Witt: Pendulums swing in both directions
U.S. Sen Mitch McConnell, speaking before the conservative Value Voters Summit on Sept. 22, was in good company. At least good company for him.
Value Voters Summit is a symposium sponsored primarily by FRC Action, the legislative arm of the anti-LGBTQ group Family Research Council.
Some of the other speakers at the Summit included a host of current administration officials, including Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Other speakers included Michele Bachmann, former Minnesota representative and presidential contender who was co-owner of a counseling clinic which emphasized that gay people could pray away their gayness, and Oliver North, current president of the NRA and disgraced Marine who accommodated the Iran-Contra scandal under President Ronald Reagan.
Of course, all these people have every right to address a conservative group, even one as scurrilous (depending on one’s point of view) as the FRC. And there should be no doubt that the speakers listed here are staunch conservatives, also their right.
But it was the comments of McConnell which garnered a good deal of attention from many news media outlets (you know, the “fake news”).
The senator was expostulating on the process underway at the time to seat Judge Brett Kavanaugh on the U.S. Supreme Court.
McConnell told the audience (undoubtedly raptly attentive to his every word), “Don’t get rattled by all this (the circus surrounding Kavanaugh’s hearing). We’re gonna plow right through it and do our job.”
How strange the Senator is so intent on his fellows doing their job considering, in 2016, some 11 months before the conclusion of President Barack Obama’s term in office, he led the Republican opposition to the President’s nomination of Garland Merrick to a similar position, completely ignoring the responsibility of doing their job.
It was McConnell who had publicly proclaimed one of his proudest moments during his — too lengthy — stay in the U.S. Senate was when he was able to block President Obama’s selection for the Court to replace the recently deceased Antonin Scalia.
The successful effort of Senator McConnell resulted in one of the most atrocious examples of obstructionism regarding an appointment to the Supreme Court that has ever occurred in the history of either the Court or this nation.
McConnell believes every President has the right — and obligation — to appoint individuals to the Court when a vacancy occurs, but only if the President happens to be a member of the same political party.
And so he concurs in the attempt to rush the appointment of Kavanaugh through the Senate, ideally before the November election, so that, if Democrats should assume majority power in either the Senate or House, they will have no say on the latest Court appointee.
McConnell would be wise to remember pendulums swing in both directions.
Chuck Witt is a retired architect and a lifelong resident of Winchester. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.