth saying now, because those who want to take this position should lay the groundwork now by making these arguments now, so they won’t have to say anything different in a Hillary or Bernie administration.
P.S. This should go without saying, but I’ll say it for the sake of thoroughness. Originalism is the only legitimate judicial philosophy. So we should always demand it when we can. At all times.
But especially now.