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After decades of bringing a plastic toy bat to a gunfight, the GOP – that party with an uncanny record of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory – finally grew a spine and “went nuclear” on the confirmation process for Judge Neil Gorsuch.

It’s about time!

The result is that Gorsuch will be taking his rightful place on the bench at the U.S. Supreme Court.

We’ve all heard the incessant bleating from the left. “It’s a stolen seat! It should be Merrick Garland’s! Senate rules! Tradition!” Blah, blah, ad nauseum, ad infinitum.

I, for one, couldn’t care less about their whining. In fact, in all honesty, I’m absolutely reveling in it! Because the time finally came when they had to pay the piper, and they didn’t like it one little bit. They’re squealing like stuck pigs. Good!

For decades, for purely political purposes, they changed rules and moved the goalposts at will. They counted on the GOP to consider themselves to be above such “petty” political games when they were themselves in power, and for the most part they’ve been right … up to now.

The GOP was indeed stupid enough to keep letting them get away with it while refusing to resort to the same tactics themselves.

This kind of cynical, manipulative behavior goes all the way back to FDR, who threatened to “pack” the Supreme Court with like-minded leftist judges who’d back his socialist programs, and when the GOP legislators chickened out and backed off, the stage was set.

When Reagan nominated to SCOTUS Robert Bork, a superbly qualified originalist jurist, the scurrilous attacks on his character, ironically led by Ted Kennedy – the “Lion of the Senate,” who was apparently taking a break from molesting and drowning young interns at the time – were so outrageous that Bork ended up withdrawing from consideration.

The episode was so shameful it even led to coining of the term “borking” for subjecting nominees to irrational and unreasonable political attacks.

When Bush I nominated Clarence Thomas to SCOTUS, Senate Dems tried, unsuccessfully, to “bork” him with the infamous Anita Hill slander.

When Bush II nominated Samuel Alito, Senate Dems tried unsuccessfully to filibuster his appointment. They did successfully block Bush II’s nominee to the D.C. Circuit Miguel Estrada using a filibuster.

Yet when the shoe has been on the other foot Democratic nominees have sailed through to an easy confirmation in spite of their political bent, with little to no GOP opposition, die-hard doctrinaire leftist Ruth Bader Ginsburg being a classic example.

A Carter appointment, she was confirmed in the Senate by a vote of 96 to 3. Breyer was confirmed 87 to 9; Kagan by 63 to 37; and Sotomayor by 67 to 29.

When Bush I was president then-Senator Joe Biden – who was at the time chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee – said he would block any Bush nominee to SCOTUS that may occur in an election year.

So much for the “stolen seat” of Merrick Garland, since all the Senate GOPers did during the last year of Obama’s term was follow that very same “Biden Rule.”

And when Bush II was president the ever-despicable Harry Reid, Senate Majority Leader at the time, used the so-called “nuclear option” to eliminate the filibuster option for all judicial appointments other than to SCOTUS, thereby ensuring that Obama was able to load the lower-level Circuit Court system with activist leftist jurists.

The truth is in the numbers: at the end of Bush II’s term 10 of 13 circuit courts had majorities nominated by Republican presidents. But as of now, nine of them have majorities nominated by Democrat presidents.

In other words, the situation reversed by almost 180 degrees during Obama’s time in office.

There’s nothing in the Constitution that requires anything other than a simple majority for the Senate to act. As it’s been used on judicial appointments, in reality it’s been a tyranny of the minority exploited by the Dem/socialists to pack the court system, right up to and including SCOTUS, with activists more concerned with advancing a “social justice” agenda than with ensuring that proper legal and constitutional principles are observed.

Thus the irony is so thick it can be cut with a knife when Mitch McConnell and the other Senate Republicans used the Democrats’ own traditional strategy, the “nuclear option,” to ensure Gorsuch’s ascension to a seat on SCOTUS.

It’s why the wailing and bleating of the left are music to my ears. Their own chickens have come home to roost.

Brian Baker is a Saugus resident.

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  • Gary Bierend

    Well done Brian, and I concur. I have a question though, why does Trish Galloway get the byline?

    • Brian Baker

      Thanks, Gary.

      LOL… I posed the same question to the Signal editor in an email.

      It’s happened before. Trish is one of the staff photographers, and the last time it happened was because when they sent it to publication, her name was in the space where normally the author’s picture goes, and a glitch publishes her name instead of the pic. I think it’s supposed to go into her file and extract the pic.

      • Gary Bierend

        It certainly doesn’t detract from the thrust of the column, which is spot on.

        As you know, I am neither a democrat or a republican, but I am thrilled that at least the republicans are starting to play by the same rules as the dems. The whole SCOTUS appointment leaves me wondering if “Gorsuch” will become a verb like “Bork” did.

        • Brian Baker

          Thanks again. BTW, I’m an Independent, too.

          Interesting idea! But I think on a purely linguistic basis, not likely. Number of syllables. One versus two.

