On Friday, President Obama lashed out at the Republican Senate for not confirming Loretta Lynch as Attorney General. “There are times where the dysfunction in the Senate just goes too far,” Obama scolded. “This is an example of it.” Doing his best impression of Harrison Ford in “Witness,” Obama huffed:
Enough, enough. Call Loretta Lynch for a vote, get her confirmed, let her do her job. This is embarrassing.
You can watch the president’s whiny performance here.
Now comes word that Lynch likely will be confirmed in short order. Sen. Bob Corker told CNN that he expects a deal to come together quickly this week to clear both Lynch and an anti-human trafficking law that Democrats have blocked due to an abortion-related provision.
Did Obama “shame” Republicans into giving Lynch her vote? No. In all likelihood, Obama knew that a deal was in the works and decided (1) to land another punch before the deal was consummated and (2) create the impression that he had bullied Republicans.
But Obama is right. This Republican Senate is embarrassing.
It’s embarrassing that, notwithstanding the lawlessness of the Holder Justice Department, the Republican Senate will confirm a Holder ally who has been unwilling to repudiate the Attorney General’s most outrageous policies and practices. It’s embarrassing that the Republican Senate previously backed away from a showdown with the White House over executive amnesty. The confirmation of Lynch means that the Republican Senate will exact no price on the Obama administration for it unconstitutional rewriting of our immigration laws.
It’s embarrassing that Senators like Corker are claiming victory because, if they can muster a super-majority of two-thirds, they can block a bad nuclear deal with Iran. Under the Constitution, the president needs a two-thirds super-majority to have a deal like this approved. Corker’s legislation thus stands the Constitution on its head. To celebrate his bill is an embarrassment.
The real question in assessing the Republican Senate’s performance is how one assesses Obama’s. If he’s just a garden-variety opposition party president, the Senate’s soft response is appropriate. But if, as I believe, Obama is usurping congressional power to an unprecedented degree, the Senate’s response has been criminally lame.
Obama isn’t conducting business as usual. Neither, therefore, should the Senate. As Obama says, “enough, enough.”