Yesterday, POLITICO ran a lengthy feature detailing some of Lynch’s history, treating every criticism of her as a racial slight. And for every story that implied there was a scandalous reason for stopping Lynch, a Democrat openly alleged that Republicans were delaying the vote because of bigotry. “Loretta Lynch, the first African-American woman nominated to be attorney general, is asked to sit in the back of the bus when it comes to the Senate calendar,” Dick Durbin said.
It’s a potent attack, obviously, as Republicans recoil whenever it’s deployed. A number of susceptible 2016 Republicans – Kelly Ayotte, Ron Johnson, Rob Portman, among others– voted to confirm Lynch. If the GOP believes that a single voter has changed their perceptions about politics over the Loretta Lynch confirmation, they’ve been in D.C. way too long. What’s far more likely is that the incident reinforces the idea that accusing your opponents of racism works. Well, for Democrats.
At the very least, Republicans had an opportunity to make a compelling case against the president’s unilateral governance by voting no. It would not have changed the outcome. Now, GOP leadership is complicit. McConnell will continue to boast about the Senate being productive again. And, to be fair, things have been running a lot smoother since the GOP took over. No more obstruction. Just a lot of capitulation.