Not once during any of my media appearances about the Scalia vacancy have I been asked, “Do you believe Democrats will pay a price if the president nominates another hard-left ideologue?” Hosts are curious about whether Republican “overreach” will hurt the GOP in November or whether it will end up looking like a party of extremists — although Democrats have been using the same tactics for decades. This is always the conversation.
Despite the wishful thinking of The New York Times’ reporters and other media, Republicans don’t need to freak out about the potential political blowback over “obstructionism.” We’ve been hearing that the GOP would pay a steep price for its failure to rubber-stamp progressive reforms since the beginning of Obama’s first term. Obamacare. Gun registration. Cap-and-trade. There would be hell to pay, they said, even as Democrats were losing the House, the Senate, more than 900 state legislator seats, and plenty of governorships.
As I’ve argued before, when voters tell pollsters they want politicians to compromise, what they probably mean is they want the other party to compromise. There’s little evidence to suggest Republicans are losing elections because voters find them too principled or too stubborn. I’m sure, however, every lost seat in November will be blamed on this event.