The following is an editorial by PoliticusUSA’s co-publisher and managing editor Sarah Jones.
The stench of illegitimacy hangs over President Donald Trump’s ascent to the White House.
In spite of Republican talking points, Democrats don’t need to find an “issue” to stop the Neil Gorsuch nomination from proceeding to confirmation. The Gorsuch hearing is irrelevant. He needs to be blocked out of concern for our national security and sovereignty.
Democrats need to force 60 votes for passage, at which point Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) will be forced to change the Senate rules (hypocrisy, thy name is Mitch McConnell), thereby putting his name on the line for Russia.
Democrats need to force McConnell to do this, because right now Republicans are not only enabling the Russian takeover of our government, but they are covering it up with sham “investigations” led by people who are basically investigating themselves.
After the FBI confirmed for the first time Monday that they are investigating President Trump and his campaign for possible collusion with Russia’s interference in the 2016 U.S. election, Democrats need to do all that they can to block Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee.
Donald Trump is under FBI investigation for collusion with the Kremlin and has been since last July. It’s hard to imagine a more serious investigation. This would be treason of the highest order if it’s proven true. The investigation is ongoing and the smoking gun hasn’t been delivered yet, but the timeline looks like a smoking gun of circumstantial evidence for collusion all on its own.
The Trump campaign jumped the shark of “coincidence” a long time ago.
It would be more than foolish to allow the President to protect himself with a possible Russian stooge on the Supreme Court. Trump has already installed people like Jeff Sessions as head of the DOJ, which oversees the FBI, and Jeff Sessions not only is possibly implicated in the Russia connections but has shown no willingness to actually investigate the issue. After lying to the Senate during his confirmation hearings about his contacts with Russia, Sessions was forced to “step aside” — but not for an independent prosecutor. Oh, no. For someone who works under him.
So it is Republicans own refusal to actually investigate (not sham investigations) an imminent threat to the United States of America that requires Democrats to block Gorush.
Republicans are trying to push the “issue” argument for good reason. The RNC sent PoliticusUSA a press release of an excerpt of a Wall Street Journal editorial by the Editorial Board, in which they make the argument that Democrats can’t find an issue upon which to base a stand against Gorsuch, “Democrats have come up empty trying to find something scandalous that Neil Gorsuch has said, so now they’re blaming him for what he won’t say. To wit, they want him to declare how he would rule in specific areas of the law—questions that every Supreme Court nominee declines to answer.”
It’s true that Gorsuch is a great witness, and he is handling the Senate confirmation hearings like a pro. Normally, he would be an easy nominee to move forward, even with his ideological bent as President’s are allowed to pick their Supreme Court nominees.
Or, they used to be.
It is Republicans themselves who changed everything with their unprecedented obstruction of President Obama’s moderate, middle of the road nominee Merrick Garland. A man far more respected on both sides of the aisle than Gorsuch. Not even an hour after Justice Scalia’s death, Mitch McConnell announced that Republicans would block President Obama’s nominee no matter who it was — so “issues” mattered not one bit when it was Obama’s nominee, and Obama won an actual mandate twice.
Republicans are right to press the “issue” argument, because it’s all they have. But Gorsuch’s fitness for the position is not the real issue.
Republicans do not have precedent on their side, because Mitch McConnell broke with longstanding Senate tradition in order to make up his own facts in a further effort to delegitimize President Obama, who won by a lot more than Donald Trump did and so McConnell’s argument “Let’s let the American people decide” is even weaker tea today than it was when first he offered it.
Not only did Trump lose the popular vote, but he “won” with the help of a hostile foreign power, and at that only managed to scrape by with 78,000 votes in three states that gave him his electoral college win.
A mandate this is not. This is the opposite of a mandate. This is more like a Kremlin demand that must be refused by anyone taking money to represent the U.S.
Republicans are no longer the traditionalists or the patriots. They are now backing and enabling and offering cover to an administration that has repeatedly lied about its connections to Russia and is currently under FBI investigation regarding its role in the Kremlin’s interference in our election.
Democrats can’t stop Gorsuch, but they can force Mitch McConnell to change the Senate rules to assist Putin, and this is what they need to do. He deserves to wear that badge publicly.
There should be no mercy shown to anyone who is selling this country out by allowing possible Russian puppets to be installed in positions of such enormous power they leave us wide open to no checks and balances. Clearly Republicans are unable to serve as checks and balances, even when their president is under FBI investigation for collusion with a hostile foreign government. We will need any checks and balances we can get.
Ms. Jones is the editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA.
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 has won two Telly Awards and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.