Just as Republicans around the state were getting all excited about Nicole Schneider, it seems they may have been taken for a ride.
Schneider, the heiress of the Schneider National trucking fortune, was supposedly considering a run for U.S. Senate against Tammy Baldwin. Her appeal was chiefly that she could self-fund an expensive campaign.
But as it seems to always do, Schneider’s social media history can’t hide. Judging by some of her past activity, she may not be all that conservative at all. From Vicki McKenna’s website:
Yesterday, Mediatrackers broke this story about a woman named Nicole Schneider running for US Senate against Tammy Baldwin. See that story HERE.OK FINE. But IS SHE REALLY A REPUBLICAN? Or is she just a faker? Well, you be the judge. Here are links to her now DELETED tweets on everything from abortion and Planned Parenthood to Transphobia to like Tammy Baldwin, Hillary and Elizabeth Warren…to hating on Trump. It’s a pile of anti-conservative stuff that for reasons only SHE knows, she doesn’t want anyone to see.Here is her now deleted post on “How to be a Social Justice Ally: Working from and Against Privilege”.
Here are some deleted Tweets. In these, she is critical of Gov Walker, Paul Ryan, Donald Trump–while seemingly praising Elizabeth Warren, Hillary Clinton and Tammy Baldwin. Oh and she also seems to dislike SODA CONSUMPTION (!!) (By the way, ma’am, I’m a Catholic and I voted for Trump!)
Schneider has since deleted the tweets, but Vicki preserves them at the links above. Is Schneider a bona fide RINO? (a pejorative that gets tossed around far too often by people who can’t handle disagreement and believe everyone should agree with them…a paradox for an individualist ideology that stands opposed to homogeneity and collectivism. But I digress).
I don’t want to make any definitive conclusions about Ms. Schneider or her politics. I’ve been asked, after all, why I like this Democrat’s Facebook page or why I follow that progressive on Twitter by people who don’t really know their way around social media. People are also dynamic, and Trump a lightning rod who I’ve also criticized. However, Republican voters should use caution that Schneider might be an opportunist who doesn’t actually share many of their positions on the issues.
Now that Sean Duffy is officially out of contention, Republicans are starting to line up for the chance to take on Baldwin, who is widely seen as potentially vulnerable, especially after she locks arms with other Democrats and opposes the nomination of Neil Gorsuch for the Supreme Court. She’s also in hot water over her handling of the Tomah VA “Candy Land” scandal.
Wisconsinites have little patience for political grandstanding, and even less patience for politicians who leave veterans hanging out to dry – then pins the blame on a staffer and offers her hush money.
Names often bandied about as potential challengers for Baldwin are state Sen. Leah Vukmir, state Rep. Dale Kooyenga, hedge fund manager Eric Hovde, Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, and Marine veteran/businessman Kevin Nicholson (who recently got the endorsement of mega-donor Dick Uihlein).
What the GOP needs to avoid at all costs, however, is a replay of the 2012 GOP primary, variously comparable to a circular firing squad, bloodbath, melee, or train wreck. Former Gov. Tommy Thompson emerged so badly injured from the primary, he had practically no money, while Baldwin had an entire summer to raise cash and plot her messaging.
It took Senator Tammy Baldwin precisely 0.64 seconds to completely reverse her position on the Senate’s duty to “advise and consent” on presidential Supreme Court appointments. That’s about how long it took for President Trump to utter the name “Judge Neil Gorsuch.”
In 2016, when a nominee of President Obama was forced to sit in the proverbial waiting room for most of the year, Baldwin joined the chorus of feigned outrage from the left. But now that a new president – one who she doesn’t like as much – has made a nomination of his own, she’s completely reversed her position by supporting a filibuster to clog up the pipeline to the high court.
A new Politifact column declares Baldwin’s new position to be a full flip-flop. When Politifact calls out a Democrat, you know the case must be airtight. They write:
When [Merrick] Garland was nominated in March 2016, Republicans moved to block his nomination, which prompted the ire of Democrats.
Baldwin declared: “It’s the constitutional duty of the president to select a Supreme Court nominee, and the Senate has a responsibility to give that nominee a fair consideration with a timely hearing and a timely vote.”
But now that Baldwin is in the minority and facing a Republican nominee, she is supporting a filibuster that creates a roadblock to reaching that final vote. Her claim to “support” a cloture vote makes no sense since that isn’t up to her party — cloture would be pushed by Republicans and is only needed if Baldwin and other Democrats pursue a filibuster.
