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It should surprise no one with a functioning brain stem that Mitch McConnell's rationale for blocking Barack Obama's Supreme Court pick was total bullshit. The Senate majority leader refused to even hold hearings for Merrick Garland back in 2016 because it was an election year and the "American people should have a voice." Apparently, McConnell believes we'll collectively suffer from laryngitis come 2020, so he plans to speak for us.

Speaking at a Paducah Chamber of Commerce luncheon in Kentucky, McConnell was asked by an attendee, "Should a Supreme Court justice die next year, what will your position be on filling that spot?"

The leader took a long sip of what appeared to be iced tea before announcing with a smile, "Oh, we'd fill it," triggering loud laughter from the audience.

Isn't it just hilarious? McConnell stole a Supreme Court seat from a president who was actually democratically elected, and now he's gleefully imitating a Kermit meme.


Let's put this as clearly as possible: McConnell is a leaking scumbag who "serves no master but his own ambition." He blocked Obama's rightful Supreme Court pick because he could. Period. There was no larger ideological principle. Oh sure, he claimed as much and people gullible enough to buy bridges in Brooklyn took him seriously.

McConnell threw around a lot of irrelevant facts and figures to justify his power grab: Heck, the last time there was a Supreme Court vacancy during a presidential election year, we didn't have automobiles or central air. Why does that even matter? Screw you, that's why. Justice Antonin Scalia also died on the Saturday before Valentine's Day 2016, which according to Ghostbusters II is when the world was supposed to end (bummer). It's irresponsible to even consider filling Scalia's seat during an apocalypse. McConnell claimed the Senate's choice was clear.

MCCONNELL: Will we allow the people to continue deciding who will nominate the next justice? Or will we empower a lame duck president to make that decision on his way out the door instead?

"Lame ducks" are elected officials whose successors have been chosen already. This was February when the primaries for both parties were still underway. Jeb! Bush hadn't even finished humiliating himself yet. No, the actual lame duck period would be after Election Day in November and before the inauguration in January. But McConnell is a lying weasel, so nothing he says matters. If Clarence Thomas drops dead over Thanksgiving 2020, we all know McConnell would push through his Federalist Society-approved replacement before President-Elect Kamala Harris is sworn in.

McConnell claimed he was just following a "rule" Joe Biden had argued for in 1992. This was a master stroke because Democrats hate looking like hypocrites, even when being robbed: "If I were a crackhead, maybe I'd want to steal my car and sell it for more crack. I should be consistent." Of course, McConnell misrepresented what Biden actually said, because he's a liar and that's his jam.

Minority Leader Chuck Schumer denounced McConnell as a "hypocrite" on Twitter, but we're not sure "hypocrite" is the best description for the turtle man. Gangsters regularly whack people yet they themselves do not enjoy getting whacked. Is that hypocrisy? McConnell plays to win. He has no respect for the Senate's supposed "norms" and "traditions" and happily takes advantage of the fact that Democrats still do. We should also not underestimate how much Republicans approve of his "ends justify the means" tactics. They love their crazy right-wing judges and they appreciate how McConnell and Donald Trump have stacked the courts in their favor for a generation. Former Senator Claire McCaskill cut straight to the jugular this morning and called McConnell a "jerk" who "spits on the Constitution."

McConnell's spokesman David Popp said the difference between Obama and Trump filling a Supreme Court vacancy during an election year is as clear as black and white. A Democrat was president in 2016 and Republicans led the Senate. Now, the GOP controls both the White House and Senate. This is the more cynical view of "checks and balances." If you want a president to do anything in their job description, you better run the table and effectively ensure one-party rule. Democratic candidates who think they can confront this level of corruption with flowery rhetoric of "working across the aisle" are kidding themselves. Republicans aren't interested in governing with Democrats and we need to do everything in our power to prevent them from holding power.

[CNN]

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Stephen Robinson

Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He's on the board of the Portland Playhouse theater and writes for the immersive theater Cafe Nordo in Seattle.

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