Obama Should Let the Senate Advise Him on a Replacement for Scalia

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John Holbo has an interesting notion: President Obama should take seriously the advise part of advise and consent and give the Senate an informal list of nominees to choose from to replace Antonin Scalia. Maybe they’ll pick two or three off the list, maybe just one. Then Obama transmits his final choice for confirmation hearings.

The basic idea is that this puts Republicans in a pickle. If they flatly reject the entire list, it makes their obstructionism a little too barefaced for an election year where they need votes from more than just their base. But if they give tentative approval beforehand, then it’s harder to pretend afterward that Obama has sent them an obviously radical and unacceptable choice.

I suspect this is the kind of idea that sounds better on a blog than it does in the Oval Office, but it’s still interesting. Partly this is because the best Republican response isn’t quite as obvious as it seems. If someone on the list is genuinely moderate, what do they do? They can bet the ranch on winning the presidency and then abolishing the filibuster, which would allow them to confirm a hardcore conservative in 2017. But if they lose—or if they don’t have guts to abolish the filibuster next January—they’ll almost certainly end up being forced to confirm a more liberal justice nominated by President Sanders or President Clinton. Decisions, decisions.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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