Whoever said old dogs can’t learn new tricks never met Mitch McConnell. The Senate majority leader may be getting up there in years, but he is now a man of principle. After seven years of your everyday political-obstruction tricks, he has now added the politically principled trick to his repertoire.
Make no mistake about it though: This old dog is still the same nasty old alpha who doesn’t want any other dogs on his porch.
Of course I am referring to the latest present Mitch is leaving on America’s kitchen floor, refusing to consider President Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland, to the Supreme Court. This time, however, his obstructionist dog shit is “about a principle, not a person.” Note that I never said Mitch, the old dog, learned how to be principled; he has simply learned the principled trick. He’s actually just the same old dog who has his people trained to feed and pick up after him.
Some of my favorite highlights from Mitch’s appearance on “FOX News Sunday” this last weekend include:
“The American people need to weigh in and decide who’s going to make this decision. Not this lame-duck president on the way out the door, but the next president, next year.”
Actually, Mitch, Obama is not a lame duck, and neither is the Congress. The phrase lame duck refers only to the period after an election, before the winners of that election take office. Nobody will be a lame duck until November.
On a relatively insignificant note, the entire Senate should forfeit its salaries if it can’t work this year. The average salary for a senator is $174,000. There are 100 of them, so that is about $17.4 million that taxpayers are spending on Mitch’s intransigence.
“All we’re doing is following the longstanding tradition of not filling vacancies on the Supreme Court in the middle of a presidential election year.”
Oh, I see … “tradition.” As of March 16, (according to the American Bar Association) there were 62 Obama nominees waiting to fill as many of 78 federal seats that remain vacant within the federal judicial system. The only “tradition” McConnell is following is his own favorite of running the time out on an Obama presidency.
“The impact that will have on this Court for the next quarter century.”
Another one of Mitch’s favorite traditions is trying to influence the next 25, 50, even 100 years. This is most often a coal, destruction-of-the-climate-and-planet influence, but still a Mitch favorite.
“The principle is: The American people are choosing their next president, and their next president should pick this Supreme Court nominee.”
First, notice Mitch’s mischievous wordplay trick there: “People are choosing their next president, and their next president should pick this Supreme Court nominee.” I almost wish Mitch was suffering from dementia so there would be an explanation for his malicious deceit, but he’s been too consistently deceitful for far too long to be confused now.
Also, Mitch loves to cite the constitutional responsibilities of the Senate to check the president (well, this president anyway). However, it is quite clear that the Constitution never intended for the Supreme Court to be voted on by the public. Mitch’s “principle” is interpreting the Constitution in whatever way that suits his purpose.
Mitch also said, “The Supreme Court is very different from the other Courts.” Again, this is Mitch’s “principled,” personal interpretation.
“I can’t imagine that a Republican majority in the United States Senate would want to confirm, in a lame-duck session, a nominee opposed by the National Rifle Association.”
Good, solid criteria here. Check with the NRA before meeting with, or even considering, the actual nominee.
Can’t you imagine Mitch waking up to the news of Antonin Scalia’s death and being so pissed at Scalia? “Are you kidding me? Come on Scalia!” He had to consider the “Weekend at Bernie’s” option, just to get through the election. Just stick Scalia up on the bench in some shades, then get justices John Roberts and Samuel Alito to carry him back to the party when they’re done.
I guess Mitch just figured: Why go through all the trouble when he can just be the same stubborn old dog he’s been since Obama was inaugurated (the first time)?
While Mitch remains obstinate, Democrats should put out a list of other presidential responsibilities that a lame-duck Obama should refrain from executing so long as he’s “on his way out the door,” as Mitch likes to say. This should obviously include ceasing all operations against Isis, since the American people should decide their next commander in chief, and the next commander in chief should decide how to fight Isis. It’s actually only fair. After all, the Senate and House both stopped working years ago. Good boy, Mitch. Good boy.