Elizabeth Warren's New Viral Post Highlights the Biggest Challenge Within the Republican Party

March 9th 2016

Kyle Jaeger

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., highlighted the internal conflict facing the Republican party in a Facebook post that went viral on Wednesday. She claims that Senate Republicans are being hypocrites for simultaneously fretting over the extremist views of its leading presidential candidates — GOP front-runner Donald Trump and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz — while they engage in the arguably extremist act of blocking any U.S. Supreme Court justices nominated under the Obama administration.


"At the same time they are blocking all possible Supreme Court nominees, and suggesting they’ll beat whomever President Obama chooses like a piñata, Senate Republicans are in a panic because their party seems to be on a path to nominate one of two extremists for President," Warren wrote. "These are not separate issues."

At the same time they are blocking all possible Supreme Court nominees, and suggesting they’ll beat whomever President...

Posted by U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren on Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Warren makes a fair point. The rise of Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump has prompted several GOP leaders — including South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney — to speak out against the candidate. His success in early primary states has thrown the party's "establishment" faction into turmoil as they attempt to derail him from the path to the Republican nomination, Alex Isenstadt of Politico reports:

Well-heeled donors, who have funneled millions of dollars to anti-Trump groups, are in preliminary talks to convene a meeting or conference call after March 15, a crucial day on the nominating calendar that will play a major role in determining whether the billionaire can be stopped. The purpose, according to three sources involved in the planning: to assess whether the multimillion-dollar offensive against Trump is working — and, in the words of one, “what the path forward would be.”

The second of the "extremes" mentioned by Warren is likely Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who is famous for his feats of obstructionism, including his effort to shut down the federal government in 2013 in order to kill funding to the Affordable Care Act. Cruz is currently drafting second behind Trump in the presidential race, much to the dismay of the Republican party's establishment wing.

Who is Warren Talking About?

In particular, she's referencing Republican congressmen who feel threatened by the "extreme" positions taken by Cruz and Trump, who nevertheless engage in the "extreme" behavior of obstructing the supreme court nomination process. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). McConnell, for example, has touted his plan to block President Obama's potential Supreme Court nominees, while at the same time scheming to derail Trump's campaign.

However, in fairness, it could be argued that Democrats have engaged in this type of extreme behavior before, as well. In response to criticism from Democrats over the Supreme Court nomination block, some were quick to point out that Vice President Joe Biden, in 1992, urged former President George H. W. Bush to "not name a nominee until after the November election is completed."

Here's Warren's point: Republican Senators can't complain about extremism on the complain trail, while practicing it in Congress.

"For too long, Senate Republicans have tried to have it both ways — feeding ugly lies, rejecting the legitimacy of the President, blocking scores of nominees in an effort to cripple our government — all while claiming they can govern responsibly," Warren said. "That game is over now."

As ATTN: previously reported, Warren called attention to the Supreme Court nomination issue last month. To support her point, she cited Article II Section 2 of the Constitution, which states that the president has a constitutional duty to nominate justices to the bench "with the advice and consent of the Senate." But pushback from several presidential candidates and leaders like McConnell (R-KY) have left the nomination process in limbo. They argue that the next president should be given the opportunity to appoint a justice to replace Scalia.

The sudden death of Justice Scalia creates an immediate vacancy on the most important court in the United...

Posted by U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren on Sunday, February 14, 2016

"If Republican Senators want to stand up to extremists running for President, they can start now by standing up to extremists in the Senate," Warren said. "They can start by doing their jobs."

RELATED: Elizabeth Warren Defends President Obama's SCOTUS Actions