        • Brian Baker

          I see they fixed the byline.

  • Castaic Clay

    Even The Signal can’t stomach putting his name up any more?

    • Brian Baker

      Check out the top of the page, bud.

      • Ron Bischof

        Shhhh, Brian! CC thinks he’s found something substantive to comment on.

        • Brian Baker


          Yeah… Pretty funny, isn’t it?

  • lois eisenberg

    “The tide has turned”
    It certainly has !!
    The liar-in-chief is now a flip floppier adding to all of his negative attributes !!
    Great job in Russian relations!

  • lois eisenberg

    “Trump faces a thorny dilemma in North Korea”
    The liar-in-chief big mouth is way over his head !!

  • Ron Bischof

    I concur on the Justice Gorsuch appointment to the SCOTUS, Brian. Let’s hope more appointments follow to begin the return of our Republic to the liberty our Founders architected.

    • Brian Baker

      Well said, Ron. I’m with you.

  • lois eisenberg

    “Mixed messages from admin officials on foreign policy objectives in Syria confound experts. The Trump administration’s Syrian missile attack has made working with Russia almost impossible for now.” Great foreign policy agenda !!!

  • lois eisenberg

    “The tide has turned” IT SURE HAS !!
    “The drama of the Trump White House has become its own must-watch TV, raising an existential question for the makers of the hit HBO series: What happens to your political satire when the real world is crazier than anything you imagined?”
    How ironic is that??

  • Gil Mertz

    As always, great piece Brian. However, I believe Ginsberg was the brainchild of Clinton in 1993. Either way, she’s been on life support for years and needs to go. And if she does or when the next far-left ideologue steps down, it will be a civil war because the balance of power will definitely be tipped in favor of a conservative majority. The nuclear option will cover that if the GOP doesn’t lose their nerve. If they stay the course, it’s highly likely the conservatives could have a 6 – 3 majority by the time Trump leaves office. Talk about making America great again!

    • Brian Baker

      Thanks, Gil. Ginsburg was nominated by Carter to the DC Circuit. Clinton kicked her up to SCOTUS.

      I think if TRUMP — or any GOPer — has the office until 8 years from now we could easily see a 6-3 Court. In fact, that was one of the points I hit last year in my piece in which I swung my support to Trump. Wouldn’t THAT be cool?

  • charles maurice detallyrand

    You should ask yourself why would the Democrats be willing to force republicans to use the nuclear option? This was win win for the democrats, making best of a bad situation. If the republicans didn’t use the nuclear option Gorsuch may never have been confirmed. That was a very unlikely prospect, not something that would have lasted for nearly four more years. So why not cut their losses and confirm Gorsuch? Long term, a simple majority vote will allow the supreme court be filled with more liberal appointments. Good going on getting your one guy in though and pretending there was such a thing as the Biden rule. I wonder how sorry you’ll be in future though especially as Republicans can’t blame the removal of the very instrument that will protect them on Democrats? Given enough rope you guys sure know what to do….

    • Brian Baker

      Pretty funny, Chucky of the Fake Name.

      Actually, the Dem/socialists made the strategic error of forcing the procedural change on a nominee who was going to be seated no matter what, because he was simply too qualified to block. They should have saved their powder for the next fight, when they’d have had a better chance of succeeding, ESPECIALLY if the next one’s gonna replace Ginsburg or Kennedy.

      Instead, like the partisan boneheads they truly are, they let the alt-left wingnuts of their party hijack them into doing the absolutely stupidest thing they COULD have done. I think it’s GREAT!

      AS to the “the future”… Bubba, absolutely NOTHING will be different, because the Dem/socialist rats have been cheating the system for decades, just like I pointed out in the column.

      And that, bud, is all the space I’m going to waste here on your nonsensical blather.

      • Ron Bischof

        Concur with your analysis and disagree with that of the fictional person, Brian.

        In fact, the Democrat miscalculation weakens the argument for the legislative filibuster, which may lead to defunding and curtailing the Administrative State that “Progressives” have spent over a century building.

        What they miss is that the majority of Americans, as indicated by their electoral choices, desire a functioning government that doesn’t impinge on their liberty.

        Until they comprehend that policy rejection is the root causation to their banishment to the political wilderness, they will not be restored to the political power to order lives that they so obviously and desperately seek.

        • Brian Baker

          Excellent analysis, Ron.

          The purported “comity” of the Senate has been, in reality, a sick joke, cynically exploited and manipulated by the Dem/socialists while the GOPers rolled over and played dead.

          Exhibit A: Obozocare.

    • Gil Mertz

      Chuck, here’s something else you Democrats forget about Biden. When Republicans threatened to use the nuclear option in 2005 under Bush, Biden said this:

      “…I say to my friends on the Republican side, you may own the field right now, but you won’t own it forever. And I pray God when the Democrats take back control we don’t make the kind of naked power grab you are doing.”