On the day Trump announced his nomination of Gorsuch, Baldwin said she would give him a fair hearing, but apparently she immediately suffered a severe case of amnesia and declared two days later her intention to vote against Gorsuch – before ever meeting with him. The hypocrisy didn’t slip past Governor Walker:
Hypocrisy: telling others to meet with #SCOTUS nominee in 2016, but announcing your vote on nominee in 2017 before a meeting.
— Scott Walker (@ScottWalker) February 3, 2017
President Obama nominated Merrick Garland for the Supreme Court last March following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. In the spirit of Obama’s own “elections have consequences” declaration, the Republican-controlled Senate decided not to take action on the Garland nomination. They cited a longstanding precedent that a lifetime appointment to the high court shouldn’t be made in the waning months of a presidency.
As the election’s outcome made plain, the argument seems to have held true that a Supreme Court nominee in the last few months of a president’s term might not reflect the sentiment of the time, and many voters made their decision in large measure because of the grave importance of who would fill the Scalia seat.
And of course, after the election of now-President Trump and the glorious departure of Obama, Garland packed his bags. Trump selected Judge Neil Gorsuch as his nominee on January 31.
Suddenly, Democrats whose hair was ablaze at the GOP’s refusal to hold hearings and an “up or down” vote on Garland…well, their hair is still ablaze, except now they’re angry the American people elected a Republican president and dashed their hopes of regaining control of the Senate.
The halls of Congress reek with hypocrisy. Suddenly, Democrats like Baldwin who hugged the Constitution while demanding a “timely hearing and a timely vote” on Garland are now hell bent on doing everything possible to stop Gorsuch – by all measures one of most qualified candidates for the Supreme Court imaginable and as close a fit to the strict constructionist, originalist judicial philosophy for which Justice Scalia was legendary.
In fact, Gorsuch has famously said that a judge who likes all the outcomes of his or her decisions is not a good judge – judges should apply the rule of law objectively, not manipulate it to create outcomes they like. This speaks volumes about Gorsuch’s sterling character – and Democrats’ rabid opposition to him speaks volumes about theirs.
For their part, the Republicans argue that, unlike their opposition to Garland, blocking a SCOTUS nomination made literally within days of a new president’s inauguration is unprecedented. That’s not stopping Democrat Senators from flip-flopping en masse like a sinking boatload of wet waffles – even some from states Trump won, like Wisconsin.
Baldwin’s staff is trying hard to muddy the waters with as much double-speak as they can muster, but Politifact does an excellent job of cutting through the nonsense her office is putting out:
In an email, Baldwin spokesman John Kraus said the senator’s position is consistent because she supported a hearing, a committee vote and a floor vote for both nominees.
Politifact goes through the byzantine Senate rules behind the filibuster to explain why Baldwin is a hypocrite. Essentially, a filibuster is the use of Senate rules to create a debate of infinite duration, thereby blocking any final vote on the nominee (only in Washington, eh?). A filibuster can be stopped by the use of cloture, a vote that sets a limit on debate – that vote requires 60 votes, so Democrats theoretically have enough votes to stand in the way.
The Baldwin spokesman slyly told Politifact that the senator supports a vote for cloture, but since she’s in the minority, her party wouldn’t even be in a position to make such a motion. Her position on cloture is as meaningful as my position on the clothing lines at Kohl’s. Politifact explains further:
But cloture is a maneuver executed by the majority party (Republicans in this case), so Baldwin’s “support” for that is both unnecessary and irrelevant.
The filibuster/cloture tactic has only been used four times for nominees to the Supreme Court since 1968 – and this one would be in the first few months of a presidency. The obstructionism and the hypocritical double-speak to justify it is hard to fathom. Fortunately, the Republicans can and might (and should) simply change Senate rules (with a simple majority vote) to eliminate the 60-vote cloture requirement for Supreme Court nominees.
The Democrats used this “nuclear option” for lower court nominees, presumably to get judges approved and keep the courts moving effectively. Since the Supreme Court is, well, the supreme court, it stands to reason that using the nuclear option to get Gorsuch approved is of even more supreme importance and even more supremely logical.
Elections do have consequences, and unfortunately for obstructionist Democrats like Tammy Baldwin, Justice Neil Gorsuch will be one of them.