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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 12/27/19

The Darth Vader of Washington

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From Inequality Media

Mitch McConnell
Mitch McConnell
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He's maybe the most dangerous politician of my lifetime. He's helped transform the Republican Party into a cult, worshiping at the altar of authoritarianism. His spineless political posturing places party above country, even as foreign governments undermine our democracy.

In pursuit of power, he's damaged our country in ways that may take a generation to undo.

The politician I'm talking about is (Moscow) Mitch McConnell.

McConnell is no garden-variety bad public official. Here's an incomplete list of the many ways the most hypocritical and partisan Senate leader in history has damaged our democracy (a full list would be hundreds of pages long).

  • He refused for almost a year to allow the Senate to consider President Obama's moderate Supreme Court pick Merrick Garland. When Trump became president, McConnell got rid of the age-old Senate rule requiring 60 senators to agree on a Supreme Court nomination so he could ram through not one but two Supreme Court justices, including one with a likely history of sexual assault.
  • He has rammed ultra-conservative, hyperpartisan, unqualified judges through the Senate confirmation process. The Senate has confirmed 187 Trump appointees to lifetime federal judgeships; seven of those confirmed nominees were given a "not qualified" rating by the American Bar Association. A quarter of federal circuit judges are now Trump appointees, shaping the courts for decades to come.
  • He has turned the Senate into a "legislative graveyard" by refusing to take up over 300 bills passed by the House. He's blocked bipartisan legislation that would enact universal background checks for gun purchases, lower the cost of prescription drugs, get big money out of politics, provide election security funding, protect voting rights, and on and on. He's gleefully adopted the nickname the "Grim Reaper" in a shameless show of pride for his refusal to pass anything that helps the American people. Under his leadership, what was once known as the world's greatest deliberative body has become a partisan lap dog.
  • He has already violated his oath to be an impartial juror in the upcoming Senate impeachment trial. He openly declared, word-for-word, that he would not be an impartial juror in the trial, proudly saying that he would be "coordinating with the White House counsel" and that "there will be no difference between the president's position and our position." He is not even pretending that the Senate trial will be fair, blatantly violating his oath to "do impartial justice" in order to protect Trump's interests. Imagine the foreman of a jury announcing before a trial that there will be no difference between the jury's position and a defendant's.
Never in my lifetime have I seen a public servant so proudly debase his office and so blatantly disregard our institutions.

In 2020, we're making it a top priority to expose Mitch McConnell's lies and hypocrisy to the American people.

As the walls close in around his Dear Leader next year, McConnell will only become more bold in subverting the will of the people to protect Trump's interests.

We need to ensure that McConnell's legacy is forever one of hypocrisy, inaction, and obstructionism.

 

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Robert Reich, former U.S. Secretary of Labor and Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley, has a new film, "Inequality for All," to be released September 27. He blogs at www.robertreich.org.

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