Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Republican Obstruction Already Impacting Senate Races

Shutting down the federal government played well with the lunatic base of the Republican Party but as time proved, played far less well with the American people as a whole who expected elected officials, including members of Congress to do their jobs.  Democrats are positioning themselves to use a similar argument against Republicans now as they claim they will refuse to do their constitutional duty to hold hears on and vote on a nominee to fill the vacancy on the United States Supreme Court.   As part of this effort, past statements of Mitch McConnell - a lying piece of s*it in my view - are being circulated to show that even McConnell knows the wrongheadedness of what he is now doing for partisan purposes.  The Washington Post looks at the growing political battle.  Here are highlights:
One consideration that may force Republicans to recalibrate their strategy is the prospect of political damage to some of the embattled Senate incumbents up for reelection this fall. Sens. Kelly Ayotte (N.H.), Ron Johnson (Wis.) and Rob Portman (Ohio), all Republicans in swing states, have called for the Senate to disregard any Obama nominee. Other Republicans in tight races have remained silent so far.

Democrats see a potential confirmation battle as an opportunity to put Republicans on the defensive and as a wedge issue that could help them retake control of the Senate. In Ohio, former Democratic governor Ted Strickland, who is vying for his party’s nomination to challenge Portman, said Monday that by opposing an Obama nominee, Portman was “failing to do his job, shirking his responsibilities to our nation, jeopardizing the institutions of our democracy and engaging in exactly the kind of dysfunctional behavior that frustrates Ohioans about Congress.”

P.G. Sittenfeld, a Cincinnati City Council member running against Strickland in the Democratic primary, declared Monday that Portman was advocating actions that would “put the Senate in violation of both historical precedent and the clear language of the Constitution itself.”

Portman responded in a statement Monday that the next president should choose Scalia’s replacement: “With the election less than nine months away, I believe the best thing for the country is to trust the American people to weigh in on who should make a lifetime appointment that could reshape the Supreme Court for generations,” he said.

Conservative activists are drawing up plans to mobilize support and pressure lawmakers to reject any nominee.  FreedomWorks, a group that pledges to promote “smaller government, lower taxes, free markets, personal liberty and the rule of law,” said it would wage a grass-roots campaign to oppose Democrats who would “ram liberal judicial nominees through the Senate . . . occasionally with the help of unprincipled, big government Republicans.”

Liberal groups are working hard to undercut the prevailing Republican argument that it is inappropriate for Obama to nominate a Supreme Court justice at this late stage of his presidency.
Americans United for Change, a group closely allied with the White House, is trumpeting an article written by now-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) in 1970. McConnell wrote that “the Senate should discount the philosophy of the nominee” and that “the president is presumably elected by the people to carry out a program and altering the ideological direction of the Supreme Court would seem to be a perfectly legitimate part of a presidential platform.”

A person close to the administration, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to protect those relationships, said the pick is likely to be someone “super-qualified” who had been confirmed by overwhelming majorities of currently sitting Republicans; that would make it difficult for the GOP to argue that the nominee is unqualified.

My problem with the piece?  It mentions conservative "activists."  These people and organizations are extremists, yet the media refuses to call them such.  It is one of the reasons Washington is so broken.  The media continues to act as if today's GOP was acting in a normal or responsible manner and gives cover to extremists.  

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