Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), the gatekeeper of the federal judiciary, bent his blockade of President Obama's Supreme Court nominee enough to have a private breakfast with him Tuesday morning. Other than sending out a picture in which the usual sourpuss expression is replaced by a smile, Grassley had no comment on the meeting, just a statement from his office.
Grassley's meeting with federal judge Merrick Garland was "cordial and pleasant" and lasted about 70 minutes, according to a statement released by the Iowa Republican's aides. […]
"As he indicated last week, Grassley explained why the Senate won't be moving forward during this hyper-partisan election year," Grassley's statement said. "Grassley thanked Judge Garland for his service."
I'm sure Garland was overwhelmed by Grassley's gratitude. Who wasn't overwhelmed was Harry Reid, who took to the floor again to blast Grassley for extreme things he's done to justify his blockade. (Watch the whole thing below the fold.)
From the time he allowed the Republican leader to seize control of the judiciary committee and dictate his actions as committee chair, Senator Grassley has done a few things, but everything is to deflect responsibility on him personally. He forces committee members to sign a loyalty oath. He tried to force the committee do its work away from the public eye. When Democrats objected, he canceled the meeting altogether. He tried to shut down debate from the presiding officer's chair and the senate floor, which is really unprecedented.
He blamed Chief Justice John Roberts for politicizing the supreme court. These are just a few of the things. And then this morning, he finally met with judge Garland. Even that meeting was held in private, far away from the public eye. These are not the actions of a senator and a chairman who is confident with his decision to block a supreme court nominee. This is the behavior of a senator who knows he is on the wrong side of the constitution and the wrong side of history. Wouldn't it be easier for the senior senator from Iowa just to do his job?
So it would seem. But Grassley has decided that appeasing the far right is his job.
Please donate $3 today to help retire this guy.