Tag Archives: Mitch McConnell

Courts have become political

Our nation’s founders, the men who crafted a federal judiciary they intended to remain “above politics,” surely are doing somersaults in their graves.

The nation’s federal judiciary has become a third political branch of government, not a branch intended only to determine the constitutionality of laws enacted by Congress and signed by the president.

Democratic senators have signed a petition that aims to stop “judge shopping” by conservative activists seeking judges who they believe will rule in their favor. Of particular concern is the federal court based in Amarillo and which is presided over by U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, who was nominated for that seat by the 45th POTUS. Kacszmaryk succeeded a judicial legend in the Texas Panhandle, the late Mary Lou Robinson, of whom no one ever complained was being “too political” in her rulings.

Robinson was nominated by President Jimmy Carter in 1980 and served with distinction and high honor. Now comes Kaczmaryk, whom conservatives seek to overturn policies enacted by Democratic and progressive members of Congress and presidents.

Schumer, McConnell introduce judge shopping bills | The Texas Tribune

The founders couldn’t possibly have envisioned this kind of mess developing within a judicial system they created.

Senators exhibit wear and tear

Recent episodes involving two prominent U.S. senators have thrust me into a serious quandary.

I do not believe in term limits for members of Congress, but I do believe that those members should exercise proper judgment when it becomes apparent — if not obvious — that they are unable to fulfill all the complicated aspects of their job.

Perhaps you have seen the recent video of Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell freezing, unable to answer a question about his re-election plans in 2026. It is the second such episode we have seen of the Kentucky senator in recent weeks.

Then we have Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California missing several months because she was battling shingles and assorted other ailments. She has returned to her post, but she clearly — according to observers — is nowhere near at the top of her game.

Feinstein 90 years of age; McConnell is 81.

You hear it said in recent times about the need for age limits for senators and House members. Not necessary, any more than slapping term limits on these individuals. Nor is it necessary for the presidency, which does have a two-term limit for anyone elected to that office. I remain somewhat conflicted about whether we need term limits for the presidency.

Over the course of history of our Congress and our presidency we have seen multiple examples of individuals who have stayed in office for far too long. Perhaps the most prominent among them is Strom Thurmond of South Carolina, the senator who served as a Democrat, an independent and a Republican. At the end of his lengthy stint in office, Thurmond was hardly able to communicate, let alone speak cogently about public policy.

There comes a time when all of us should realize when we no longer have the snap required to do our jobs. When you are an elected official representing the interests of millions of other people, such self-awareness becomes even more critical. You must have all your faculties and must be in full command of your wits to make decisions based on (a) your own principles or (b) the will of those you represent.

It looks to me that Sens. McConnell and Feinstein — two of the Senate’s heaviest hitters — are no longer able to fulfill the obligations of their high offices.

Therein lies a stern — but essential — lesson for people in public life at all levels of government.

Way to go, Mitch

Let’s just call him Mitch the Obstructor, the guy who never — not ever! — seems to back a Democratically inspired notion that well could produce astonishing results for the nation.

But there’s Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell saying that a Democratic deal hammered out by maverick Democrat Joe Manchin and Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer is a job killer. It’s a “socialist” program. It’s just going to sink the nation faster than that iceberg did to the Titanic.

He cannot back it under any circumstance.

It’s a $430 billion bill that would produce cleaner air, would reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, would be paid for with modest tax increases on the richest Americans. Yet to hear McConnell bellow about his opposition, it’s the worst thing to come down the pike since President Nixon’s wage and price controls of the 1970s. Oh, wait, Nixon was a Republican, so I guess that made it OK.

Manchin has performed a fairly stunning reversal on this matter. He recently declared his opposition to President Biden’s Build Back Better idea, which everyone at the time thought doomed the notion for good.

Now he comes around. Again! I cannot keep up with the West Virginian who seems to enjoy the role of senator with outsized influence.

He and Schumer and the POTUS, though, now must deal with Mitch the Obstructor. I am hoping they can put Mitch in his place … presumably under something from he cannot re-emerge.


If this isn’t ‘criminal’ …

A good friend of mine posted this little item that I feel compelled to share on this blog … with a brief comment.

I would change one word: “Impeachable” could become “criminal” as it relates to what Donald J. Trump (allegedly) did on 1/6 while the traitorous mob of insurrectionists was assaulting the Capitol Building and seeking to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.

