On Wednesday, Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) called out Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) for turning the Senate Judiciary Committee into a political arm of the Republican Party.
Senator Grassley has been facing brutal push back at home from both constituents and the press for his unprecedented decision block President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, Justice Merrick Garland.
On Tuesday, in a rather desperate attempt to toss the hot potato of his own obstruction onto others, Grassley tried to blame Chief Justice John Roberts for the politicization of the Supreme Court. This was a pretty awkward argument, especially since Grassley is the Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee and as such, is supposed to be holding hearings on the court nominee, but has refused to do so.
There’s quite simply no justification for Grassley’s actions, so Grassley has basically been crying, “The dog ate my homework!” When busted for not even having a dog, Grassley turned around and blamed the teacher for holding him accountable.
Harry Reid wasn’t having it.
“But now, Senator Grassley has the audacity to accuse Roberts as being part of the problem, even going so far as to tell the Chief Justice: ‘Physician, heal thyself.’ I say to the senior senator from Iowa, Justice Roberts isn’t the one who needs healing,” the Democratic Leader said on the Senate floor.
“What needs mending is the Judiciary Committee under his chairmanship, which he has annexed as a political arm of the Republican leader’s office,” Reid charged. Senator Grassley has sacrificed the historical independence of the Judiciary Committee in order to do the bidding of the Tea Party and the Koch brothers.”
Reid shone a little light on the subject by bringing Grassley back to reality, “The American people think it’s political because the senior senator from Iowa is refusing to give a fair hearing to a highly qualified nominee purely because he was nominated by a Democrat.”
“The American people think it’s political when the Judiciary Committee chairman and the Republicans on his committee meet behind closed doors and make pacts to blockade our nation’s judiciary – from the Supreme Court to the Circuit Court to the District Courts,” Reid said, exposing the political motive behind Grassley’s obstruction.
“I know my friend, who I have served with for decades in this body, is grasping for something – anything – to get himself off the hook here. President Harry Truman said, ‘the buck stops here,'” Reid said, reminding Grassley that he is in charge and yet blaming everyone else for his own decision to refuse to do his job.
“Senator Grassley wants the buck to stop with anyone but himself,” the Nevada Democrat explained. “He has done more to politicize this process than any chairman in history… He has only himself to blame for not doing his job.”
Reid has previously exposed that the Koch brothers are a driving force behind Grassley’s inaction.
Grassley is a sitting duck in McConnell’s Tea Party/Koch brothers strategy of obstruct Obama and delegitimize Obama at every turn no matter what the cost. Grassley will perhaps be collateral damage as the Republican party continues to deny progress.
Donald Trump is the result of this strategy. Donald Trump’s racism, power grabs and assaults are a direct result of Republican strategy in the House and Senate over the last seven years.
Ms. Jones is the editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.