Good News! Merrick Garland Finally Makes It To The Senate. Bad News! Republicans Are There.
It's taken five years but Judge Merrick Garland is finally receiving a Senate confirmation hearing. It's not for the Supreme Court seat Mitch McConnell stole in broad daylight. No, this time Garland is up for attorney general. Democrats now control the Senate, and barring any Joe Manchin-related acts of God, he should be confirmed in time to put the smack down on all those white supremacists who received aid and comfort from President Klan Robe's administration.
Garland: "There is a line from Oklahoma City forward to Jan 6; and there is another line from Oklahoma City all th… https://t.co/PtT2ujmTMa— Harry Litman (@Harry Litman)1614006882.0
If I am confirmed, serving as Attorney General will be the culmination of a career I have dedicated to ensuring that the laws of our country are fairly and faithfully enforced, and that the rights of all Americans are protected.
You hear that, bigots! Garland said "all Americans" not just those who define their “religious freedom" as denying the freedom of LGBTQ Americans.
Garland promised to live up to the ideal of Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson, who said a “citizen's safety lies in a prosecutor who tempers zeal with human kindness, who seeks truth and not victims, who serves the law and not factional purposes ..." Jackson also kicked Nazi ass during the Nuremberg trials and famously said, "Any lawyer worth his salt will tell the suspect, in no uncertain terms, to make no statement to the police under any circumstances." That's a solid role model.
He's also coming after President Klan Robe's MAGA Mob, whom he straight up calls “white supremacists."
Merrick Garland: "If confirmed, I will supervise the prosecution of white supremacists and others who stormed the C… https://t.co/FPq0Hfh0pc— Aaron Rupar (@Aaron Rupar)1614006836.0
If confirmed, I will supervise the prosecution of white supremacists and others who stormed the Capitol on January 6, a heinous attack that sought to disrupt a cornerstone of our democracy.
Jeff Sessions would've just taken them all out for ice cream and a screening of Birth of a Nation. Garland acknowledged the white domestic terrorism that targeted newly freed Black people during reconstruction. It wasn't just violent thuggery but a state-sanctioned effort to roll back racial progress. In the shadow of January 6, that all seems eerily familiar, and I'm pleased to see our next attorney general connecting the dots.
Chuck Grassley opened the hearing Monday with what former Senator Al Franken noted was a flat-out lie. Grassley claimed he only did Garland dirty in 2016 because he was nominated to the Supreme Court too darn close to a presidential election. Barack Obama picked Garland almost eight months before the end of everything good and decent. Grassley voted to confirm Amy Coney Barrett a week before the 2020 election. It might've felt like Election Day took more than eight months to finally end but that's not the case. Grassley should've said, "I always liked you, kid. It was only business" like an honest gangster.
When Senator Cory Booker asked Garland to share his motivations for wanting to serve as attorney general, Garland got all weepy. I don't normally approve of public displays of emotion, but this is one of my five annual exceptions.
Yeah, I cried. #MerrickGarlandHearing https://t.co/NV6c5r6sSl— Maya Contreras (@Maya Contreras)1614019491.0
GARLAND: I come from a family where my grandparents fled anti-semitism and persecution. The country took us in ... and protected us. And I feel an obligation to the country to pay back. This is the highest best use of my own set of skills to pay back. I want very much to be the kind of attorney general that you're saying I could become. And I'll do my best to be that kind of attorney general.
Garland was confirmed to the United States Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit in 1997 with a 76–23 vote. The majority of GOP senators backed his nomination. This ain't 1997, and we should expect most Republicans to show their asses. They'll also showboat and grandstand before voting against him.
Nobody: Not a single soul: Republicans: https://t.co/XCf4hkPTZo— Aaron Rupar (@Aaron Rupar)1614009814.0
Texas Senator John Cornyn grilled Garland about the Steele Dossier (dun-dun-dun) because that is a pressing and vital issue right now. He also brought up James Comey (!) and his 2016 press conference about Hillary Clinton's unconventional email storage ... zzzz .... zzzz ....
Cornyn's dumber, more obnoxious colleague, Ted Cruz, was tanned and rested and ready to bore us. He dusted off the “Fast and Furious" scandal. Look, I can't explain why they keep making those movies. People must like them. Oh, wait, Cruz was referring to when then-Attorney General Eric Holder was held in contempt of Congress for invoking executive privilege. That's even less relevant. It's also adorable how Cruz ignored a more damning example of a sitting president abusing executive privilege for the express purpose of blocking investigations into his own wrongdoing.
Republicans generally preferred to pretend that the last so-called president didn't exist. They can't even reasonably claim “out of sight, out of mind," considering they just let him walk on charges of inciting an insurrection against the US government.
The presiding Senate idiot John Kennedy from Louisiana subjected Garland to a stream-of-conscious transphobic tirade that is not worth repeating.
Merrick Garland: Yes, I think discrimination is morally wrong. Absolutely. Sen. Tom Cotton: Are you aware Presiden… https://t.co/Pl0RHzMT8U— USA TODAY Politics (@USA TODAY Politics)1614016864.0
Tom Cotton thought he had a “gotcha" on Garland when he asked him if he opposed discrimination. Garland responded, “Duh, yeah, I'm not a common slavery apologist from Arkansas like some people." He didn't say that last part.
COTTON: Are you aware President Biden has signed an executive order stating his administration will affirmatively advance racial equity, not racial equality but racial equity?
Oh noes! Not racial equity with all those conservative bogeyman quotas that deprive entitled white men of opportunities in favor of shiftless minorities!
Garland explained to Senator Penis Head that Biden's executive order defines racial equity as the “fair and impartial treatment of every person without regard to their status and including individuals who have been in underserved communities where they were not accorded that before." Because racism is a thing, you moron.
Garland reassured Republicans that he and President Biden aren't going to defund the police. He also explained to the dummies why storming the US Capitol in an effort to block certification of a democratic election is a more serious crime than random thugs vandalizing a federal building in Portland, Oregon. He also anticipated a new moratorium on federal executions, because this is supposed to be a civilized country.
Our boy started strong, and we look forward to his confirmation unless he tweeted something mean about McConnell in 2016.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."