President Obama ripped Mitch McConnell without mentioning his name by calling the Senate dysfunctional and calling McConnell’s leadership embarrassing because the Kentucky Republican is refusing to call a vote to confirm Loretta Lynch.
The President mentioned the recent bit of bipartisanship in Congress then went off on Mitch McConnell for holding up a final vote on Loretta Lynch.
President Obama said:
Yet, and what we still have is this crazy situation where a woman who everybody agrees is qualified, who has gone after terrorists, who has worked with police officers to get gangs off the streets, who is trusted by the civil rights community and by police unions as being somebody who’s fair and effective and good manager. Nobody suggests otherwise. Who’s been confirmed twice by the United States for one of the biggest law enforcement jobs in the country, has been now sitting there longer than the previous seven attorney general nominees combined, and there’s no reason for it Nobody can describe a reason for it beyond political gamesmanship in the Senate on an issue that’s completely unrelated to her.
This is the top law enforcement job in the country. It’s my attorney general who has to interact with his Italian counterparts, or her Italian counterparts, in dealing with counterterrorism issues, in dealing with Interpol, in dealing with our national security, in coordinating with our FBI.
What are we doing here? And I have to say there are times where the dysfunction in the Senate just goes too far. This is an example of it. It’s gone too far. Enough. Enough. Call Loretta Lynch for a vote. Get her confirmed. Put her in place. Let her do her job.
This is embarrassing a process like this.
President Obama didn’t mention Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s name. He didn’t have to. McConnell has made it very clear that he is going to continue to block a final vote on confirming Loretta Lynch until Democrats agree to the anti-abortion language that Senate Republicans added to the human trafficking bill. McConnell is refusing to fill the top law enforcement job in the country unless Democrats agree to language that they find objectionable.
McConnell is trying to prove his power by holding Loretta Lynch’s confirmation vote hostage.
The president was right. McConnell’s games are embarrassing, but they aren’t embarrassing for Obama. Mitch McConnell is embarrassing himself and his party. What McConnell won’t publicly admit is that his party’s chances of keeping the Senate if Hillary Clinton wins the presidential election are slim. Sen. McConnell is desperate to prove that he is capable of pushing through the Republican agenda. His desperation is behind his decision to hold a final vote on the Lynch confirmation.
Obama wasn’t only criticizing Senate Republicans for playing games. The President was taking McConnell to task for his poor leadership. Mitch McConnell can’t govern, so he is pulling a page out of the Boehner playbook and ruling by dysfunction. Democrats aren’t going to cave, so the biggest loser in this whole embarrassing fiasco is destined to be Mitch McConnell.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA.Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association