This week Mitch McConnell is going to further destroy the Senate. He's going nuclear, meaning he’s forcing a rules change with a simple majority vote: to dramatically reduce the debate time between when the Senate moves a nominee forward for consideration and when the nomination gets a final vote, from 30 hours to as few as two for most nominees to federal district courts and sub-Cabinet-level executive branch positions. Democrats have used those rules to try to stem the onslaught of appallingly unqualified and should-be-disqualified deplorables into government and the judiciary.
That McConnell's doing it isn't such a great surprise. The jaw-droppingly shameless argument he's using to do it is. In an op-ed, that man who somehow still hasn't been struck down by lightning where he stands says it's because "of the historic obstruction Senate Democrats have visited upon President Trump’s nominees for two years and counting." He complains that "for the first time in memory, a minority has exploited procedure to systematically obstruct a president from staffing up his administration."
Clearly McConnell has memory problems. Or maybe it doesn't count when it's the majority that's exploiting procedure. Because I'm old enough to remember three years ago, when Sen. Tom Cotton, Arkansas’ worst, blocked President Obama's nominee to be the United States’ ambassador to the Bahamas, Cassandra Butts, for one specific reason, which he made clear to Butts. He "explained that he knew that she was a close friend of Obama's—the two first encountered each other on a line for financial-aid forms at Harvard Law School, where they were classmates—and that blocking her was a way to inflict special pain on the president." The pain was acute. Butts died of cancer at age 50, having waited well over 800 days for a confirmation vote.
Do we even need to talk about Merrick Garland, the Obama Supreme Court nominee McConnell refused to even meet with? Or the all the judges that McConnell is pushing through over the objections of their home-state senators, if those senators happen to be Democrats? Or just every single goddamned thing McConnell has done in his wretched career as leader of the Senate Republicans?
There's one answer: take the Senate away from him and be just as ruthless and creative in restoring it as he's been in destroying it.
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