In Congress, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell continues to be a leader following the longstanding bipartisan tradition of the Senate. Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi continue to play partisan games. The most recent example unfolded yesterday regarding the situation in the Middle East.
Leader McConnell said yesterday on the Iranian situation:
‘I spoke yesterday about President Trump’s decision to remove the chief architect of Tehran’s terrorism from the battlefield. And I discussed the Senate’s obligation to approach this in a manner that is serious, sober, and factual.
It is right for senators to want to learn more about the president’s major decision. Once again, I encourage all our colleagues to attend the classified briefing which the administration will provide tomorrow.
‘The Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of State, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the CIA Director will give classified context behind the president’s decision. And they will discuss the administration’s strategy to protect our personnel and defend our nation’s interests in the new landscape.
That discussion happened today. Meanwhile, Leader McConnell also pointed out Senate Minority Leader Schumer's hypocrisy, how he had been correct in a more bipartisan past (emphasis added):
Iran exploited President Obama’s withdrawal from Iraq. Qassem Soleimani and his agents filled the void, dramatically expanding Iranian influence inside Iraq. They were able to impose a sectarian vision on Iraq that disenfranchised Sunnis, fueled the rise of ISIS, and plunged the region into chaos.
And in Syria, more weakness from the Obama administration opened yet another door for Iran. The Democratic administration failed to confront the Iranian-backed Assad regime as it slaughtered literally hundreds of thousands of Syrians and displaced millions more. Once again, amid the chaos, Soleimani worked and thrived.
Of course all of this was the backdrop for the brazen, legacy-shopping nuclear arrangement that sent billions of dollars to fuel Iran’s further violence.
Even my friend the current Democratic Leader [Chuck Schumer] knew it at the time. Before he himself voted for a resolution of disapproval on President Obama’s deal, Senator Schumer said at that time, quote, “after 10 years, if Iran is the same nation as it is today, we will be worse off with this agreement than without it.”
The Democratic Leader was prescient. That is exactly what happened.
Schumer knew this sort of thing was going to happen and knows it is a bad situation, yet he continues to play politics. Meanwhile, House Speaker Pelosi has still not sent over the articles of impeachment. On Monday, Leader McConnell said:
Now meanwhile, at this dangerous time, House Democrats continue to play political games with their partisan impeachment of the commander-in-chief.
Last year, House Democrats conducted the least thorough, most rushed, most unfair impeachment inquiry in history.
For weeks, Democrats said they could not wait for due process, could not conduct a normal or fair inquiry, because removing the president from office was so incredibly urgent.
Well, the unseriousness was obvious then and it’s even more obvious now.
Because Speaker Pelosi is now sitting on the articles she claimed were so urgent. She’s delayed this indefinitely, so that the architects of the failed House process can look for ways to reach into the Senate and dictate our process as well.
Leader McConnell is simply asking for the Senate to follow bipartisan tradition:
In 1999, every single U.S. Senator agreed to establish basic parameters for the start of the trial upfront, and reserve mid-trial questions such as witnesses until later.
The Senate said, 100 to nothing, that was good enough for President Clinton. So it ought to be good enough for President Trump. Fair is fair.
The bottom line is, as Leader McConnell says:
These bizarre stunts do not serve our Constitution or our national security. They erode both.