If it's in the News, it's in our Polls. Public opinion polling since 2003.


Trump, the 'Nuclear Option' of Presidents, Awakens the Comfortable in the Senate

A Commentary By Charles Hurt

One of the greatest decisions of the 20th Century was the unflinching order by President Harry S. Truman to drop two bombs on Japan.

It ended a war with a relentless and suicidal global aggressor. It saved countless lives of American soldiers, who already had suffered through years of the most savage and barbaric fighting ever known to man in the Pacific theater.

The more than 200,000 Japanese killed by the atomic bombs came nowhere close to the millions and millions of innocent Chinese and others slaughtered by Japan during World War II.

And for 72 years, the “nuclear option” has reigned supreme as the option of last resort that nobody really wants to see but everyone respects. It is the wild and wicked jolt of brutal reality that wakes the comfortable and contented from their slumber of self-satisfaction.

Donald Trump, for instance, is the “nuclear option” of presidents.

So it is only fitting that it is his nominee to the Supreme Court, federal Judge Neil Gorsuch, who will forever be the face of the “nuclear option” in the United State Senate.

After some three decades since Democrats first began playing political games with Supreme Court nominee Robert H. Bork, Republicans have finally reached for the “nuclear option.” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a longtime creature of the Senate, should be applauded for pressing the button.

For decades, Democrats have shamelessly stacked the federal courts — and an astonishing FOUR seats on the Supreme Court — with judges who believe the Constitution means, well, whatever they feel like it means. In other words, the Constitution means nothing.

These anti-Constitutionalists vilify anyone who believes that the Constitution actually means what it actually says. “Originalists” or “textualists,” they sneer, are neanderthals who don’t understand that the Constitution is a “living document.”

Could you imagine violating a contract and then going to court and telling the judge, “Don’t be such a textualist. It was a living contract!”

You would be hammered out of court. Yet, Democrats have been taken seriously all these years and they have managed to stack the courts with an alarming number of crazy, lawless judges.

It is this very fealty to the law and the Constitution that Democrats so fiercely object to about Judge Gorsuch. So this is a perfect time for the “nuclear option.”

Not only are Democrats wrong on the merits here, they are also tactically insane.

Since Judge Gorsuch replaces the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia — also an originalist — the new justice will not dramatically alter the makeup of the court. Only if Mr. Trump gets to replace one of the Democrat loonies on the court will the actual makeup of the court change.

So Democrats wasted most of their gunpowder on this nominee — precious gunpowder that will be desperately needed for the next fight. And nobody even cared!

Flipping through the new channels Thursday, everybody was talking about sarin gas, China, Obamacare and even a supposed shakeup in the White House. Friday, all anybody was talking about was Syria. Judge Neil Gorsuch and the “nuclear option” was relegated to third-rate yawner status.

At this rate, Democrats will need to import millions more illegal voters to win the next fight.

Charles Hurt can be reached at churt@washingtontimes.com; follow him on Twitter via @charleshurt.

See Other Political Commentary by Charles Hurt.

See Other Political Commentary.

Views expressed in this column are those of the author, not those of Rasmussen Reports. Comments about this content should be directed to the author or syndicate.

Rasmussen Reports is a media company specializing in the collection, publication and distribution of public opinion information.

We conduct public opinion polls on a variety of topics to inform our audience on events in the news and other topics of interest. To ensure editorial control and independence, we pay for the polls ourselves and generate revenue through the sale of subscriptions, sponsorships, and advertising. Nightly polling on politics, business and lifestyle topics provides the content to update the Rasmussen Reports web site many times each day. If it's in the news, it's in our polls. Additionally, the data drives a daily update newsletter and various media outlets across the country.

Some information, including the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll and commentaries are available for free to the general public. Subscriptions are available for $4.95 a month or 34.95 a year that provide subscribers with exclusive access to more than 20 stories per week on upcoming elections, consumer confidence, and issues that affect us all. For those who are really into the numbers, Platinum Members can review demographic crosstabs and a full history of our data.

To learn more about our methodology, click here.