MSNBC’s Ruhle in SCOTUS Panic: Dems ‘Going to Get Played’ By GOP!

On her 9:00 a.m. ET hour show Tuesday morning, MSNBC anchor Stephanie Ruhle was in full panic mode over President Biden delaying his nomination of a Supreme Court pick by even a day to conduct a bipartisan meeting with senators about the judicial appointment. Her partisan paranoia was on display as she fretted that Democrats were somehow “going to get played” by Republicans.          

“President Biden will meet today with Senators Dick Durbin and Republican Chuck Grassley, the top members of the Judiciary Committee, about his plans to replace Supreme Court justice Stephen Breyer,” Ruhle neutrally reported at the top of the segment. However, just moments later, the worried host engaged in complete left-wing hackery as she turned to PBS’s Yamiche Alcindor:

Yamiche, help me out here. Chuck Grassley was on board to deny Merrick Garland even a hearing in 2016. He was unapologetic about it as recently as last year. Why in the world does Biden want to meet with him? Merrick Garland has to be watching this saying they are going to run the clock and then say it’s close to the midterms and we are going to get played again.

While Alcindor claimed Biden was “trying to put his best foot forward” by talking to some Republicans, she also engaged in the same panicked fearmongering as Ruhle:

But Democrats also realize that this is going to be something that has to move quickly and that time is still of the essence. Democrats really, with this 50/50 split in the Senate, all it takes is one person to get sick, one person to not be able to come in, and everything gets derailed. So that is also in the back of Democrats’ minds.

Talking to Punchbowl News co-founder John Bresnahan, Ruhle wailed: “John, nobody is going to care about the show if they don’t get the results. We get a COVID flare-up, everybody goes home, the timing could get pushed again.” She then demanded: “Is the Biden administration making a mistake in putting on this best effort when it could put at risk this massively important appointment?”

Bresnahan admitted: “…it’s a 50/50 Senate. If one Democrat, you know, can’t make it or for health reasons, whatever, that would be a huge problem.”

Going back to Alcindor minutes later, Ruhle was still freaking out: “Biden saying he could wait as much as four weeks. Are Democrats nervous that this could put things at risk?” Alcindor agreed: “They’re definitely some Democrats who are nervous about the timing, but it’s again – goes back to the idea that you’re dealing with senators who are mature, who have – who could possibly have some sort of health issues, so everyone is sort of on pins and needles…”

Near the end of the discussion, while speaking with NYU Law Professor and potential Biden SCOTUS nominee Melissa Murray, Ruhle whined that the President wasn’t getting enough credit for all the leftist federal judges he has appointed: “Biden is getting a lot more done on the bench front than people realize….more federal judges confirmed in 2021 than any first-year president since Reagan. 40 in his first year. Trump got 23. Why isn’t this getting more attention? It’s a very big deal.”

Murray joined in by complaining that the liberal press wasn’t doing enough to promote it: “I could turn the question back on you, Stephanie. Why isn’t the media reporting this? Because this is the true success of Biden’s domestic agenda.” She then swooned:

He’s completely turned this around. Not only is there a demographic diversity, there’s diversity with the kind of professional experience that these nominees have. Public defenders, labor-side lawyers. I mean, the array is absolutely staggering. And again, it looks more like the legal profession than perhaps it ever has.

Ruhle assured that she had done her part in smearing Trump appointees to the federal bench: “We do need to talk about it more. During the last administration, we talked right here about all those judges Trump was putting on the bench, white male under the age of 40, men with very little credibility, some were ghost hunters.”

The obedient anchor then followed Murray’s instructions: “And we should remind our audience, 40 confirmed in Biden’s first year, many of whom are true representation of our legal force in this country.”

Ruhle’s freak-out over the normal Supreme Court nomination process playing out was brought to viewers by Verizon and Noom. You can fight back by letting these advertisers know what you think of them sponsoring such content.

Here is a full transcript of the February 1 segment:

9:33 AM ET

STEPHANIE RUHLE: Developing this morning, President Biden will meet today with Senators Dick Durbin and Republican Chuck Grassley, the top members of the Judiciary Committee, about his plans to replace Supreme Court justice Stephen Breyer. It comes after Durbin said several Republican senators are open to a Biden pick.

The White House is considering more than a dozen candidates. The President said he’ll announce his pick within the next month. So let’s discuss and bring in Yalmiche Alcindor, the moderator of Washington Week on PBS, John Bresnahan, co-founder of Punchbowl News, and Melissa Murray, an NYU Law professor and MSNBC legal analyst, and one of the candidates that the White House has floated to replace Justice Breyer.

Yamiche, help me out here. Chuck Grassley was on board to deny Merrick Garland even a hearing in 2016. He was unapologetic about it as recently as last year. Why in the world does Biden want to meet with him? Merrick Garland has to be watching this saying they are going to run the clock and then say it’s close to the midterms and we are going to get played again.

YAMICHE ALCINDOR: Well, based on my conversations with White House officials, this is really President Biden trying to put his best foot forward, trying to, in some ways, dig in on the idea that bipartisanship is something he wants to embrace, even if it’s not necessary for his Supreme Court pick. It is a different timing, and Democrats feel pretty, I think, confident that they will be able to get this nominee through Congress. Of course they have the numbers on their side at this point.

But Democrats also realize that this is going to be something that has to move quickly and that time is still of the essence. Democrats really, with this 50/50 split in the Senate, all it takes is one person to get sick, one person to not be able to come in, and everything gets derailed. So that is also in the back of Democrats’ minds.

