There has been an interesting observation in Senate Republicans in recent months.
Shockingly they seem to have grown a spine!
They stood up against the democrats on Kavanaugh when normally they would scatter and fold up shop.
Lindsey Graham actually standing up for principles and acting like a conservative? Who would ever have believed it could happen?
Mitch McConnell actually sounding like a leader and guiding through the confirmation process and holding the coalition together? WHAAAAAT?
Liberal republicans actually voting with the block rather than opposing? (Even The Flake?)
The Republicans stop caving to every democrat demand?
Republicans actually starting to work on Trump's agenda?
While not perfect, clearly things appear to be moving in a slightly different direction. It takes a while for a beast this large to turn, it is like a battleship, it doesn't turn on a dime.
What has happened in the past 6 months that might be a catalyst for all this? Any major change you can think of? I can think of one.
The passing of John McCain.
There seems to be a sigh of relief in the senate now.
Lindsey always went along with McCain as they were besties, and didn't want to make him look bad. Now he seems OK with stepping out of McCain's shadow and becoming his own man. It will be interesting to see if this is short term outrage or if he finally becomes what he promises South Carolinians he is.
The democrats have lost their faithful "across the aisle" vote on any contentious issue - especially if it was a Trump policy.
Someone with the seniority of McCain wielded a ton of power behind the scenes, and could assert a lot of pressure on McConnell in what direction the senate goes (granted, I still don't trust McConnell at all as he is an establishment hack only interested in personal power, but at least he seems freed up a bit)
This makes the anti-Trump agenda wing of the republican party in the senate almost nonexistent - especially with the retirement of Corker and Flake
I really hope this carries through, especially as Republicans are virtually guaranteed to pick up at least a couple of seats in the senate in the midterms at this point, even while the house is still a toss up, so this will give even less power to the Murkowskis/Collinses of the republican party.
With very likely at least 2 more Supreme court picks Coming up over the next 5 years
RBG is 85 and a pancreatic cancer survivor (already far exceeded typical life expectations of someone who is diagonsed with that)
Stephen Breyer is 79.
Next oldest is Clarence Thomas at 69 then Samuel Alito at 68.
By the time Trump leaves office in 2025, we could have a 7-2 split of constitutional originalists, and I could even see a possible 5th or 6th pick if Trump makes consistent picks to replace Breyer and RBG, Thomas and/or Alito may feel comfortable retiring knowing they can be confident in the constitutional philosophy of their replacements.
This would present a complete seachange in politics in America and send us down a road that heads back toward the constitutional republic we were intended to be for the next 30-50 years.
No longer will the democrats be able to use activists on the courts to be a "super legislature" to rule into law things they couldn't constitutionally pass through the legislative process.