“If the majority leader believes that President Obama’s term should be cut short by 11 months,” said Senator Al Franken, Democrat of Minnesota, “maybe he is suggesting that every senator in the sixth year of his term should not be able to vote or not be able to chair a committee.” [New York Times]
NO PRESIDENT in United States history has been kept from doing his job, which includes Supreme Court nominations when a vacancy occurs. Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is now rewriting the rules for the first black President Barack Obama.
The President’s first move was to troll Republicans with the whisper campaign for Nevada’s Brian Sandoval.
It’s possible that Obama did not intend for the leak to occur. But if he did, its occurrence – and the speedy reaction by Sandoval – further supports our contention that the president is trying to paint his Senate rivals in a bad light. After all, Obama has the authority to decide not only who he nominates, but both when and how a nomination is ultimately sent to the Senate. [The Guardian]
It produced the hilarious chicken coop panic in Congress.
Senator Joni Ernst ducked HuffPost reporters by saying she had to “go vote,” refusing to talk about SCOTUS as she walked down the hall.
Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Senator Chuck Grassley, reportedly put a “binder to cover his face” to duck reporters questions.
Mr. Grassley has seemed uneasy with the situation both in Iowa and in Washington. As photographers stalked him on Tuesday outside the Senate chamber, he raised a binder to cover his face before hurriedly retreating. [New York Times]
Senator Dan Coats had to “run to a meeting,” according to HuffPost.
“I’m not doing any interviews,” said Senator Rand Paul, for some inexplicable reason.
Even Senator Jeff Flake adopted cowardice, saying “I’ll let Sen. Grassley talk about it.”
What are the Republicans thinking?
It would have been so easy to just play the president, say they would give his nominee an up or down vote, then deep six whoever is chosen because the Senate advises and consents, but we all know they often do neither.
Instead, they chose to tell the first black president that he’s not equal to what every white male president has faced. It’s so obvious but, of course, today’s Republicans can’t see it because these people never see black, only the white of an issue.
I have never accepted that GOP is driven by racism in its insanity about Obama. But with its latest invention of new rules re: SCOTUS, I do.
— Kurt Eichenwald (@kurteichenwald) February 25, 2016
Sen. Thom Tillis used the “I’m running late” card when he actually wasn’t.
And Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who drew the line in the sand on potential Obama nominees within hours of Scalia’s death, put an exclamation point on his party’s opposition. He skipped town on Thursday afternoon, even though the White House had attempted to arrange a meeting between the president, McConnell and Grassley that day. [HuffPost]
Or maybe Republicans are scared of the first black president and the job Barack Obama has to do in filling the seat left vacant after Justice Antonin Scalia‘s death. Meeting minds who have the intellect to sit on the court means opening your own and listening to something that reaches far beyond politics.
After an embarrassing spectacle, Senators Grassley and McConnell have decided to humor the president with a meeting.
What Republicans can’t answer is why they’re holding President Barack Obama to a different standard than every other white male who’s held the office before.