09 Apr 2017 at 18:52 ET
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Robert Reich and Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-KY (Composite image)
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Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell (KY) may feel like taking a victory lap after delaying President Barack Obama’s nominee to the Supreme Court long enough to have right-wing nominee Neil Gorsuch installed on the bench, but New York Times columnist Robert Reich blasted McConnell on Sunday in a post on Facebook.
“No man has done more in recent years to undermine the functioning of U.S. government than Mitch McConnell,” Reich wrote.
1. As Majority Leader of the Senate, McConnell famously declared in 2010: “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.”
2. By 2013, McConnell had led filibusters of 79 of Obama’s court nominees, compared with 68 in the entire previous history of the Republic.
3. After Justice Antonin Scalia’s death was confirmed last year, it took McConnell less than an hour to say that the vacancy should be filled by the next president. He called keeping Obama’s nominee off the court “one of my proudest moments.”
4. Although his predecessors as majority leaders at least attempted collegiality, McConnell practices no such niceties (recall his recent silencing of Senator Elizabeth Warren).
5. Now comes his use of the “nuclear option,” ending the filibuster on Supreme Court nominees, killing the tradition of unlimited debate in the Senate dating back to 1789. Two years ago, when Obama was president, McConnell said he would abolish filibusters of Supreme Court justices only if there were 67 votes for such a change. This week, he employed a maneuver to do it with 51 votes.
“He has consistently placed party over country,” accused Reich. “He is no patriot. He has shamed himself, the Republican Party, and America.”
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