Imagine, if you will, the shoes were on the other feet and a Republican president with less than one year to go in his/her second term occupied the White House when a liberal justice of a split Supreme Court died in an election year in which Democrats controlled the Senate.
Would the Senate hold hearings on any nominee selected by the president?
Of course not.
Democrats would, without question, refuse to take up the president's nomination, just as Republicans today refuse to take up President Obama's choice for the High Court, Merrick Garland.
And, in our view, therein lies the problem.
Everything in polarized, stridently partisan Washington, D.C., these days is filtered through the prism of politics, it seems. Neither political party is innocent.
It's one reason why only 11 percent of likely American voters gave the performance of Congress a good or excellent rating in a Rasmussen Reports survey last month.
So spare us piety, from both sides of the aisle, about the debate over replacing Scalia. This, it seems clear to us, is about settling political scores and exercising political power.
To this point, no Republican, including Iowa Senators Charles Grassley (who chairs the Judiciary Committee) and Joni Ernst, is willing to take the high road, in spite of past political battles, and advocate for putting politics aside and doing what's right.
As we have said before, we believe the Senate should take up Obama's nomination. In our view, the Senate should perform its "advice and consent" responsibility by giving Garland a full, fair vetting. In the end, individual senators should explain to Americans why they support or oppose him. If the Garland nomination fails, so be it, but the process set forth in the Constitution deserves respect and Garland deserves a hearing.
In other words, senators should do their jobs.
Instead, it appears, we will witness nothing more than still another political spectacle.
This will be followed, in some form, by payback from Democrats, followed by payback from Republicans ...
Our question: When does this end?