Now that the Republican scam to include anti-abortion language in the Human Trafficking bill has failed, Mitch McConnell also lost his official excuse for pushing Loretta Lynch’s confirmation to the back of the Senate’s bus. The irony lies in the fact that Republicans chose to hold the leader in the fight against human trafficking hostage for a failed attempt to get anti-abortion language into a bill intended to help survivors of human trafficking.
Perhaps that’s why John McCain admitted Republicans are obstructing Lynch’s nomination, (not to mention the 18 others waiting for a floor vote and the 130 plus nominations that continue to languish in committees) to “get even” with Democrats using the Senate rules to break Republican obstructionism during the previous term.
I told ’em: ‘You jam them through, it’s going to be a long time before I approve of them,'” McCain said, recounting what he told Democrats after they changed the rules in 2013 and confirmed dozens of lifetime judicial appointments and several high-profile Cabinet nominees. “It’s affected me as chairman of the Armed Services Committee.
The only time Republicans suspended their temper tantrum was to confirm Defense Secretary Ash Carter. President Obama nominated Carter on December 5th. Republicans managed to hold hearings and confirm Carter on February 15.
It has gotten so bad that even Republicans are embarrassed. A few days ago, Jeb Bush echoed similar embarrassment over the behavior of Senate Republicans.
Aside from being embarrassing, this stunt defies all logic. For as long as Republicans delay confirming Loretta Lynch, Eric Holder remains the Attorney-General. Moreover, while Republicans whine about perceptions that they are misogynistic racists, obstructing the nomination of the first black woman to become Attorney-General, reinforces that image. Nothing about this stunt will address the deficits of support Republicans have from women and racial minorities. The optics are even worse when you consider Lynch’s stellar record of prosecuting human traffickers.
Lynch – according to prosecutors, officials and victims’ advocates familiar with her tenure as US attorney for the eastern district of New York – has a prodigious history of throwing sex traffickers in prison, breaking up prostitution rings, rescuing underage victims forced to work as prostitutes and reuniting mothers held captive by the rings with their long-lost children.
As of this writing, Loretta Lynch has waited for confirmation longer than the seven previous Attorney-Generals combined, as shown in this table by politifact.
|Nominee||President||Nomination received by Senate||Confirmed by Senate||Days|
|Eric Holder||Obama||Jan. 20, 2009||Feb. 2, 2009||13|
|Michael Mukasey||G.W. Bush||Sept. 21, 2007||Nov. 8, 2007||17|
|Alberto Gonzales||G.W. Bush||Jan. 4, 2005||Feb. 3, 2005||30|
|John Ashcroft||G.W. Bush||Jan. 29, 2001||Feb. 1, 2001||3|
|Janet Reno||Clinton||Feb. 26, 1993||Mar. 11, 1993||13|
|William Barr||G.H.W. Bush||Oct. 25, 1991||Nov. 20, 1991||26|
|Richard Thornburgh||Reagan||July 25, 1988||Aug. 11, 1988||17|
Republicans don’t have any good reasons to delay Loretta Lynch’s confirmation. During her confirmation hearing way back in January, Republican critics acknowledged that Lynch is eminently qualified to hold the position of Attorney-General by virtue of the fact that they spent most of that hearing attacking Eric Holder.
Even other Republicans like Rudy Giuliani of all people joined with the President to recognize that this scheme is embarrassing to Republicans and reinforces the image of racism and misogyny. McConnell has run out of doomed to fail schemes and pathetic excuses to avoid doing what he should have done months ago. Give Loretta Lynch a vote.