Last week, I wrote that Senate Majority Leader McConnell seems finally to be displaying a sense of urgency in getting President Trump’s nominees confirmed. He had threatened to keep the Senate in session on Fridays and even over the weekend in order to get a slate of nominees confirmed. The tactic worked and the slate got its long-awaited vote which resulted in confirmation.
Yesterday, the Washington Examiner reported that McConnell plans to use this approach going forward. The idea is that if Democrats keep stalling, vulnerable Democrats will be tied up in Washington when they would strongly prefer to be campaigning back home.
What caught my eye in the Examiner’s report is this statement from Sen. Cory Gardner:
The delay and obstruction tactics are historic. We have to clear the backlog of nominations. That means we are here — that means we stay here; we should stay here. We’re here as long as it takes to get the job done.
Gardner is head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, so it’s normal that he wants to keep Senate Democrats off the campaign trail. And he’s right that Democratic delay and obstruction of presidential nominees is unprecedented.
But Gardner has also engaged in significant obstruction of Trump’s nominees. He blocked around twenty Justice Department nominees, including some key ones, because of a dispute with the Attorney General over marijuana. I wrote about this here and here.
Gardner’s massive obstruction has been as “historic” as that of the Democrats. The difference is that one can’t really expect better from contemporary Dems. One should expect better from a Republican.