With liberals bracing for the fallout over Justice Anthony Kennedy retiring, out anchor Rachel Maddow opened her MSNBC show on Wednesday with frank advice for Democrats.
“Democrats are either doormats,” said Maddow, “or they will insist at least on consistency.” Maddow said there can be no replacement justice at the Supreme Court until after the midterm election.
Maddow said that’s because Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made “a new rule” by insisting President Obama couldn’t select Merrick Garland as Antonin Scalia’s replacement during an election year.
“Same rule should apply,” said Maddow. She was graphic about it, actually, using some form of the word “doormat” no less than six times.
Maddow said Democrats must “prove themselves not to be doormats.”
“If Democrats are going to do this," she said, "every single Democrat in the Senate will have to agree to not be a doormat; that shouldn’t be that hard.”
Maddow insisted on total Democratic unity, leaving them needing just one Republican to “peel off.” Then, after the midterm, Democrats can at least exert more influence over who Donald Trump selects as nominee. Maddow predicted every Democratic voter would call their Democratic senator to insist on the “no-doormat caucus.”
“No Democratic senator has a reason to volunteer to be a doormat on the issue of the Supreme Court,” she said. “Democrats as a unified bloc, every single one of them, they have no reason to go along with any meetings, any hearings, any votes on the Trump Supreme Court nominee before the election, simply because that’s the standard the Republicans insisted on for the last Supreme Court vacancy.”
She described McConnell’s trick as bullying that must be stood up to.
“Having lost a Democratically appointed Supreme Court nominee simply on the basis of Republicans punching them in the teeth, holding them down, and taking it by force, presumably Democrats have realized they should not ratify that by just going back to regular order now and letting Republicans have this next one too,” she said, adding a mocking line, “Thank you, sir, may I have another?”
Maddow acknowledged the growing worry on behalf of liberals, saying “there is a lot gnashing of teeth” and a feeling that “oh, God, all is lost.” But she issued a call to action not only to Democrats in Congress but also to her viewers.
“We’re actually on day one of what is going to turn out to be a super fascinating fight, and I mean fascinating in the sense that this is about to be suspenseful, this is about to be really hard-fought, this is about to be exciting in the way things are exciting when they are both important and you legitimately don’t know how [they] are going to turn out,” said Maddow. “And this one has the additional excitement behind it because this one might turn out in a way that has something to do with how hard you work on it.”
Watch the segment in the video below.