Senate Democrats are still fuming over the failed nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court, and one outspoken member has blamed his caucus for failing to adequately motivate the Democratic base on the issue.
If you ask Senate Democrats the first thing they think of when it comes to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) and judges, the response is almost universal, according to the Washington Post.
When the Post posed the question to Sen. Brian Schatz (D., Hawaii), he replied simply, "Merrick Garland."
McConnell's move to block the late Justice Scalia's seat until after the 2016 presidential election is credited to have generated conservative enthusiasm for the Supreme Court issue and for President Donald Trump.
A CNN exit poll showed that voters who said the Supreme Court was "not a factor at all" in the presidential election voted for Clinton by a margin of 18 percent.
Conversely, voters who said the Supreme Court was the most important factor in the election voted for Trump by 15 percentage points.
The Democratic senator noted the enthusiasm gap and gave Republicans credit for their success on the issue.
"The Republicans have better connectivity with their base regarding the judiciary than we do with ours," Schatz said.
"We did a really good job on health care, in terms of mobilizing and inspiring folks, but we have not done the work [on judges] that the right wing has," Schatz added.
Schatz continued to further slam the Democrats' judicial outreach.
"What they did to Merrick Garland was reprehensible," Schatz said, "and our response was embarrassing and tepid, and we just didn’t put up enough of a fight."