In his Nov. 17 CNSNews.com column, Lynn Wardle claims that Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland will not receive a Senate hearing not because of Republican senators making a political power play -- as has been widely admitted -- but because of "the rude, disrespectful behavior of the very person who nominated him for the Supreme Court – President Barack Obama." How so, you ask? Wardle explains:
President Obama disrespected Justice Antonin Scalia and was very rude (discreetly, of course) regarding his sudden death earlier this year. President Obama ignored (i.e., chose not to attend) the funeral for Justice Scalia. He failed to demonstrate the minimal courtesy of just showing up to pay respects to a man who had given decades of his life in service to his nation.
Since Scalia was one of nine justices at the top of the judicial branch of the United States, it was incumbent upon the President to attend Justice Scalia’s funeral as a matter of decent respect for of that co-ordinate branch of our federal government and for the members of the Supreme Court. Yet Obama turned his back on Justice Scalia and simply skipped his funeral.
The funeral for Justice Scalia was held in Washington, D.C., within a stone’s throw of the White House, so travel distance was not a factor in the President’s missing the funeral of Justice Scalia. President Obama simply chose to ignore the funeral of Justice Scalia – a man whose judicial views the President did not like.
However, President Obama claimed the right to nominate someone to replace Justice Scalia and to fill his seat on the Supreme Court. That nominee is Merrick Garland.
Somehow, it seems just and fitting that since President Obama was unwilling to show minimal respect to the passing of Justice Scalia that he be denied the right to have his preferred nominee, Judge Merrick Garland, confirmed to fill that vacancy on the high court. And it appears that that is exactly how this strange scenario is playing out.
The Republicans in the Senate did not steal the Court. Rather, President Obama forfeited his opportunity to reshape the Court. He lost that privilege because of his arrogant disrespect of Justice Scalia and for his remarkable career of public judicial service.
His imperial attitude has cost President Obama good will and has diminished the office of the President of the United States.
In fact, a president declining to attend Scalia's funeral is not unheard of. PolitiFact details that Dwight Eisenhower attended one of two funerals for justices who died while he was in office, while Harry Truman attended one of the three funerals for Supreme Court justices who died during his presidency.
There was no mandate by tradition or anything else that Obama attend Scalia's funeral, and Wardle conveniently fails to mention that Vice President Joe Biden did attend the funeral, let alone explain why that was not sufficient for him.
Revenge, however, is a sufficient motive for Wardle.
Wardle also huffs that "Our outgoing President has long had difficulty dealing respectfully with persons who disagree with him," while failing to comment on how the incoming president has an even bigger superiority complex than Obama has ever been accused of.