Dan Crawford sent me links to these two articles about Senate Judiciary Committee enforcer John Cornyn’s threat on Tuesday that he and his compadres will destroy the reputation of anyone nominated by Obama for Scalia’s seat. I responded to him after reading the articles:
You know, Dan, this is so palpably, stunningly offensive that Sanders and Clinton need to tell the public about it. It’s really just jaw-dropping. It’s just … I don’t know; I can’t even think of a perfect adjective. Scary, maybe?
Sanders, especially, should mention this on the campaign trail as a way to illustrate the lengths that the people who want the federal courts—most prominently but by no means only, the Supreme Court—to continue to serve as a fully owned subsidiary of Koch Industries and the legal arm of the Republican Party, albeit with the full force of the United States government’s powers.
Cornyn is a former Texas state supreme court justice and Texas attorney general. I’m betting that his professional history isn’t pretty, so he’s perfect to have his Fascism routine turned back on him. As in, turnabout is fair play. Exposing his record as a state supreme court justice and a state attorney general to national examination may, given what some of the specifics are likely to be, ensure his seat as a Texas senator for as long as he wants it. But it also may well help in making the remainder of his tenure as a senator, beginning next January, be as a member of the Senate minority.
And I don’t mean that I expect him to become a Democrat.
Thug-like threats and actions aren’t likely to appeal to a majority of voters. As Trump’s general-election and favorability poll numbers indicate.
UPDATE: The New York Times today has an editorial on this, writing:
On Monday, John Cornyn, the senior Republican senator from Texas, warned President Obama that if he dares to name a successor to Justice Antonin Scalia of the Supreme Court, the nominee “will bear some resemblance to a piñata.”
Violent imagery has been commonplace in political statements for a long time, but even so, it is disgraceful for a senator to play the thug, threatening harm to someone simply for appearing before Congress to answer questions about professional accomplishments and constitutional philosophy
The editorial is titled “Republican Threats and the Supreme Court”.
Added 3/11 at 8:42 a.m