I'm somewhat perplexed as to why the Republican senators want to refuse to hold hearings if Obama nominates a new candidate for Supreme Court justice. Wouldn't they look better if they just held the hearings and voted no? If they hold the hearings and vote no, the nominee can't proceed any farther. They can still look like they are functioning; holding hearings, asking questions and then vote no. By not even holding the hearings, it just delays things. I wonder what their strategy is? They certainly look obstructionist. Also, Obama hasn't even nominated anyone yet. It seems like they are doing some kind of posturing, but I can't figure out what even they would gain, politically, from that.
An answer I got when I posted this on Facebook.
I heard two social science researchers from the UW describe the way focus groups and playing to ones base is used in framing public policy. It is not logical to us but that is not their intent. It appeals to major funding sources and the angry energy that mobilizes some activists. Progressives use some of this too now. It feeds cynicism. I wish we could work with the common sense you describe.