On Saturday, just after the nation learned that Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia had died, Senator Mitch McConnell opened his mouth and created a vacuum.
In the days that followed, volumes of words have been spoken and written about the majority leader’s short statement regarding the appropriate time to choose an individual to fill Scalia’s seat on the high court. Some praised his resolve. Others denounced him for trying to control the process set forth in the Constitution.
It has been a big waste of airtime and newsprint. In short, the majority leader said nothing of substance. He is full of so much hot air, we could package him and replace the National Helium Reserve. Then he might serve a useful purpose.
For the record, here are the relevant sentences in McConnell’s statement:
“The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new President.”
If McConnell had been a man of resolve, he simply would have said, “Therefore, this vacancy will not be filled until we have a new president.”
Under the rules of the Senate, McConnell, as majority leader, controls the schedule. It really doesn’t matter who Obama nominates to fill Scalia’s seat, that nominee won’t come up for a vote unless McConnell brings him or her up. End of story.
Unfortunately, anyone who has watched McConnell for any length of time knows that his statement was simply the beginning of a long, unserious “play fight” which ends with the majority leader, finally rolling over in an agonizing surrender and Obama thumping his chest in victory.
We’ve seen this play fight before on Obamacare, raising the debt limit, stopping Obama’s illegal executive amnesty and defunding Planned Parenthood. Before 2015, there was a least a case to be made that these poor pitiful Senate Republicans had no power, but now the jig is up, or at least it should be.
McConnell is a master of saying one thing or voting one way and, behind the scenes, working for quite another.
During last summer’s debate in the Senate on the highway bill, the majority leader engineered a vote that allowed it to move forward with an amendment to reauthorize the Export-Important Bank — the poster child for corporate welfare — which the new Republican majority had successfully killed a few months earlier. McConnell voted against that procedural move, but it passed, thanks to him, largely with Democrat votes.
For anyone who was paying attention, it showed Democrats to be more addicted to these corporate giveaways than Republicans, but it also showed McConnell to be a two-faced politician.
Ted Cruz was the only senator in his party to call him out http://www.wnd.com/2015/07/cruz-vs-mcconnell-who-is-lying/ and for that he has been unjustly criticized by some of his colleagues who have covered for McConnell for far too long.
Lest there be any doubt, when the highway bill was due to come up in the House, McConnell put newly-elected speaker, Paul Ryan, on notice that he wasn’t moving it forward without the reauthorization for the Ex-Im Bank hidden in the fine print.
Killing the Ex-Im Bank was the only constructive thing the Republicans had done for the taxpayers of this country since they took control of Congress, but McConnell pulled the rug right out from under them.
Despite McConnell’s rhetoric about allowing the people to decide what kind of justice will replace Scalia, mark my word, he will come up with an excuse to allow a vote. Then, Obama will pull off just enough Republicans to have his nominee confirmed.
Traditionally, Democrats fight like hell to get their ideologues on the high court and far too many Republicans think it is their duty to approve them irregardless of how these leftists view their role as jurists or the Constitution.
We’ve all seen this movie too many times before. It’s the Republican version of the “Groundhog Day. ”
In the 1993 film classic, Bill Murray plays a self-absorbed weatherman who was sent to Punxsutawney, PA, for the annual festivities he was loathe to cover and found himself in a time warp, reliving the day over and over again The cycle finally ends when he becomes a better man and breaks the spell after a period of some 34 years.
We don’t have 34 years to save the country. The cycle McConnell has created will repeat itself and the Constitution will be reduced to so much Silly Putty. All we can do is watch, moan and pass the popcorn.