Wednesday, February 1, 2017

The American People

Via Kevin Drum, November 2014, on reports that "Mr. McConnell indicated that Senate Republicans will turn their attention to peeling back 'pieces of it that are deeply, deeply unpopular with the American people.' He cited the law’s tax on medical devices, its requirement that big employers provide insurance to all workers clocking 30 hours a week or more or pay a fee, and its mandate that most Americans carry insurance or pay a fee." You know what's "deeply, deeply unpopular with the American people"?

Collected by Garry Trudeau:

"One of my proudest moments was when I told Obama, 'You will not fill this Supreme Court vacancy.'"
-- Sen. Mitch McConnell, 2016

"Apparently there's a new standard now, which is to not confirm a Supreme Court nominee at all. I think that's something the American people simply will not tolerate."
-- McConnell, 2017

You already knew that, but you have to admit it packs a punch laid out like this. I think I've noticed before how whenever Mitch McConnell adverts to the views of "the American people" it's a sign he's telling a lie so outrageous you'd expect his tongue to fall out. (Check it out.)

I've been sympathetic to the idea as expressed now and again by Senators Schumer and Sanders and others that Democrats ought to be open to working with the situation as it is and participate in the government, trying to mitigate the harm Republicans are doing wherever they can. Yes, I understand that Tea Party nihilism "worked", but I just don't think that's a reason to emulate it. Toddlers in the terrible-twos year also get a lot of what they want, wearing you down with their crazed desires and inexplicable rages, but adults can't, unless of course they're psychopaths like you-know-who. Government needs to go on—people's lives are at stake.

But in the case of the Supreme Court nomination, I'm ready to say fuck it. An eight-member court isn't ideal, but we can live with it. "The American people", as opposed to the Electoral College, asked for Hillary Clinton to nominate Antonin Scalia's replacement. I'm willing to wait.

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