You remember that, right? Joe Biden won. Donald Trump lost. Except that Trump declared war on our democratic system of government and sought to block the certification of the 2020 election result.

Mitch McConnell was stirred with righteous anger at Trump’s conduct on 1/6. Then he voted against convicting Trump after he had been impeached for the second time by the House of Representatives.

Those days are gone. We now are facing possible criminal referrals from the House select committee that is examining the why and wherefore regarding the 1/6 insurrection.

If I were King of the World, I would recommend that the select panel recommend a Justice Department indictment of The Donald. But … that’s for others to decide.

The aggravating aspect of McConnell’s once-righteous rage at Trump is that he continues to suck up to the former POTUS, saying that if Trump is the GOP presidential nominee in 2024 (a thought that makes me wretch) that he would “support” his bid for the presidency.

So, there you have it. The Senate GOP leader who once thought the then-president committed an impeachable offense is now fit to serve yet again as the nation’s head of state.

Some things just defy logic.


Mitch says ‘no’ on KBJ

Let’s put Mitch McConnell’s announcement today that he would vote “no” on Ketanji Brown Jackson’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court into some perspective. So, bear with me for a moment.

The Senate Republican leader can’t support Judge Jackson because she declined to say whether she supports progressives’ call to expand the high court from nine members to, say, 15. McConnell said Judge Jackson should have offered an opinion, even though the jurist erred on the side of remaining impartial or, shall we say, above the battle that surely would erupt if such a notion were to gather momentum.

Let’s examine briefly McConnell’s recent political history, too.

This man obstructed President Barack Obama’s effort to name a successor to Justice Antonin Scalia, who died suddenly in early 2016. McConnell said that because a presidential election would occur 10 months later, we needed to wait to see which candidate would win and then allow that person to make the nomination. Obama selected Judge Merrick Garland, but Garland never got a hearing … thanks to McConnell’s obstruction and raw political power grab.

McConnell also blamed Donald J. Trump for the insurrection that erupted on 1/6. He said in a Senate speech that The Donald was “singularly” responsible for “provoking” the riot that sought to overturn the result of the 2020 presidential election, which Trump lost! Then he voted against convicting The Donald on the impeachment article that came from the House as a direct result of the riot that McConnell said Trump instigated. Go figure.

So, for this obstructionist and coward to offer a negative critique of a stellar jurist such as Ketanji Brown Jackson is simply, to be candid, not credible.

He sickens me.


Mitch uses the ‘I-word’

How about that Mitch McConnell, invoking what I will call the “I-word” in describing what took place on 1/6? He has called it a “violent insurrection” that Donald Trump incited with his fiery “take-back-the-government” rhetoric.

Well … the Senate Republican leader has found his long-lost voice.

He has rebuked the Republican National Committee for censuring two GOP House members — Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois — for serving on the select committee examining the 1/6 riot.

McConnell rebukes RNC, calls Jan. 6 ‘violent insurrection’ (msn.com)

“It was a violent insurrection for the purpose of trying to prevent the peaceful transfer of power after a legitimately certified election from one administration to the next,” McConnell said Tuesday.  Yes, i damn sure was all of that, Sen. McConnell.

You said so in an eloquent Senate floor speech a few weeks after the riot. Then you back away from all of that. You continued to support Donald Trump’s position as the leader of the GOP. Now, though, Trump has insulted McConnell perhaps once or twice too often.

I want McConnell to stand firm in his description of what took place and why it occurred. A mob of traitors stormed the Capitol Building seeking to overturn a fair election; they did so at the urging of Donald Trump.

The ex-Liar in Chief needs to be held accountable. The men and women charged with acting violently need to be prosecuted.

What’s more, Mitch McConnell and other Republican politicians need to stand for the rule of law.


I hear ya, Joe

Mr. President, allow me to say that I happen to agree with you about one aspect of the presidency that has dragged your approval rating down among Americans across the land.

I also agree that I — along with others of us — didn’t anticipate the stubborn refusal of Republican members of Congress to work with you for the common good of all of us. I mean, so help me, I actually thought that your experience as a senator and your eight years as vice president would have bought you some good will once you took over the presidency from the fraudulent imposter who occupied the office for the four previous years.

I have seen the video of Republicans and Democrats singing your praises in the Senate near the end of your term as VP. For God’s sake, even Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell said it was a pleasure to work with you. What’s he doing now? He is standing in the way of damn near everything you are trying to do.

