WATCH: Barney Frank schools GOP consultant after he admits high court hold-up is about party unity
A Republican consultant stepped in it Friday night on HBO’s Real Time after he candidly admitted that the GOP’s hold-up on hearings to replace a Supreme Court justice was more about maintaining “the Republican coalition” than sound governance.
With host Bill Maher and former Congressman Barney Frank standing by ready to pounce, GOP advisor Rick Wilson began by stressing the point that there was no reason why the vacancy created by Antonin Scalia’s death had to be filled right away.
Then he got into the politics of the Supreme Court stall.
“Mitch McConnell knows one thing very clearly,” he explained. “If they allow an Obama justice to go forward at this point it will blow a gigantic hole in the Republican coalition like we have never seen before. They have drawn a bright line, they have sworn this is a line they’re not going to cross –”
After Wilson was briefly interrupted by host Maher, Wilson admitted, “I’m a shameless political guy,” only to have Maher shoot back, “But aren’t you an American first?”
Then it was Barney Frank’s time.
“I spent 40 years as an elected official. I ran for office 20 times,” Frank began. “I understand the role of politics, but I am disappointed, Rick. The explicit elevation of the need of keeping your coalition together over the functioning of the federal government is awful.”
“Yes, it’s in the Constitution that Obama gets to make an appointment,” he continued. “And what McConnell is putting forward is a nonsense theory, namely that it’s only a 3-year term.”
Frank went on to criticize a GOP concession that they might consider filling the slot during the lame duck session that follows the November election when new members are coming in and others may be on their way out due to retirement or losing the election.
“That is the least democratically valid period in the electoral system,” he stated.
Host Maher jumped in to say, “It’s so blatant. They’re saying, “If the person we like wins the election, we go with that guy.'”
Watch the video below via Real Time on Twitter:
— Real Time (@RealTimers) March 19, 2016