Why Do Mainstream Media Legitimize a GOP Coup d’Etat?

Why do highly respected mainstream news outlets, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, and National Public Radio, report on the Republican senators’ opposition to President Obama’s nomination of a replacement for the Supreme Court seat vacated by Justice Antonin Scalia when he passed away as if this is a genuine political power struggle, rather than what it really is: the exercise of extra-Constitutional power by those sworn to uphold the U.S. Constitution, which by any rational measure should be considered an act of treason against the Constitution, rather than as fair political combat?

With every article that reports on the matter as a fight for power — such as the New York Times’s “More Republicans Say They’ll Block Supreme Court Nomination” — without any mention of the Constitutional obligation of the parties – for the President to nominate a justice and for the Senate to offer “advice and consent” – the media lends credibility to those opposing the president, legitimizing this lawless action which, by any objective measure and given the duties as outlined in the Constitution, is nothing less than an attempted coup d’etat by the legislative leaders against the executive and judicial branches of government.


For the record, Article II Section II of the US Constitution says:

[The President] shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to … appoint … Judges of the supreme Court


Note that the Constitution doesn’t even say that the Senate has the power to oppose a President’s nomination. It merely calls on the Senate to exercise “Advice and Consent,” in a subordinate clause in a sentence that without its parenthetical statement actually reads:

[The President] shall have Power to appoint Judges of the supreme Court


It is time for the GOP to exercise the power with which they are vested by the US Constitution: to advise the president on his choice of nominee (and no, “We advise the president not to name a nominee” is not any sort of advice) and then to consent to his choice.

By doing so, the Republican senators would be paying the ultimate tribute to the late Justice Antonin Scalia, who was as we all know a devoted “Originalist” in his interpretation of the Constitution. Or rather, in his reading of the Constitution, since Scalia left little room for interpretation. And Article II, Section II, needs no interpretation. It is plain as the words on this page.

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  5 comments for “Why Do Mainstream Media Legitimize a GOP Coup d’Etat?

  1. Sy Balsen
    February 15, 2016 at 9:37 pm

    Please stick to things you know something about. Thanks!

  2. srogovoy
    February 16, 2016 at 10:09 am

    Dear Sy Balsen,

    Thanks so much for your well-considered, well-argued, deeply thought out rejoinder to my note on the Constitutional obligation of the Senate to advise and consent to the President on judicial nominations.

    I humbly bow to your clear expertise in the matter. You are obviously a Constitutional scholar on a par with Donald Trump, given the acuity of your argument.

    • Sy Balsen
      February 18, 2016 at 9:05 am

      Hey, Seth, where did the comparison to Donald Trump come from? It felt like a sucker punch! I detest Trump and find him very dangerous. And where did your observation of me as a “constitutional scholar” come from? I offered no opinion on the topic.

      I’ve been a big fan of you and your website for along time. I respect your work very much. But I read it for the “compendium of cultural news and observations,” as you subtitle your website. All I was objecting to was the “constitutional scholar” tone of YOUR piece. If it was presented as an observation and opinion, I would have found no fault. I like opposing views! I’m not always right. I like to be challenged.

      But the supreme court nomination is not a simple issue, and neither side (Democrat or Republican) has shown that they are above the fray. Let’s not let either side off the hook. Both sides are playing politics with us. Peace!

  3. RFSinger
    February 16, 2016 at 11:07 am

    Maybe the Republicans are being true to the spirit of a Justice who gave us Bush v Gore.

  4. Art
    February 16, 2016 at 4:05 pm

    Sadly, it’s likely that we will need to wait for The Onion or a TV show such as John Oliver Tonight to be able to discuss your point seriously. In an odd way, is this not similar to the lack of respect for Bernie Sanders being a viable candidate? The “status quo” that we currently experience has not been the status quo for long. It would have been far too nutty, even a decade ago. It’s sad and admittedly a bit frightening that most of the mainstream news media has fallen victim as well, when they should be our watchdogs. Thanks for commenting on something that many, many, many of us are feeling.

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