Schumer responds to McConnell’s outrageous lies about obstruction
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell tested the bounds of decency and credibility in an op-ed (published, fittingly, on April Fools’ Day) rationalizing his latest move to nuke the Senate. It was outrageous, just gaudily so, in its claims and accusations of Democratic obstruction of Trump nominees. It shouldn’t have been published without a disclaimer from Politico that it was full of demonstrable lies, but instead, the site left it up to Sen. Chuck Schumer to rebut.
Which he did, just fine. He defined the problem: “Over the last 40 years, as the Republican Party has been driven farther and farther toward the extreme right by ultra-conservative activists, Republicans began to realize that their policy agenda was too unpopular with mainstream voters to be enacted in the light of day, through the legislative process.” He provided the evidence: the litany of unqualified judges Republicans have greased the skids for, and the litany of nominees from Democratic presidents that Republicans—especially McConnell—have derailed solely for the purpose of subverting the Congress and the people who elected our representatives.
Republican actions have ranged from the blockade of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court to McConnell’s turning a blind eye to the most horrific behaviors, like Sen. Tom Cotton’s multiple-year blocking of Cassandra Butts to be ambassador to the Bahamas because blocking her “was a way to inflict special pain” on her friend, President Barack Obama.
The question now, though, for Sen. Schumer is, what’s he going to do about it as Democratic leader? The op-ed rebuttal is all fine and good and probably necessary. Having recognized and named the problem—a systematic effort to remake the courts to send the country veering to the extreme right—he and Democrats need a plan to correct that when Democrats retake the Senate. That’s what he needs to be building a case for ahead of 2020.