Several times I have written that Mitch McConnell (R, KY, U.S. Senate Majority Leader) deserves a special place in hell. McConnell has respect for only one thing, shoring up Republican/Libertarian political power. That will be his legacy. He stiff armed the nomination of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court in the last year of the Obama presidency on the excuse that “the voters should decide.” Now his slimy obeisance to his wealthy donors and his disrespect for traditions of governance is on full display. On May 28 he said (with his signature smirk) to a Paducah [KY] Chamber of Commerce Luncheon “if a Supreme Court vacancy occurs during next year’s presidential election, he would work to confirm a nominee appointed by President Donald Trump.” Coming from this man does this surprise anyone?
A group called “Ditch Mitch” is already running running an ad to defeat him in 2018. You can watch it here.
That’s not all. McConnell is using his position as Senate Majority Leader to stonewall virtually all legislation coming from the House of Representatives. He has reduced what some have called “the greatest deliberative body in the world” to the status of a cheap road block. The only business that now occurs in the Senate is McConnell’s streamlined process of approving conservative, Federalist Society approved judges to fill as many vacancies as possible. Other legislation is not discussed. McConnell and his slim majority of Senators (who represent a minority of U.S. voters) are acting like the cork in a bottle. With McConnell in control no piece of legislation that lacks the approval of a majority of Republican Senators will ever reach the floor of the Senate. No debate occurs. Nothing gets deliberated. Neither Democrats nor any Republicans with slightly more centrist views are allowed a voice.
McConnell may be a brilliant political strategist, but he is acting the part not of a statesman, but a hyper-partisan ass.
Here’s a tally of the House legislation McConnell is stonewalling, courtesy of a group of political volunteers with whom I’m in contact in Idaho:
About All the HOUSE bills that are being held up in the SENATE! (Kathy, Diane, Mary via Nick at 5 Calls: https://5calls.org/)
It’s important to note that the House has passed 152 pieces of legislation that the Senate has not even considered yet due to Mitch McConnell’s refusal to allow House bills to be brought up in the Senate. These include important issues on voting rights, LGBTQ equality, climate change, gun safety, gender pay equality, healthcare, and many more. Below is a list of some of the most beneficial bills for the American public passed by the House that have yet to see the Senate floor. You can click on any of these topics to see updates and sample scripts.
Suggested script: I am (name, zip) asking you to insist that Mitch McConnell bring forward the 152 pieces of legislation that have passed in the House so that Congress can accomplish what needs to be done to make our democracy work! These are the bills that I wholeheartedly support (list the bill numbers from the list below and ask the staff person to note them in your message to the Senator)
Talking points: Click on any of these topics for talking points.
H.R. 1 – the For the People Act
Our governance is broken, and Mitch McConnell is key to keeping it that way in a desperate bid to assure partisan control of the judiciary for a generation. Is it any wonder the Congressional Job Approval rating is currently around 20%? (See the P.P.S. below.)
The Senate was meant by the founding fathers to deliberate, to engage in at least a form of representative democracy. McConnell has shut it down. Tell your friends and acquaintances.
Keep to the high ground,
P.S. For a fascinating podcast detailing Mitch McConnell’s history and tactics click Mitch Part 1:” Win this Thing.” from NPR.
P.P.S. Broad polling data show the Congressional job approval rating currently around 20%. The last time it was higher than 22.8% was during Barrack Obama’s first term. At that time, in March of 2009, when Democrats held a majority in both chambers, congressional approval stood at 37%. We were in the depths of the Great Recession, Obama had just taken office, and Congress was working toward passage of the Affordable Care Act. Compare that 37% Congressional approval number in the early days of the Obama administration to the subsequent high of 22.8% approval in the early months of the Republican federal trifecta in 2017 as they geared up to repeal the Affordable Care or the 15% as they rammed through the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in late 2017. Apparently, not all Congressional aspiration and successful legislation is viewed with the same enthusiasm….