McConnell: Democrats “determined to head into the abyss, and taking the country with them”

posted at 12:31 pm on April 4, 2017 by Ed Morrissey

Mitch McConnell has a message for Senate Democrats: There’s still time to recover your sanity. The Senate Majority Leader lamented that the minority had gotten themselves goaded into “something detrimental” by extremists determined to obstruct government at all costs. “Do the right thing,” McConnell urged Democrats, before they take the Senate into “the abyss”:

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) sent a warning shot to Democrats, saying the “future of the Senate” hangs on if they filibuster Neil Gorsuch’s Supreme Court nomination.

“It should be unsettling to everyone that our colleagues across the aisle have brought the Senate to this new low,” the Kentucky Republican said on Tuesday from the Senate floor.

McConnell added Democrats could still “do the right thing,” saying that “history will be watching and the future of the Senate will hang on their choice.” …

“Democrats are being pushed by far-left interest groups into doing something detrimental to this body and for our country,” he said. “They seem determined to head into the abyss and taking the country with them.”

McConnell take care to frame the argument as a partisan fight that has nothing to do with Gorsuch, and everything to do with sour grapes on an unprecedented scale. Noting that no Republicans in the current chamber had ever voted for a filibuster on a Supreme Court nomination — despite two opportunities during the Barack Obama administration — McConnell calls the new Democratic filibuster “a no vote in search of a reason” for obstructionism. “Part of the job you sign up for here,” McConnell lectures Democrats, “is to do what you know is right in the end.”

Odds of this changing a single Democratic vote: Nil. At this point, the game of chicken has both sides pushing the pedal to the metal, and all that’s left is to ensure no one on either side bails out of the ensuing car wreck. This was an argument calculated just as much for potential squishy Republicans as much as intransigent Democrats — and maybe more so. With Original Gang(of 14)ster John McCain in the fold, McConnell just needs to make sure that Susan Collins, Jeff Flake, and Lisa Murkowski remain solid enough to get to 51 on Thursday’s Reid Option vote.

Don’t blame McConnell, former Senator and Gorsuch sherpa Kelly Ayotte told Fox’s Neil Cavuto. Democrats forced this fight, and Republicans are just doing what it takes to govern:

Former Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) says Democrats are set to force Republicans into exercising the “nuclear option” on Neil Gorsuch’s Supreme Court confirmation vote.

“Unfortunately, the Democrats are just obstructing [Gorsuch’s] ability to have this up-or-down vote,” Ayotte, who was tasked by the Trump administration with guiding Gorsuch’s confirmation process, said Monday on Fox Business Network’s “Cavuto Coast to Coast.”

“The Republicans have made clear that he’s going to be confirmed one way or the other,” she added.

That’s what will happen on Friday, one way or the other. After that, Democrats will have surrendered any moral authority to block a truly provocative nominee to the Supreme Court, allowing Donald Trump carte blanche to name whomever he chooses without concern for Democrats at all. Chuck Schumer’s heading into an abyss, but contra McConnell, it’s not at all clear that the country will be worse off without Democratic hypocrisy and posturing on nuclear options.


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