Democrats’ radically nuclear response to the SCOTUS vacancy is a real threat to Joe Biden’s candidacy. Up until now, Biden has been able to run as the “take a breath” candidate. Things have been crazy; here’s an empathetic elderly gentleman who will restore normalcy.
All of that goes by the wayside when Dems threaten to kill the filibuster, ram through new states, pack the court, and impeach people just to delay Supreme Court hearings. Now the election becomes a referendum on the new, far more threatening batch of crazy Dems are proposing.
And it IS crazy. If Democrats were to kill the filibuster, add states, and pack the court, the fundamental nature of the federal government would be completely rewritten. Essentially, a bare majority of Democrats would be able to, unchecked, rewrite the Constitution.
States would correctly resist. Imagine a 53-vote Democratic majority (adding four Dem Senators from DC and Puerto Rico, e.g.) ramming through a gun confiscation package. Imagine a 13-member packed SCOTUS greenlighting that measure. You think TX, MS, GA, FL stand for that?
Checks and balances were designed to require overwhelming consent to major political changes. Democrats have long objected to those checks and balances, but have refrained from utterly abolishing them. That’s because the consequences of abolishing them is national dissolution.
That’s why Biden is hesitating here. He’s afraid of ruling out going nuclear — which would likely win him the election — because he’s afraid of sapping the base of its energy.
He’s also afraid of endorsing going nuclear, because he’s afraid the election will then become a referendum on his endorsement of radicalism.