Democrats Try Unsuccessfully to Derail Barrett Confirmation

Democrats Try Unsuccessfully to Derail Barrett Confirmation

( – It was no surprise that Democrats tried to derail the confirmation of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court — luckily they failed. The most amazing part about their attempt to stop her confirmation and ascendancy to the high court on Monday, October 26, was the odd way in which they did it. If Democrats wanted to discredit her, they did a terrible job.

When President Trump nominated Barrett at the end of September after Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away, the judge’s approval rating was a measly 37%. However, after the hearings, her approval surged to 51%. It was the opposite of what the Democrats wanted to happen.


Bad Political Strategy

Knowing the rules of the game and how to navigate those rules to your advantage is vital in politics. On Thursday morning, October 22, the Senate Judiciary Committee met to vote on the Judge’s recommendation to the Senate floor for a final vote. Democrats decided not to show and instead boycotted the vote. It was a pointless gesture that made them appear petty and shallow.

More importantly, it was the wrong strategy to employ. The damage was already done to their cause. The boycott was the wrong strategy, with the wrong message, at the wrong time. Republicans had the votes, and Barrett’s approval among voters was growing.

Democrats Committed Political Malpractice

Instead of boycotting the vote, Democrats should have boycotted the hearings. By participating in the hearings, it had the effect of:

  1. Undercutting their narrative that the process was illegitimate. If that’s the case, and it wasn’t, why participate?
  2. They set Barrett up brilliantly to handle their criticism and show that she is not only a brilliant legal scholar but also a tempered jurist who is qualified and deserving to sit on the high court.

Democrats Not on the Same Field With Republicans

While Democrats fumbled the game away, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) toyed with Democrats. McConnell has always been a superb tactician and master of the rules.

On the other hand, Democrats seemed inept at achieving their objective. To be fair, part of the problem for them was they had few options as the minority party. There was never anything they could do to stop Barrett’s confirmation.

However, tactically they erred by not playing their right cards at the right time. Of course, instead of being called out for their failed strategy in the media, they were protected from the criticism that ought to accompany bad ideas.

Barrett’s Confirmation

When Judge Barrett is confirmed as Justice Barrett and sworn in by Chief Justice John Roberts, she will lock in a 6-3 conservative majority on the Supreme Court. In 2016, then-candidate Donald Trump put out a list of potential nominees. He promised only to nominate those to the Supreme Court who were conservative, pro-life, and believed the role of judges is not to make law but uphold it.

Four years ago, few thought the president would get to nominate three conservative justices. His lasting legacy will be a conservative court for decades to come. If re-elected, he may get at least one more opportunity to add another conservative to the court.

By Don Purdum, Independent Political Analyst

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