Another good one this morning from the editorial page at the Greensboro News & Record slamming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Richard “I lost my blue slip” Burr and Thom “I flip-flopped so fast you probably didn’t even notice” Tillis on their outrageous refusal to consider any Obama Supreme Court nominee:
“This stand defies the constitutional duty to give “advice and consent.” The Constitution assigns this role to the Senate to provide a check on a president’s power. The Senate can withhold its consent when it concludes a nominee isn’t qualified. But McConnell and other Republicans, including Sens. Richard Burr and Thom Tillis of North Carolina, fail in their responsibility to advise when they refuse to consider any nominee.
Tillis warned last week that Republicans would “fall into the trap of obstructionism” if they rejected any nominee “sight unseen.” This week, he walked into the trap. The entire GOP caucus has followed its leader along this dangerous path. It won’t lead anywhere good.
The reasons McConnell cites to justify obstructionism don’t wash. He says the American people should resolve the deadlock in the November election. But the voters re-elected Obama in 2012 to serve until Jan. 20, 2017. McConnell ignores that election.”
And, as the conclusion notes, this latest blockade is just one of many such inexcusable exercises:
“McConnell already has slowed the pace on all confirmations, whether for lower federal judgeships or other federal positions.
‘In 2015, the Senate confirmed 173 total civilian nominees, according to the Congressional Research Service, about 100 fewer than were confirmed in 2007 when a Democratic Senate took over during the last two years of George W. Bush’s presidency,’ Burgess Everett wrote for Politico last month.
Republicans point to past offenses by Democrats, which were inexcusable, but they have escalated obstructionism to an unprecedented level. It’s bound to be repeated in the future, unless voters hold the obstructionists accountable in Senate elections. In North Carolina, Burr is on the ballot this year.
It’s easy to see straight through McConnell, an ‘establishment’ Republican who’s been faulted by his party’s extreme right wing for accommodating Obama too often. The critics have wanted McConnell to block every one of Obama’s initiatives instead of only most of them and to confirm none of his nominees.
Now, McConnell is yielding to the worst impulses of partisan politics, even if it means keeping a Supreme Court seat empty for years. History will remember.”