It was a cold day on Tuesday morning if you were a liberal.
Granted, it was probably seasonable in most parts of the U.S. — warm, even. However, that’s when Utah GOP Sen. Mitt Romney, seen by many Democrats as a potential holdout to stop a solid conservative majority on the Supreme Court, announced he supported President Donald Trump’s decision to nominate a new justice in an election year.
“My decision regarding a Supreme Court nomination is not the result of a subjective test of ‘fairness’ which, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder,” Romney wrote in a statement.
“It is based on the immutable fairness of following the law, which in this case is the Constitution and precedent. The historical precedent of election-year nominations is that the Senate generally does not confirm an opposing party’s nominee but does confirm a nominee of its own.
“The Constitution gives the president the power to nominate and the Senate the authority to provide advice and consent on Supreme Court nominees. Accordingly, I intend to follow the Constitution and precedent in considering the president’s nominee. If the nominee reaches the Senate floor, I intend to vote based upon their qualifications.”
As NPR reported, the move meant Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell would almost certainly have the 51 votes he needs to consider the nomination in the Senate.
Romney wasn’t actually in the Senate in 2016, so he didn’t personally have to follow any sort of “consistent” application of the rules the Democrats have worked themselves into a state of apoplexy at Senate Republicans over. And — wouldn’t you know it? — it turns out this was never about consistency in the first place.
There was one school of Democrats who seemed genuinely let down that Romney wasn’t a “moderate,” by which they meant a Republican who said and did liberal things but kind of hemmed and hawed a bit before he did them. At which they’d still throw the individual into the lake of fire in the secular left-wing afterlife for being a Republican, but they’d do it nicely.
Trevor Noah of “The Daily Show” seemed to sum this school of thought up best:
“Yes, my friends, even Mitt Romney, the dad you ask when your other Republican dads say ‘no,’ is going along with Mitch McConnell’s plan,” he said Tuesday, according to The New York Times.
“And I know, some people were holding out hope that he would refuse to help the Republicans push through before the election, but for some reason, people always forget that Mitt Romney is still a conservative senator from one of the most conservative states. People act like Mitt Romney came into the Senate with a pussy hat on, but, no — he’s only moderate compared to Cinnamon Hitler.”
Tell that to your conservative friends and they’ll laugh, and not just because of that “Cinnamon Hitler” quip.
There was plenty of this on social media, as well — and the meltdown was a sight to behold, a Chernobyl-level event that was somehow, as a conservative looking in from the outside, like watching the first robin of spring cavorting on a dewy lawn:
Charlotte Clymer, queen of performativity, lamenting the fact Mitt Romney is performative. Also, sorry this ruined Libby Watson‘s morning.
Then there were those who thought that since Romney voted to convict in President Trump’s impeachment trial, he needed to vote against him appointing a Supreme Court justice, even though the president was acquitted.
And then there were those who said Romney would simply do anything at all to get another pro-life justice.
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