I don’t begrudge any senator a negative vote against a nominee. That is the prerogative of a senator. But when top nominations made right after an election get not the benefit of the doubt but character attacks, it is not a good sign. The real test here is whether Republicans take this to the next level and filibuster any of these highly qualified and superior individuals who are the considered choices of the president. If that happens, it is a sign that elections, propriety and the intent of the advise and consent clause don’t matter when they come up against the tribalism that now dominates our politics.
Norman Ornstein is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.
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