Does any sentient human being believe that if the Democrats had the Senate majority in the final year of a conservative president’s second term — and Justice Ginsburg’s seat came open — they would approve any nominee from that president?
Further, does any sentient human being believe that the Democrats’ behavior in 1987–88 — when they engaged in shameful character assassination against Robert Bork before finally confirming Anthony Kennedy — represented Democratic cooperation with President Reagan?
Despite the fact that Democrats would undoubtedly stand firm against a conservative president — and despite the fact that the confirmation of Kennedy rather than Bork represented one of the most consequential triumphs of Senate obstructionism in our lifetimes — expect Democrats and their activist allies to keep hammering home the notion that the Democrats would be totally fair and reasonable if the tables were turned. The public is largely indifferent to political history, and the Democrats know the media won’t call them out on their own record. Plus, if past performance is any predictor of future results, there’s always a chance that Republicans in the Senate will panic. The GOP has collapsed on the fainting couch before. It may fall there again.