In the April 6 edition of the Washington Post, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wrote “Reaping what they have sown,” devoted to blaming the Democratic Party in Congress for, in effect, forcing Republicans to use the “nuclear option” to stop the filibuster of the Supreme Court nomination of Neil Gorsuch. http://wapo.st/2oVsKeP. McConnell called the Democratic filibuster of the Gorsuch nomination an “unprecedented attack on the traditions of the Senate.”
Not one word of McConnell’s 753-word “the devil made me do it” disquisition mentions the refusal of the Republican Party last year to even given a hearing, let alone a Senate vote, on President Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland for the seat that has now gone to Gorsuch.
Upon close examination, the real thrust of the piece is not to poke the Democrats about resisting Gorsuch per se. It is rather to say to Democrats, and everyone else watching: “we beat you on this one and now you should start cooperating with us and the Trump agenda instead of your “blind “resistance” to anything and everything this president proposes.”
Ah, yes, it’s time to stop resisting and start cooperating. See my blog post immediately preceding this one, entitled “On Tyranny-Read It Now.” McConnell’s call for “cooperation” is precisely what Timothy Snyder warns against in his prescient treatment of the sources of authoritarianism.
McConnell’s piece ends with this:
“Perhaps this is the moment Democrats will begin again to listen the many Americans – the people who sent us here – who want real solutions so we can work together to help move our country forward.”
Consistently with the rest of his thoughts, McConnell overlooks the fact that while Trump won the Electoral College vote, the majority of American’s voted for someone else. There is no case for listening to the Republican minority now. Indeed, as the former Democrats who flipped for Trump continue to become aware of how the Trump/McConnell/Ryan agenda is going to actually defeat their interests, it is reasonable to expect, by 2018 mid-terms, a significant shift away from the party that proposes to gut the federal government, reverse the environmental rules that have resulted in massive improvements in air and water quality and … on and on. Mr. McConnell is feeling pretty smug right now so he can, with a straight face, now call on Democrats to “cooperate.”
As long as the President of the United States continues to lie about the Russia connection (see “White House assertions on intelligence and Russia” in Fact Checker, Washington Post print edition, Sunday, April 9, 2017, inexplicably not online, at A2), promotes health legislation that reduces coverage for millions, supports desecration the environment and wanton killing of animals on federal land, to name just a few, there can be no “cooperation.” McConnell and the Republican Party’s hypocrisy is on full display now as the administration careens from one side of the listing ship of state to the other, with no principled leadership or strategy. So, NO, Mr. McConnell, there will be no “cooperation.”