Surprisingly, Merrick Garland is neither a high-priced TGI Fridays menu item, nor the name of a candle your mother wants for her bathroom.
He’s President Obama’s pick to replace Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court — a pick that has left the left decidedly “meh” and the right decidedly certain that they won’t do their job by considering the nomination.
Pro-choice group NARAL immediately backed the nomination, but Garland’s record on reproductive rights, voting rights and gun rights is mostly unclear, with some right-leaning votes that established his reputation as a moderate.
He’d have been the most uncontroversial (and possibly most conservative) appointment by a Democrat ever — if he weren’t being appointed to fill a slot that could swing the highest court to the left for the first time since the early 1970s.
Even in that way, Garland is a compromise, moderate, boring pick.
At 63 years old, he’s about twenty years older than most recent picks and would likely only last on the court for one generation instead of two, meaning he’d probably rule on Man v. Jetpack but not Genetically Engineered Dinosaur v. Flying Hyundai.
Just last week key Republican Senator Orrin Hatch literally said that President Obama should pick Merrick Garland for this position.
“[Obama] could easily name Merrick Garland, who is a fine man,” Hatch told the conservative news site Newsmax, then added “he probably won’t do that because this appointment is about the election. So I’m pretty sure he’ll name someone the [liberal Democratic base] wants.”
But Obama did, and now what does Hatch say? He still plans to refuse to meet with Merrick Garland or even order one for dinner.
A few Republican Senators from swing states — including New Hampshire’s Kelly Ayotte and Arizona’s Jeff Flake — have already suggested that they think Garland should get a fair hearing, which is the least America can do for an older, affluent white man.
So is this what President Obama had in mind, picking a candidate who reveals Republican intransigence and extremism as the party is about to elect a parade float being chased through the streets by adoring white supremacists? Maybe.
Or maybe it’s something even crazier than that.
Maybe Obama picked Merrick Garland — as longtime Washington observer and true centrist Norm Ornstein suggested — “because he thought this was the best possible choice for the Supreme Court.”
The bastard. That’s just that kind of crazy thing Barry would do to divide America.