President Obama took a shot a Senate Republicans in his statement about Loretta Lynch’s confirmation by completely ignoring Mitch McConnell and the Republicans who finally voted for her to be the next Attorney General.
The President said:
Today, the Senate finally confirmed Loretta Lynch to be America’s next Attorney General – and America will be better off for it. Loretta has spent her life fighting for the fair and equal justice that is the foundation of our democracy. As head of the Justice Department, she will oversee a vast portfolio of cases, including counterterrorism and voting rights; public corruption and white-collar crime; judicial recommendations and policy reviews – all of which matter to the lives of every American, and shape the story of our country. She will bring to bear her experience as a tough, independent, and well-respected prosecutor on key, bipartisan priorities like criminal justice reform. And she will build on our progress in combatting newer threats like cybercrime. Loretta’s confirmation ensures that we are better positioned to keep our communities safe, keep our nation secure, and ensure that every American experiences justice under the law.
There is no mention of Republicans in the President’s statement. Just a pointed “finally”.
Loretta Lynch made history today as the first female African American Attorney General when she was finally confirmed with a Senate vote of 56-43. Just ten Republicans sided with all of the Senate Democrats in the vote. Just ten, over someone pretty much everyone agrees is a solid choice for Attorney General.
But holding the most basic processes and departments hostage is how Republicans govern in their Age of Opposition, like petulant two-year-olds acting out against parental authority.
Republicans earned this contempt the hard way — playing politics over the basics, once again.
The President’s statement was in line with his belief that Republicans don’t deserve credit for doing their jobs. Mitch McConnell deserves no special mention or praise for doing what he should have done months ago. Sen. McConnell and his political games were the only reason the President had to wait so long for his nominee to be confirmed.
Obama wasn’t going to pretend that the Lynch vote was some bipartisan breakthrough or evidence that the Senate is now “working.” The reality is that the long delay that Republicans caused is proof that the Senate is as broken as it ever was.
The only difference in the Senate is that Democrats have not chosen to obstruct every single bill. The Senate is “working” because Mitch McConnell is no longer using his minority power to block everything.
Republicans don’t get a pat on the head for finally doing the right thing. Obama gave Senate Republicans exactly what they earned. Nothing at all.