An uncomplimentary picture takes shape in the mind: the Senate's Democratic minority (save for a higher-minded handful) standing in a row, thumbs affixed to noses, fingers waving provocatively in the air, mouths emitting a rude sound commonly known as "the raspberry." Think we're going to confirm Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court?! Think we're going to apply brains and reasoning power to the defense of constitutional liberty?! Think we're going to behave like adults?! Adults, for crying out loud?!
Everybody with a brain cell in gear understands the frequent ugliness of politics. Politics at bottom is about power—the power to tell others what we're going to do and what we're not. That inescapable consideration renders the whole business contentious and, more than occasionally, mean and lowdown.
The Gorsuch "controversy"—which isn't a controversy based on real differences of legitimate opinion, else the superbly qualified Gorsuch would be confirmed hands-down—illustrates, largely enough for an IMAX screen, the mean and lowdown side of the political power struggle.
Democrats have no more cause to filibuster Gorsuch than they have to strip Malia Obama of U.S. citizenship. They desire, mainly, to give Donald Trump their version of the bird—for offenses having nothing to do with the Gorsuch nomination.
Oh, yes, there's the pretend "issue" of how the Republicans denied a hearing to President Barack Obama's nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to the high court. They did deny such a hearing, for reasons that represent how morally lost our politics have become; to wit, Garland's confirmation (however welcome it might have been at another time) would have cemented the ascendancy of the court's left-to-liberal bloc. That would have crushed Republican hopes for neutralizing the court's growing power to continue legislating in an unanswerable way, removed from redress and accountability.
The Republican refusal to consider Garland's nomination, near the end of Obama's term, was rough but never mean stuff. It signaled the expected birth of a chance to put on the court someone of conservative kidney; then it drew renewed notice to the once unthinkable burgeoning of the court's role as Olympian arbiter of everything, telling the peasants what they were to do, like it or not. For which lamentable state of affairs blame attaches chiefly to the judicial "progressives" Senate Democrats want on the high court, rather than the likes of Neil Gorsuch.