MSNBC Whines: GOP Will Keep Court from ‘Governing the Country’

Anchoring live coverage of the death of Antonin Scalia on Saturday night, MSNBC’s Ari Melber whined that the GOP not approving a successor to the conservative would impede the “governing of the country.” Reporter Perry Bacon agreed, echoing Democratic talking points: “I think you're right. I think you're already hearing that.” 

Bacon predicted, “I think you know the process is to be one in which the President sends a name and the Republicans at least pretend to consider that person and probably have some kind of actual vote. That seems more likely than there's going to be a delay forever.” 

On the idea that the seat would be vacant until next year, Melber complained: 

ARI MELBER: These are things that affect your life and the notion that one political party would take as its position the idea that those issues shouldn't be resolved that there should be a 4-4 split that, there should be a vacancy for all this time, it seems to me and I don't mean to seem naive, but it seems hard to defend that as a matter of governing the country. 

A transcript of the exchange is below: 

MSNBC’s The Place for Politics 2016
02/14/16
12:37am ET 

ARI MELBER: I mean, one of the things you could say about Pryor is that he's one of the most pro-life jurists available, he's called Roe v. Wade an abomination and the worst ruling in the history federal law. That’s a big statement, so that’s something that he didn’t seem to rush to mention. The other point briefly before we go to break, Perry, this is not something where time doesn't matter. There are a host of major issues that are important to liberals, conservatives and everyone else before the Court. Right now before the Court, the President's executive order, whether you think it should stand or not on immigration and the millions of people affected, affirmative action rules, abortion rules in Texas, a host of other cases recording corporations, union rights, other things that it doesn't matter where you are in politics or if you're a voter. These are things that affect your life and the notion, Perry, that one political party would take as its position the idea that those issues shouldn't be resolved that there should be a 4-4 split that, there should be a vacancy for all this time, it seems to me, and I don’t mean to seem naive, but it seems hard to defend that as a matter of governing the country. 

PERRY BACON: I think you're right. I think you're already hearing that — I've already seen a sense that I think Grassley today first had a statement that essentially said the President should not send anyone and then he revised his statement later in the afternoon or the evening, he said the President can send someone and we’ll consider them but it has to be the right kind of person. Lindsey Graham said, too. Kasich said we'll have someone approved by everybody in the Senate, a very unrealistic standard, obviously. But I do think this notion that the Supreme Court only has nine people, it’s a very small — it's not a big branch of government in terms of people and the idea have you a lot of 4-4 potential splits. So I think the idea that they will not have one of its nine employees not there for ten months, I do think Obama has the easier case to make that we should consider appointing someone or and — and that’s why I think you know the process is to be one in which the President sends a name and the Republicans at least pretend to consider that person and probably have some kind of actual vote. That seems more likely than there’s going to be a delay forever.

Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock is the associate editor for the Media Research Center's NewsBusters.org site.