WASHINGTON — Democrats know that Amy Coney Barrett is almost certain to be confirmed to the Supreme Court. They also know that this week’s televised confirmation hearings for the 48-year-old judge are a perfect opportunity for them to make the case against President Trump and congressional Republicans — over and over again.
Using evidence ranging from Trump’s tweets to the GOP platform, they have tried to depict Barrett as a symbol of misguided Republican policies. Were she to be confirmed, Democrats argue, she would help enshrine unpopular or damaging policy positions for generations to come.
The goal of the argument is to damage Republican prospects in an election that is now just three weeks away. Trump is dropping in the polls, and there are growing concerns that he is dragging incumbent Republicans in the Senate down into depths from which they cannot hope to resurface.
There is, in addition, the fact that most Americans do not want the Senate to consider Trump’s Supreme Court nominee in what could be the final months of his presidency. Republican know that, but have decided to proceed anyway.
Democrats figure they might as well make them pay for installing Barrett under the circumstances.
At one point, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., pointed to the official Republican platform, which calls for the repudiation of the Affordable Care Act, the Obama-era health law that drastically expanded access to insurance coverage.
“This is what your party platform says,” Whitehouse pointed out. “Why is it surprising for us to be concerned that you want this nominee to do what you want nominees to do?”
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