We’re back at the age-old game of “chicken” in place of “democracy.”
Pelosi sets 48-hour deadline for White House on stimulus talks
Fadel Allassan / Axios
… Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said he would not put a potential $1.8 trillion+ deal struck by Democrats and the Trump administration on the Senate floor. Instead, the Senate will vote next week on a Paycheck Protection Program extension and a targeted $500 billion relief package*.
* Unspoken: A cosmetic bill doomed to fail but needed so that Republican senators can go back home for the elections and lie to constituents that THEY tried to do a stimulus bill, they TRIED to keep you from being evicted, going bankrupt, being foreclosed on, eating food, etc. but evil DEMMYCRATS refused to help!
And, given their past track record on this sort of thing, they will probably be successful at the lie. Which is why Mitch McConnell was caught at his debate with challenger Amy McGrath giggling and laughing at ridiculous notions of people living and dying. Well America,
The fault is not in our stars, but in our Mitch.
No burying the lede: Mitch McConnell’s justifications of his blocking of Judge Merrick Garland’s nomination for the Supreme Court were more than just political boilerplate. Mere words to Mitch, but embodying sacred and unalienable rights of the people in a democracy: the right to have our collective voice heard. And on that measure, by any objective standard, Mr. McConnell has suffered from deep and debilitating hearing loss.
It is a threat to our democracy on a par with treason. And we need to take his repudiation of those selfsame platitudes extremely seriously .
Let me back up slightly: Noah Rothman, a “conservative” commentator who has made himself palatable to liberal venues almost snorted when commenting on the hypocrisy of Mitch McConnell’s creation of ONE standard for President Obama’s Supreme Court Nominees and AN OPPOSITE standard for Trump’s. “Hypocrisy is the sea all politicians swim in, “Mr. Rothman said, approximately. Ho hum.
BUT IT IS NOT “HO HUM”! It is a clear and present danger.
And that is more than just a throwaway. It is throwing away our very republic. Listen to what Senator Mitch “Moscow Mitch” McConnell actually said in 2016:
“(Democrats would) rather the Senate simply push through yet another lifetime appointment by a president on his way out the door,” they write.
“Given that we are in the midst of the presidential election process, we believe that the American people should seize the opportunity to weigh in on whom they trust to nominate the next person for a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court,” they conclude. “It is today the American people, rather than a lame-duck president whose priorities and policies they just rejected in the most-recent national election, who should be afforded the opportunity to replace Justice Scalia.”
And invoking precedent:
“Of course it’s within the president’s authority to nominate a successor even in this very rare circumstance — remember that the Senate has not filled a vacancy arising in an election year when there was divided government since 1888, almost 130 years ago — but we also know that Article II, Section II of the Constitution grants the Senate the right to withhold its consent, as it deems necessary.” Feb. 22, 2016
And the next day:
“The Senate will appropriately revisit the matter after the American people finish making in November the decision they’ve already started making today.” Feb. 23, 2016
And the next month:
Commenting on Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland, McConnell said: It is important for the Senate to “give the people a voice in the filling of this vacancy” by waiting until the next president takes office. “The American people may well elect a president who decides to nominate Judge Garland for Senate consideration,” McConnell said. “The next president may also nominate someone very different. Either way, our view is this: Give the people a voice.” March 16, 2016
And four years later (with Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s body still warm!):
With the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, McConnell said, “President Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate. “Americans reelected our majority in 2016 and expanded it in 2018 because we pledged to work with President Trump and support his agenda, particularly his outstanding appointments to the federal judiciary,” he added. “Once again, we will keep our promise.”
Emphasis added in all cases.
Funny. The will of the voters ONLY seems to matter when McConnell can hide behind their apron strings.
There was an historical landslide in 2018.
It was a Democratic landslide. Republicans picked up seats in the Senate only because of a fluke in the scheduling: a small number of Democratic seats were in vastly “red” states, e.g. Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill in Missouri. Everywhere else, Republicans were slaughtered, even losing ALL congressional seats on Orange County, California, the Republican Vatican of the latter half of the 20th Century. Home of the John Birch Society.
But note how neatly Mitch turns reality on its head to justify his actions.
The reality? Millions of Americans flipped the House and gave speaker Pelosi as clear a mandate as one can ever obtain from an election.
Here’s the famous photo of how Mr. McConnell treated the “Will of the People”:
Now: where is the danger of which I spoke?
It is this: in our political system, words mean something. And principles mean something. Locke, I think, noted that words lose their meaning over time. And that the MEANING behind the words had to be engraved in the hearts of the practitioners of that franchise.
Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can save it; no constitution, no law, no court can even do much to help it.
~Judge Learned Hand “The Spirit of Liberty” – speech at “I Am an American Day” ceremony, Central Park, New York City (21 May 1944)
We can no more afford to have one high handed autocrat in the Senate than we can in the White House. Polling has consistently shown that on the major issues confronting Americans, Mr. McConnell has flouted the will of the people, even when communicated by electoral landslide.
Think of it: the White House and the Senate did not so much as wait for the present Democratic House to take their oaths of office before announcing their intentions to attack, belittle, befuddle and ignore them.
“Will of the People.”
Thus, an impeachment trial with no witnesses. Kangaroos could have done better.
“Will of the People.”
Oh, and we have completely forgotten that Trump shut down the government for the longest time ever before this congress could get their seating assignments!
“Will of the People.”
When one of the four highest-ranking officers in our democracy openly sneers at the selfsame people whose “will” he demands obeisance to (when it suits his needs), something has got to remain: democracy (in which case no more need for fatuous and mealy-mouthed platitudes about the will of the people and “the people have spoken“*) or Mister McConnell (in which case an oligarchy supported by tax-paying serfs in a sovereignty grab not seen since Joseph grabbed all the private real estate in Egypt in return for food from Pharaoh’s granaries. Oh. Wait).
The Earth cannot survive them both.
… we believe that the American people should seize the opportunity to weigh in on whom they trust to nominate the next person for a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court.” — Mitch McConnell, Senate Republican Majority Leader
* Any politician who thinks that the election of 2018 was a Republican win or that one can absurdly “spin” it as such is either arrogant in his power, senescent or some organic alternative to the latter. Oh. Wait. Mitch lies. All. The. Damned. Time. And, in this case, a clever lie cunningly omitting the base of the iceberg for the tip. Welcome to one of the big four steerers of the U.S.A. Titanic.