But I think this White House meeting here, it really is, I think, just a show to say for President Biden, “You elected me to be somebody who is bipartisan, you elected me to be someone who tried to work across the aisle, I’m going to do that.” But my conversations with White House officials tell me that he is not going to be waiting for Republicans to try to give him a green light to get through his nominee.

RUHLE: John, nobody is going to care about the show if they don’t get the results. We get a COVID flare-up, everybody goes home, the timing could get pushed again. Is the Biden administration making a mistake in putting on this best effort when it could put at risk this massively important appointment?

JOHN BRESNAHAN: Well, listen, President Biden served for 36 years in the Senate, I think you have to factor that in. He – you know, form does matter, process matters, procedure matters to Biden. And I think he wants to go back to pre – you know, some of the form of the pre-Trump era where you have this kind of meeting, you know, even if it does, as you pointed out correctly, that as Yamiche said it, it does not really matter. It’s not going to – you know, he’s not sitting around waiting for Republicans to offer him names.

So I think process matters, but, yeah, listen, Senator Durbin was talking about this yesterday, all the, you know, all the Democrats and the White House are cognizant of, you know, it’s a 50/50 Senate. If one Democrat, you know, can’t make it or for health reasons, whatever, that would be a huge problem. So, I mean, it depends on the senator, it depends on the timing.

Justice Breyer’s not going anywhere, if you read his resignation – or his retirement letter – he plans to stay until or can stay throughout the rest of his term. So that doesn’t change the balance on the Court. So I think Democrats are feeling they’ve got to move, but they don’t want to do what Republicans do. They just don’t want to just jam somebody through in 27 days, like Amy Coney Barrett was.

RUHLE: Why not? It gets the job done and it gets them what they’re looking for. Melissa, you could be one of the people or the person they are looking for. Have you spoken to the White House at all, being one of the 13 names floated? That’s a big deal.

MELISSA MURRAY: It’s a big deal. I’m honored to be included in this list. But to be clear, I think it’s important to reflect on what this nomination will mean for the country. It’s the first time an African American woman will sit on the high court. That’s enormous.

And it’s true that more contentious confirmation battles have become the norm, but I think we should reflect on the time when unanimity in Supreme Court confirmations was actually the rule and many people would just go along with the President’s pick, recognizing that elections have consequences, and though you did not necessarily agree ideologically with someone, it wasn’t really your pick to make and the President has his choice.

And so all of these people are qualified. All of them would be fantastic jurists. And I think that the President has the votes and this will proceed in good order.

RUHLE: Yamiche, do you think there are any Republicans out there who are disappointed that Trump got Amy Coney Barrett in so quickly? I mean, he nominated her in eight days and got it done. Biden saying he could wait as much as four weeks. Are Democrats nervous that this could put things at risk?

ALCINDOR: They’re definitely some Democrats who are nervous about the timing, but it’s again – goes back to the idea that you’re dealing with senators who are mature, who have – who could possibly have some sort of health issues, so everyone is sort of on pins and needles when it comes to making sure that all 50 senators can be there, that the Vice President can do her tie-breaking vote.

There is of course some – it depends of course who the nominee is, but there is talk that there could be some Democratic votes. You already hear the South Carolina delegation sort of coalescing, Democrats and Republicans, behind Judge Childs there. So there is this sort of feeling that maybe they can afford to lose possibly one Democrat if something happens and a senator can’t make it.

But in the original question, you talked about, sort of, are Republicans at all disappointed in Amy Coney Barrett flying through? Of course not. President Trump had all sorts of headaches for Republicans. They, in some ways, despised talking about him when there were tweets flying and all of this stuff. What they got was three Supreme Court justices on the bench, and that meant everything, with so many Republicans, including Republicans who are pro-life, including Republicans who are anti-mask. The Supreme Court can do all sorts of things in this pandemic, apart from, of course, some of the, sort of, issue-based issues like Affirmative Action, like abortion. So Republicans understood they had to get Amy Coney Barrett through.

The same, I think, is true, the energy is through when it comes to Democrats, but I think President Biden is, as John just said, someone who wants to make sure that he takes the process seriously.

RUHLE: But, Melissa, Biden is getting a lot more done on the bench front than people realize. You know, Republicans get credit for The Federalist Society, all those judges Trump appointed. However, Biden got more federal judges confirmed in 2021 than any first-year president since Reagan. 40 in his first year. Trump got 23. Why isn’t this getting more attention? It’s a very big deal.

MURRAY: I could turn the question back on you, Stephanie. Why isn’t the media reporting this? Because this is the true success of Biden’s domestic agenda. And it’s not simply that he has been absolutely assiduous in getting his nominees through. The nominees look very different from what we’ve seen for a long time. Historically, nominees to the federal courts have been drawn from the ranks of prosecutors, big-firm lawyers. He’s completely turned this around. Not only is there a demographic diversity, there’s diversity with the kind of professional experience that these nominees have. Public defenders, labor-side lawyers. I mean, the array is absolutely staggering. And again, it looks more like the legal profession than perhaps it ever has.

RUHLE: Amen to that. We do need to talk about it more. During the last administration, we talked right here about all those judges Trump was putting on the bench, white male under the age of 40, men with very little credibility, some were ghost hunters. And we should remind our audience, 40 confirmed in Biden’s first year, many of whom are true representation of our legal force in this country. Thank you all so much. I appreciate you joining me for this conversation.

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