Partisanship has hit a fever pitch in Washington, DC ever since Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his intention to step down from the bench, which opens the door for President Donald Trump to appoint an ultra-conservative replacement that can push forward a right-wing agenda that could include overturning Roe v. Wade. Democrats are already lining up to oppose the unnamed nominee, but their opposition is little more than token resistance according to John Oliver.
"Given all of this, it is understandable that Democrats are desperately trying to game an argument that would let them obstruct or delay Trump's nomination," Oliver noted yesterday on 'Last Week Tonight.' Problem is, none of those tactics will work, he argued.
"They've appealed to Mitch McConnell's sense of fairness and consistency by pointing out that he refused to confirm [Obama's 2016 Supreme Court nominee] Merrick Garland before a major election," Oliver noted. "The problem there is that McConnell couldn't give a flying fuck about fairness or consistency, meaning some Democrats have been forced to move on to Plan B."
That involves calling on the Republicans to hold off on the nomination since many members of the current administration - including Trump himself - could appear before the Supreme Court in the near future to answer allegations arising from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's ongoing investigation into the Trump campaign's alleged collusion with Russia. So it wouldn't be right to let Trump choose the justice who could end up deciding Trump's culpability in that scandal, according to lawmakers like New Jersey Senator Cory Booker (D).
But while that position might seem rational, it's really just a partisan pipe-dream, according to Oliver.
"Okay, so the merits of that argument aside, there is a fundamental problem there," he said. "And that is that Republicans have 51 seats in the Senate. And they need 51 votes to confirm the next justice. So unless Democrats can convince their entire party to oppose the nomination and persuade a number of Republicans over to their side, they are shit out of luck."
And there are no loopholes or quirks in the nomination process that will let Democrats hit the breaks on Trump's appointments, so Oliver has only one suggestion for them: shout into a cardboard box and use it to confront apathetic voters. Seriously. That's all he's got. Check it out in the clip above.