Here is what I wrote in a Religion News Service piece back in August:
(RNS) The most important day of Donald Trump’s campaign for the presidency was May 18, 2016.
On that day, the soon-to-be GOP nominee released the names of 11 judges he would consider nominating to the Supreme Court. The list was put together with input from the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank known for defending traditional marriage, opposing abortion and fighting for the right of religious institutions to follow their conscience on these matters (and others) without government interference.
By suggesting that he would appoint conservative justices, and actually naming their names, Trump made huge inroads among evangelical voters. This is because many of Trump’s evangelical supporters are still using the 40-year-old political playbook written by Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson and other founders of the so-called Christian right.
Trump’s promise to promote a conservative justice probably won him the presidency. And now he is keeping his promise to the 81% of evangelical voters who pulled the level for him last November.
I don’t know much about Neil Gorsuch, but he looks like a solid pick. Liberals are not going to like him, but let’s face it–they lost the election. Gorsuch is the kind of choice that any conservative POTUS would have chosen.
Right now the liberal press is making it sound like Gorsuch is some kind of extreme conservative pick unlike anything they have ever seen before. Not true. Gorsuch is really no different than Clarence Thomas, Sam Alito, Antonin Scalia, and John Roberts. It is telling that Trump picked someone who respects the institution of the Supreme Court and did not go with a more extreme pro-life crusader like William Pryor Jr.
It will be interesting to see how the Democrats respond, especially since Mitch McConnell’s decision to block Merrick Garland is still fresh in their minds. I lost nearly all respect for McConnell and the GOP when they threw the Constitution out the window and refused to give Garland a hearing. I wrote about it last March in a piece at Fox News. Frankly, McConnell turns my stomach every time I see him on television. I never want to hear him and his GOP cronies talk again about their reverence for the Constitution. In fact, as I type this I am watching conservative commentary Sean Hannity on Fox News. He keeps praising Gorsuch as a “constitutionalist” and talking about his own love of the Constitution. I assume that a “constitutionalist” follows the Constitution. Hannity and his friends in the Senate did not do this with the Garland nomination.
So what will the Senate Democrats do with Gorsuch? Will they play the “eye for an eye” card. Probably.
Will they practice what Reinhold Niebuhr called the “spiritual resistance against resentment?” I doubt it. This is about revenge. The political sphere is a dark, hateful, and angry place.
The Democrats will try to block the nomination of Neil Gorsuch. It will be a long shot, but they will try. It is going to be very ugly. If they do manage to succeed, Donald Trump will simply appoint another nominee that they will not like and the circus will begin again.
When will it end? When will our national open wound start to heal? Not anytime soon.