Gloating abounds on the Pollyanna Right that Biden-Harris-Whoever will find him/her/itself tied in knots by the GOPe-controlled Senate, unable to accomplish much of anything. Julie Kelly ain’t having any of it.
Yes, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s record on confirming federal judges, including three Supreme Court nominees, is laudable. But the four-year reign of the Republican Senate under a Republican president is a shameful account of missed opportunities, broken promises, and straight-up subversion of Donald Trump. During one of the most fraught, destructive periods in American history, Senate Republicans squandered rather than wielded their immense political power.
Longtime pledges to reform immigration laws and repeal the Affordable Care Act were cast aside. When the president used his legal authority to attempt to secure the southern border in the spring of 2019, a dozen Senate Republicans vetoed his emergency order.
Rather than stand up to the Democratic Party’s race hustlers, Senate Republicans—including McConnell—condemned the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor as racially motivated even when evidence contradicted those claims. A few Republican senators sponsored legislation to replace Columbus Day with Juneteenth as a sop to the Left.
As lawless thugs tore down statues of America’s Founders and Antifa mobs occupied swaths of major U.S. cities, some Republican senators didn’t even bother to attend a public hearing about Antifa’s ongoing threat to the country. President Trump often was the lone voice defending America’s history and ideals; following his riveting July 4 address at Mount Rushmore, where he unapologetically confronted America’s domestic enemies, Republican Senators were silent.
Of course, there’s no greater example of the Senate Republicans’ abdication of power than its complete and total failure to hold accountable any of the perpetrators of so-called Obamagate for orchestrating the biggest American political scandal of all time.
Rather than put a stop to the phony Trump-Russia collusion plotline, Senate Republicans played along with their Democratic counterparts. Every single Republican senator supported the appointment of Robert Mueller, a Beltway crony and BFF of James Comey. The Senate Judiciary Committee, headed by Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) then by Graham, performed no oversight of Mueller’s destructive probe despite holding the purse strings. When the president justifiably expressed his frustration at Mueller’s “witch hunt,” instead of defending the president, Senate Republicans vowed to “protect the Special Counsel.”
At the same time, top Republicans did nothing more than write stern letters and give Fox News interviews threatening to “get to the bottom” of the real scandal. Subpoenas were blocked; criminal referrals were ignored by the Justice Department; public interrogations were canceled or delayed until public interest waned.
It’s pure folly to think this Republican Senate will act as a bulwark against a Biden-Harris Administration. Armed with a slim majority, Senate Republicans undoubtedly will play footsie with their former colleagues under the solemn banner of “bringing the country together.”
“And this election did not give the Democrats power,” Ben Shapiro tweeted Thursday morning. “Biden’s most progressive priorities are DOA in a McConnell-run Senate.”
Only people who haven’t paid close attention to a McConnell-run Senate believe that to be true. Do they really believe folks like Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Ben Sasse and Lindsey Graham will hold their ground against Biden? Do they really think Mitt Romney won’t attempt to carve out some simpish “Conscience of the Senate” role that lets him find common ground with Biden and Harris for the “betterment of democracy” or some nonsense?
Yep. On the bright side, though, as the legendary Chesty Puller once said: “We’re surrounded. That simplifies our problem of getting to these people and killing them.” Perhaps we should consider directing our initial volley to the Right.