Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell certainly isn't one to be plagued by guilt. After all, he presided over the most baselessly obstructionist Senate in history, including the unprecedented and unprincipled total blockade of President Obama's nominee to the Supreme Court, Merrick Garland. So when he tells his conference to "feel no guilt" over getting rid of the filibuster to install the right-wing extremist Neil Gorsuch to the bench, he's speaking from personal experience.
Mitch McConnell told his leadership team in private this week what's becoming increasingly obvious on Capitol Hill: Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch probably won't get 60 votes to avoid a filibuster.
But the Senate majority leader had an equally pressing message: Republicans should have no compunction about pulling the trigger on the "nuclear option" — with Democrats resisting a high court nominee as well-pedigreed as Gorsuch.
"Feel no guilt," McConnell said, according to attendees.
McConnell's attempt to buck up his GOP ranks, relayed by three sources in attendance, underscores the high stakes of the Gorsuch battle as the Senate barrels toward a likely nuclear showdown next week: His confirmation is, to put it mildly, a can't-lose for Republicans.
That's the same McConnell who declared it was "a sad day in the history of the Senate," when Democrats under Harry Reid ended the filibuster on nominees for the lower courts and government agencies. McConnell called it a "power grab" and said Democrats were "picking a 'fake fight over judges' to try and 'distract the public' from the problems of ObamaCare."
“It only reinforces the narrative of party willing to do or say just about anything to get its way,” said McConnell. “One again, Democrats are threatening to break the rules of the Senate ... in order to change the rules of the Senate,” he said. […]
“I don’t think this is the time to be talking about reprisals. I think it’s a time to be sad about what’s been done to the United States Senate,” he said.
Help resist popular vote loser Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee. Click here to call your Democratic senator(s) and tell them to filibuster Neil Gorsuch’s nomination.
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