- - Friday, April 1, 2016

When conservatives are asked to list who their congressional heroes are, there is a really good chance Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s name does not show up on the list. Conservatives blame him for many things, including being unwilling to fight Barack Obama and the president’s radical agenda.

What many in the conservative movement do not seem to realize is that Mitch McConnell is leading a lonely and crucial fight for conservatism that will shape this nation for decades to come.

On February 13, 2016, the political world was shocked when Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia died, while on a hunting trip in Texas. The result of Scalia’s death was nothing less than a political earthquake.

The U.S. Supreme Court has been ideologically divided for almost three decades, with conservative justices generally having the upper hand. The court could count on five justices falling on the conservative side of issues and four liberal justices going the other way.

Scalia’s death changed that.

Now the left is salivating over the possibility of a liberal majority on the Supreme Court. They remember the glory days of the Warren Court in the ‘60s, when liberal activism ruled the day.

Mr. Obama wasted little time in nominating Merrick Garland, a far left-wing federal appeals judge. On the bench, Judge Garland tried to attack the Heller and McDonald cases that helped save the 2nd Amendment. And the odds are pretty good, he is against the Citizens United case, which saved the First Amendment.

Even before Mr. Obama nominated Judge Garland, there was one voice standing up, saying no to any Obama nominee.

Mitch McConnell.

Conservatives realize how much is at stake with this nomination. If confirmed, Obama would get to reshape the court on his way out. Mr. McConnell said on Fox News, “Look, Barack Obama calling judge, this judge a moderate doesn’t make him a moderate. This judge would move the court dramatically to the left. He’s enthusiastically supported by MoveOn.org.”

Mr. McConnell is absolutely right about that.

Mr. McConnell realizes the impact of another liberal on the bench. “The next justice could fundamentally alter the direction of the Supreme Court and have a profound impact on our country, so of course the American people should have a say in the Court’s direction,” Mr. McConnell said even before Judge Garland’s nomination.

Some Republicans have already started to cave. Liberal Republican Sen. Mark Kirk, who is going to lose his bid for re-election in Illinois, called for a vote on Judge Garland’s nomination. Some other Republicans, including New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte and Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, both in tough election battles this year, have agreed to meet with Judge Garland. Sen. Ayotte in particular is adamant that there will be no vote.

In the end, the decision is Mitch McConnell’s and he is saying no.

Conservatives have a very bad habit of knowing what they oppose but not necessarily knowing what they want. Even worse, conservatives tend to be their own worst enemies in political fights. Too often they demonize those who are trying to help them achieve their goals, simply because whoever the person is, is not perfect.

If the Republicans can take the White House this fall and hold on to the Senate, Merrick Garland can go down in history as just another nominee for the Supreme Court, not confirmed by the Senate.

If the Republicans can take the White House and hold onto the Senate, a year from now, the GOP can be working on confirming a conservative Supreme Court nominee.

If Merrick Garland is stopped, it will be because of one man: Mitch McConnell. If Judge Garland is stopped, conservatives owe Mitch McConnell a big debt of gratitude.

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