Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell cares about little else besides installing reactionary court justices on federal benches for the next generation. So it’s not surprising that he finally made good on threats to pull the lever on one of the so-called “nuclear options,” changing the rules of the Senate to cut the time between ending debate on nominees to the final vote from 30 hours to two, according to the New York Times.
McConnell has spent the last week moaning about “obstructionism” from Democrats in the Senate over Trump cabinet nominees and federal court nominees. Even Sen. Chuck Schumer called McConnell a hypocrite for this move, given his own role in exploding Congressional norms by preventing hearings on President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland.
“There’s no other word but ‘hypocrisy,’” Schumer said, according to the Times.
McConnell, in response to these accusations, managed to pin the blame on Democrats by saying they would have done the same thing to a Republican president’s nominee, had they been in the majority.
“We had hoped the Democrats would negotiate, but their base will roast them alive if they supported” unblocking Trump nominees, Sen. John Cornyn, another piece of shit who supports McConnell’s bullshit, said.
In truth, both parties have taken steps to change rules in order to break the deadlock on confirming nominees.
From the Times:
But the one-party rule change — which followed maneuvers by Democrats in 2013 to end the 60-vote threshold for most judges and executive-branch nominees, and by Republicans in 2017 to end the 60-vote threshold for Supreme Court nominees — knocked down another pillar of Senate custom that separated it from the majority-rule House. And it took the chamber one step closer to ending the defining procedural bulwark of the Senate, the 60-vote requirement for moving ahead with most legislation.
With the new rules in place, the Senate has already confirmed Jeffrey Kessler as the assistant secretary of commerce, and are moving to approve Roy Kalman Altman to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.
Democrats, unsurprisingly, are pissed.
“The Senate has changed so dramatically under McConnell’s influence,” Sen. Richard Durbin told the Times. “He is corrupting the Senate into an institution that is more like the House of Lords than what the framers intended. We have walked away from amending, debating and legislating.”
Schumer said it was a “a very sad day for the Senate.”
But McConnell clapped back: “This is not a sad day; this is a glad day.”
Literally, “boom” because McConnell is nuking the Senate’s norms and we are all screwed.