Much like being an attorney, being a politician is often a thankless endeavor. Individuals in these positions are frequently criticized and rarely praised. Yet, we all owe a great debt of gratitude to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell whose foresight and leadership in the wake of the death of a conservative icon would enable the American public to have a voice in choosing the next Justice while choosing the next President. Sen. McConnell took an unprecedented amount of flak from the left and mainstream media, but he never wavered despite the perceived backlash.
Three months after his announcement, McConnell is vindicated. He not only thwarted the president and Democrats, he averted a potential catastrophe for Republicans if a popular Obama nomination had gone forward, splitting the party in an already divisive election year. Instead, "it's been a completely unifying process," McConnell told me.
The success of McConnell's strategy hasn't been widely acknowledged. Senate Democrats are reeling from a series of tactical blunders. Senate minority leader Harry Reid attacked Charles Grassley, the chairman of the judiciary committee, more than a dozen times for not scheduling hearings for Obama's nominee, Merrick Garland. The speeches were rants, typical for Reid.
Democrats tried to embarrass vulnerable Republican senators with what they called a "9-9-9" plan: nine senators in nine states to confirm a ninth Supreme Court justice. It bombed. Now Obama is insisting the Senate has a mandate to vote on his nominee. Actually, there is no such mandate.
Lame duck nominations have been largely denounced by both sides of the aisle. The Democrats knew this, as many, including our own Commander in Chief, had participated in blocking nominations in prior years. Their attempt to force a hearing that is not constitutionally mandated in the waning year of a failed administration, whose executive officer will likely go down as one of the “Worst. Presidents. Ever.”, highlights the importance of McConnell’s actions. Being labeled as the “Worst. President. Ever.” is a distinction that the President has continued to solidify in his final year in office.
Sen. McConnell is continuing the fight that Republicans have largely won thanks to his continued leadership.
[Obama's] trying to airdrop a Supreme Court justice on his way out the door,” McConnell noted. “He thinks he can get away with it.”
“Obama calling someone a moderate does not make him a moderate,” McConnell said.
Garland’s record of disrespecting individuals’ right to bear arms and siding with labor unions and regulators over small businesses proves he’s unfit to replace Antonin Scalia, McConnell insisted.
Indeed, while conservatives have plenty to complain about in terms of McConnell’s putting conservative efforts on the backburner, he has earned justified respect for refusing to budge on Garland, noting it should be up to Americans who have yet to vote for the next president in November.
Thankfully, we were spared from another poor decision thanks to the integrity and courage of Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Thank you for your dedication, Sen. McConnell.