The moron you succeeded keeps hurling epithets at McConnell, but the senator won’t accept the notion that POTUS No. 45 is unfit for office and must be derailed in his attempt to influence the political discussion going forward.

Then again, Mitch isn’t the worst of ’em. The idiot brigade among the GOP congressional caucus is being led by the likes of Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas, Josh Hawley of Missouri and Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Matt Gaetz of Florida. I could go on, Mr. President, but you get my drift, right?

I am going to stand with you, sir. I voted for you, and I am proud of my support for the agenda you are pitching. Be strong, Mr. President.

It well might be that the obstructionists in Congress will realize they are harming their own base. As you know, these tactics have this way of exacting revenge on those who enact them.


Let’s call him ‘Mealy-mouth Mitch’

(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Mitch McConnell has more than just two sides of his mouth through which he utters nonsense that contradicts earlier statements.

The Senate Republican leader once hailed voting rights legislation as quintessentially American. He led a bipartisan effort in 2006 to approve an extension of the Voting Rights Act that passed the Senate in a 98-0 vote.

President George W. Bush, a Republican, signed it into law with McConnell standing there applauding along with the rest of the Senate … and the nation.

These days? It’s a different tune that McConnell is humming. The John Lewis Voting Rights Bill under consideration is a non-starter for Mitch and his GOP caucus. They don’t want to guarantee all Americans easy access to voting. McConnell is now the leading obstructionist who seeks to block this bill from becoming law.

He is fighting efforts to amend the filibuster rule that would “carve out” voting rights from the rule that enables a minority of senators to block legislation. Voting rights needs to pass with a simple majority, say proponents of the change. That includes President Biden.

McConnell, though, seemingly forgets his earlier position. His previous stance was the noble one. His current view is despicable.


McConnell gets pilloried … by Trumpkins

Mitch McConnell, the man once mocked as “Moscow Mitch,” knows the danger of playing games of political chicken.

The U.S. Senate Republican leader didn’t want to engage in the game with Democrats, so he maneuvered his caucus into a position to favor raising the national debt ceiling while allowing Democrats to skate through with a simple Senate majority vote, rather than a 60-vote total that is usually required; hey, it’s parliamentary gamesmanship, man!

McConnell, though, is now getting pounded by the cultists who follow Donald Trump, the moron who doesn’t want compromise in any form.

Trump’s allies are trashing Mitch McConnell for reaching a deal with Democrats to avert a catastrophic debt-ceiling default (msn.com)

Don’t misunderstand me. I am no fan of Mitch McConnell. However, I do appreciate his keen knowledge of how the Senate works and how at times he can do the old political soft-shoe when needed.

He has done it again. The national debt ceiling will lift again. We’ll be able to avoid fiscal calamity. The Trumpkins can take their commitment to what passes for “principle” and stick it … somewhere.


SCOTUS to get kicked around?

(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Mitch McConnell has demonstrated a clear ability — and a tendency — to play hardball politics whenever the need arises in his own pointed head.

Think about how the Senate Republican leader can manipulate things in the event the GOP takes control of the U.S. Senate after the 2022 midterm election.

Supreme Court Justice Steven Breyer might retire from the court. Say, he does so at the end of the current term, which arrives in late June or early July 2022. President Biden has to select a nominee immediately after such a retirement occurs. McConnell well might decide to throw up roadblocks anticipating a GOP takeover of the Senate in November 2022.

What might occur, then, if the GOP wins a Senate majority, seats a new Senate in January 2023 and Biden’s SCOTUS nominee still hasn’t had a hearing, let alone a vote? I’ll tell you what’ll happen. The GOP-led Senate could scuttle a Biden choice and then McConnell could decide to replay the tactic he used in 2016 when Justice Antonin Scalia died suddenly. President Barack Obama nominated Merrick Garland to the court, but McConnell torpedoed the nomination, refusing to grant Garland a hearing. Why? Because we had an election months away and McConnell said the next president deserved the right to select someone. The next president happened to be Donald J. Trump and, well, you know the rest of it.

This all seems to give a Breyer decision on whether he stays on the court a good bit more of a time urgency. I don’t expect Justice Breyer to act on the wishes of others around him. He is entitled to walk away on his own terms and on his own schedule.

The nation’s highest court, though, does not need or deserve to be kicked around like the political football some in the Senate have made it out to be.