On Thursday morning, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell gave a vicious speech in the Senate that neatly summarized the outpouring of pearl-clutching crocodile tears and fainting couch outrage that has been flowing from Republicans ever since the House voted to impeach President Trump on Tuesday.
McConnell, who has been machine-gunning psychotic right-wing extremists into lifetime positions on federal courts and bragging about it for months, made it clear that he was simply aghast at the notion that the Democrats would do anything without bipartisan agreement even while openly promising that he would not be holding a fair impeachment trial. “It could not be clearer which outcome would serve the stabilizing, institution-preserving, fever-breaking role for which the United States Senate was created and which outcome would betray it,” moaned McConnell.
LIVE: Majority Leader McConnell speaks on Senate floor following impeachment of President Trump. https://t.co/01P3Q5fKQ8
— NBC Politics (@NBCPolitics) December 19, 2019
McConnell complained that the articles of impeachment are “fundamentally unlike any articles that any prior House of Representatives has ever passed” and somehow kept a straight face as he warned that the impeachment process “risks deeply damaging the institutions of American government” and that the framers built the Senate to provide stability…to keep partisan passions from boiling over. Moments like this are why the United States Senate exists.”
While that may have been true in an abstract sense, in reality, this has translated into Mitch McConnell and a group of sixty Senators representing a tiny proportion of the population wielding wildly outsized political power and turning the Senate into a legislative graveyard, refusing to even consider anything that doesn’t suit their extremist agenda.
McConnell also pretended to be deeply wounded by Pelosi’s brilliant decision to delay sending the articles of impeachment to the Senate until they can sort out the rules, dragging out the impeachment process for as long as possible, sneering that “the House Democrats may be too afraid to even transmit their shoddy work product to the Senate.”
To hear this coming from the man who vowed on the first day of the Obama presidency to make him a one-term president and refused to hold hearings for Supreme Court Justice nominee Neil Gorsuch is the highest of hypocrisies and really underscores the tragic and infinitely frustrating reality we now face: a reality in which no norms, facts, or shame exists for our political rivals. The words of the Constitution, the spirit of the rule of law, all conceptions of “fairness” or constitutional obligation simply don’t matter for these people, and in response, we should treat their complaints or concerns just as seriously as they treat their duties to this nation
Which is not at all.
Social media immediately exploded with derision at McConnell’s tantrum:
McConnell's words about fairness would hold a lot more weight if he didn't brag **checks notes** on Tuesday that he's "not an impartial juror."
— Zac Petkanas (@Zac_Petkanas) December 19, 2019
BREAKING NEWS:@senatemajldr Mitch McConnell has scheduled a full impeachment trial, with witnesses, to take place immediately after the confirmation hearing for Judge Merrick Garland.
— Richard W. Painter (@RWPUSA) December 19, 2019
This is the same Mitch McConnell who turned the nomination process for administration appointees into trench warfare and who said in 2011 that the debt ceiling was "a hostage worth ransoming" and who denied a president a hearing on a Supreme Court nominee in 2016, right?
— Kevin M. Kruse (@KevinMKruse) December 19, 2019
There's always a brilliant performance that comes out in December and immediately becomes the frontrunner for the Oscar race, and "Mitch McConnell Acts Sad About Partisanship" is surely this year's entry.
— Kevin M. Kruse (@KevinMKruse) December 19, 2019
Hard to take seriously anything McConnell just said when he lacked the moral honesty to even acknowledge to the country the underlying House impeachment charge that Trump 'betrayed the nation' by trying to cheat American voters in the 2020 election.
— David Jolly (@DavidJollyFL) December 19, 2019
Mitch McConnell explaining how he gave a fair hearing to Merrick Garland: “One of my proudest moments was when I looked at Barack Obama in the eye, and I said, ‘Mr. President, you will not fill this Supreme Court vacancy.’”pic.twitter.com/rwEp0Yb1nC
— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) December 19, 2019
Listening to McConnell talk about toxic new precedent and partisanship. I have two words for him- MERRICK GARLAND. #Impeachment
— (((Howard Forman))) (@thehowie) December 19, 2019
Colin Taylor is the editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.