      But when Harry Reid did it, Biden said……..nothing……… Such a cowardly hypocrite.

      A better question to ask yourself is why nearly all of the Democrats in the Senate were opposed to a judge that 100% voted to approve for the Circuit Court previously, including Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, Chuck Schumer and yes, even Barack Hussein Obama.

      • Bill

        Biden is certainly not a cowardly hipocrite and much more respected both here and around the world than the narcissistic clueless guy trying to figure things out in the White House. The dems are poised to take back control because of him and you can bet they’ll stock up on judges then. You can have one now but
        let’s see if you can all pass 1 piece of legislation.

        • Ron Bischof

          “The dems are poised to take back control because of him…”

          Your assertion is based on… what?

          • Gil Mertz

            Probably based on the same assertion that Biden is not a hypocrite and so highly respected. As illustrated, even a direct quote from Biden’s own mouth will not convince blindly loyal Democrats about his hypocrisy. I think they’ve become numb to it.

          • Brian Baker

            “Your assertion is based on… what?”

            Pretty much just wishful thinking, as far as I can tell.

            Or maybe he lives in an alternate universe. Who knows?

        • Gil Mertz

          P-l-e-a-s-e…..I was being kind in my description of Biden. My favorite Biden gaff….and there are MANY….is when he told his old friend to stand up as he was sitting in a wheelchair. Talk about clueless.

          And yes Bill, we know your party will oppose any piece of legislation that Trump supports because they’re all about politics and party first at the expense of what’s best for the American people.

          It must totally suck to be a Democrat these days, huh Bill? LOL!

  • lois eisenberg

    “TRUMP DISCUSSES HOW HE LAUNCHED MISSILES OVER CHOCOLATE CAKE WITH CHINESE PRESIDENT, but the liar-in-chief was so smitten by the piece of cake he didn’t remember which country he attacked !!
    The sadness and shallowness of it all !!

  • lois eisenberg

    “Dow falls 135 points, closes at session lows after US drops mega-bomb”
    Dow down from it’s highest point about 500 points since the Liar-in-chief took office !!
    The tide has surely turned !!

  • lois eisenberg

    “One of President Donald Trump’s luxury golf resorts in Florida was ordered by an appeals court to pay a local supply company that wasn’t paid in full for paint used to spruce up the property’s 10 lodges in 2014.”

    “Trump National Doral Miami must pay The Paint Spot more than $32,000 plus attorney’s fees of about $390,000, meaning the total Trump must hand over is almost triple the original paint bill of $142,530. The ruling was issued Wednesday by Florida’s Third District Court of Appeal in Miami.”

    The bombing liar-in-chief shows how ethical he is in his business dealings !
    Under FBI investigation, getting sued etc. etc.etc. the liar- in- chief is showing a good
    example to the American people and the world what a unscrupulous man he is !!!

  • lois eisenberg

    Trump has embraced both Andrew Jackson and Henry Clay as equals.
    “Anyone who has a passing familiarity with 19th century history knows how goofy it is to embrace both Jackson and Clay. “They were absolutely feral enemies,”
    Not so goofy when you have a goofy maniac liar-in-chief as president !!

  • lois eisenberg

    “A key advisor to Trump said it was a mistake to take most of Trump’s campaign
    promises seriously , at least on foreign policy”
    “Those notions, he said, where campaign rhetoric aimed at motivating his base,
    and ginning up news coverage.”
    The liar-in-chief, fraud, unethical, unscrupulous con man at his best !!!
    The deplorable base has been conned again!!

  • lois eisenberg

    “Want to change Trump’s mind on policy? Be the last one who talks to him.”

  • lois eisenberg

    “Islamic State has fewer than 1,000 fighters in Afghanistan. So why did Trump drop the ‘mother of all bombs’?”

  • lois eisenberg

    “Trump administration blocks access to White House visitor logs”
    The fuhrer has spoken !!

  • lois eisenberg

    “Once again, the Trump White House is stonewalling information that Congress and the American people have a right to see.” Transparency be damned !!

  • lois eisenberg

    “Trump’s so-called ethics pledge threatens to be relevant, so Team Trump nixes it”

  • lois eisenberg

    “The case for impeaching President Donald J. Trump.”
    From Allan J. Lichtman’s mouth to God Ears !!

  • lois eisenberg

    “What Trump says and does should be read like a fable.
    To tell us the truth is not something he’s able.
    If he sends off a missile
    With a warhead that’s fissile,
    It will come with dessert after clearing the table.”

  • lois eisenberg


  • lois eisenberg

    “Trump’s evolving excuses for withholding his tax returns encapsulate why he is a man who cannot be taken at his word:”

  • lois eisenberg

    “A new Gallup poll out this morning, however, strongly suggests that an increasing number of Americans just don’t believe Trump’s spin about his presidency anymore. It finds that only 45 percent of Americans think Trump keeps his promises, down from 62 percent in February, an astonishing slide of 17 points:”
    Finally the realization is setting in !!