Steve Schmidt, who served under President George W. Bush and was a top campaign official when Senator John McCain ran for the White House, today urged Democrats to do everything they can to block President Trump’s nominee to replace Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court.
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“For the fabric of our democracy,” Schmidt said on MSNBC where he is a political analyst, “Democrats should dig in hard here and do everything they conceivably can do to block this nomination., any nomination from going forward until after we see what happens in the midterm election.
Schmidt had been a registered Republican since the era of Ronald Reagan but last week announced he was switching parties and would henceforth support Democratic candidates.
Anthony Kennedy has ended his tenure on the Supreme Court by giving Trump the greatest political gift imaginable in 2018. GOP consultants are rejoicing right now. This is as big a political gift as the one Trump got from Comey in the final week of 16
— Steve Schmidt (@SteveSchmidtSES) June 27, 2018
Schmidt said it is right and fair to stall Trump’s pick because that is what Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell did in 2016 to President Obama’s nominee, Judge Merrick Garland.
Schmidt went beyond that to say that McConnell “has, as much as anyone, done great damage to the United States Senate as an institution that was once known as the world’s greatest deliberative body.”
Then to make clear what he passionate believes Schmidt added: “They stole a Supreme court seat from the Democrats.”
Schmidt also argues that Trump and McConnell should wait because the president only won a minority of the votes cast in the 2016 election, although he got enough Electoral College votes to be elected.
He says Republicans are in the minority because Secretary Clinton got three million more popular votes than Trump, which eams a “minority” is “ruling the majority of the country who are opposed to this president.”
“This is also,” continued Schmidt, “and I think it is important to point out, a president who is increasingly lawless, who asserts himself to be above the law, who attacks constantly fundamental institutions and pillars in the middle of a criminal investigation that has moved closer and closer to to the Oval Office.”
Schmidt is touching on a point others have raised, which is that Trump, now under investigation for working with Russia to impact the 2016 election, should not have the right to pick a judge who might soon have to rule on his guilt or innocence.
“The reality is,” said Schmidt, “you have Donald Trump lost the popular vote by 3 million. He won by 78,000 votes across three states. And the Republicans control all three branches of government, the legislative and by Republican nominees on the Supreme court.”
“So,” he continues, “we have a minority that is ruling the majority of the country who are opposed to this president, and that is extremely unhealthy in a democracy.”
Schmidt isn’t the only one calling for Trump and McConnell to hold off on confirming a replacement for Kenney until the will of the people is done and reflected in the makeup of the Congress.
Minority leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) are also saying the same thing, calling it the “McConnell Rule,” that McConnell now wants to ignore.
Schmidt’s voice is an interesting addition because he was a Republican for so many years and now is siding against Trump and what he has done to the Republican party.
McConnell will almost certainly ignore what Schmidt, Schumer, Murphy, and others are saying because he like Trump has shown that he puts party above policy, special interests above democracy and the will of his well-heeled backers above the will of the people.