Has Mitch McConnell Killed Irony?

Mitch McConnell

He certainly has breathed new life into the demonstration of hypocrisy.

Example #1: Readers of this blog need not be reminded that McConnell absolutely refused to even consider a  sitting President’s Supreme Court nominee –an unprecedented assault on constitutional norms. And yet, when Chuck Schumer threatened to return the favor (albeit with a caveat: the Democrats would not stonewall a moderate candidate, only a radical one), he proclaimed that “the American public” wouldn’t stand for such dastardly behavior.

Um…any mirrors in your house, Mitch?

Example #2: The Senate is preparing to schedule hearings on Donald Trump’s cabinet nominees. However, a number of them have not turned in the documentation required for the FBI’s background check, and the Office of Government Ethics has raised objections to the speed with which McConnell wants to proceed. (He is “pooh poohing” the Office’s insistence on complete documentation prior to going forward with the hearings.)

This sudden desire to accommodate a President-Elect is especially interesting in light of  a letter McConnell wrote to Harry Reid prior to hearings on President Obama’s nominees. In that letter–which recently surfaced–McConnell set out a list of demands that absolutely had to be met prior to the Senate giving any consideration to those nominees.

McConnell wrote that “we expect the following standards will be met:

  1. The FBI background check is complete and submitted to the committee in time for review prior to a hearing being noticed.
  2. The Office of Government Ethics letter is complete and submitted to the committee in time for review and prior to a committee hearing.
  3. Financial disclosure statements (and tax returns for applicable committees) are complete and submitted to the committee prior to a hearing being noticed.
  4. All committee questionnaires are complete and have been returned to the committee. A reasonable opportunity for follow-up questions has been afforded committee members, and nominees have answered, with sufficient time for review prior to a committee vote.
  5. The nominee is willing to have committee staff interviews, where that has been the practice.
  6. The nominee has had a hearing.
  7. The nominee agrees to courtesy visits with members when requested.
  8. The nominee has committed to cooperate with the Ranking Member on requests for information and transparency.

There’s more, but you get the idea.

Now, I really have no objection to any of these requirements; I think they are appropriate. Evidently, Mitch McConnell (aka “turtle man”) also thought they were appropriate–when the nominations were being made by a Democratic President.

Suddenly, they are no longer necessary safeguards to protect American citizens from malfeasance or worse. (I’m sure the fact that McConnell’s wife is one of those nominees has nothing to do with this 180 degree change…)

How does this disgusting excuse for a human being sleep at night?

[Originally published at SheilaKennedy.net on January 10, 2017]

Sheila Kennedy is a former high school English teacher, former lawyer, former Republican, former Executive Director of Indiana’s ACLU, former columnist for the Indianapolis Star, and former young person. She is currently an (increasingly cranky) old person, a Professor of Law and Public Policy at Indiana University Purdue University in Indianapolis, and Director of IUPUI’s Center for Civic Literacy. She writes for the Indianapolis Business Journal, PA Times, and the Indiana Word, and blogs at www.sheilakennedy.net. For those who are interested in more detail, links to an abbreviated CV and academic publications can be found on her blog, along with links to her books..

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