Democrats have declared they will do what they perceive Republicans having done to Obama and will obstruct, block and oppose Donald Trump in every way, shape and form unless he goes completely their way. Good. They should. In fact, they should try to obstruct Trump so thoroughly that the government itself is forced to shut down.
People need to be reminded that they do not need government to solve all their problems. People need to be reminded that the only reason various services shut down in the last government shutdown was because President Barack Obama wanted to use people’s pain for his political gain.
The more Democrats obstruct Donald Trump, the more people will realize they do not need cradle to grave welfare, entitlements and government nanny-state-ism. This is a good thing. Democrats are the party of government. If Democrats drive up public dislike of government because of its incompetence and inability to get anything done, that only helps conservatism.
I can only hope they’ll shut it all down. The funniest bit of this is that Democrats know all this and are loath to shut down the government. So Republicans can offer the Democrats table scraps knowing the Democrats won’t shut anything down, but by accepting the meager table scraps Democrats will piss off their own base for settling for so little.
This is a very good proposition for the GOP. Moving forward, another good proposition for the GOP is the Democrats’ sleight of hand in the Senate with the filibuster. After the Democrats blew up the filibuster for the all nominations except for the Supreme Court, Republicans ground down the pace of the Senate. Then, when the GOP took back the Senate, they shut down the nominations process for the judiciary as pay back.
As a result, when Trump takes office, there will be more than 100 vacancies that must be filled in the federal judiciary, including one here in Middle Georgia. By contrast, when Obama took office in 2009, there were only 50 open seats on the federal bench. In addition to the lower court seats, there is Antonin Scalia’s Supreme Court seat still to be filled.
People familiar with the process say Judge Bill Pryor on the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals is the front runner for that slot. He is considered one of the most conservative members of the various federal courts of appeal. Additionally, given the ages of Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Anthony Kennedy, Trump may be able to fill even more seats.
Republicans should also be concerned about all of this. When George W. Bush was president and Republicans controlled Congress, the GOP acted as nothing more than seal clapping yes men to a big spending agenda.
Given what we know already about Trump, his business dealings, his ongoing assault on our intelligence community, etc. I hope the Republicans in Congress will also be obstructionists. No economist on the left or right disputes that tariffs would be destructive to our economy. Trump seems intent on imposing tariffs and will need to be stopped before he starts a trade war. Additionally, if he does not divest his business interests, Republicans will need to be vigilant watchdogs. Unfortunately, I am less than confident they will be.
We are headed into a brave new world of American politics. My best hope is that both sides fight and the system grinds to a halt. Our founders were wise. The difficulty of getting anything done is a feature, not a bug, of our federal system.
Erick Erickson is a Fox News contributor and radio talk show host in Atlanta.