Mitch McConnell Fails Oath of Office

mcconnellTeamTrump.jpg

Senator Mitch McConnell, as majority leader, gets a salary of $193,400 from the U.S. taxpayer. But he fails to do his job. Consider the oath of office that McConnell, and every civil servant, takes:

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.

Well, it seems McConnell fails to "faithfully discharge the duties of the office." Here are four notable cases.

Blocking Obama

Before President Barack Obama even took office, then-Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and former House GOP Whip Eric Cantor planned their "no-honeymoon strategy" of total resistance to the president-elect. Former Ohio Senator George Voinovich explained it simply, "If [Obama] was for it, we had to be against it." But, the plan also had a deeper design, as explained by a Congressional staffer who had left the Republican "cult":

Should Republicans succeed in obstructing the Senate from doing its job, it would further lower Congress's generic favorability rating among the American people. By sabotaging the reputation of an institution of government, the party that is programmatically against government would come out the relative winner.

And so it went for Obama's two terms of office. The first major bill, the Recovery Act, which was an emergency stimulus to climb out of the Great Recession, set the pattern. It passed without a single House Republican vote, and had to be scaled back to get the three Senate Republican votes needed to overcome a filibuster. Also, Senate Republicans filibustered scads of the president's judicial nominations, which used to be routinely approved. All that played out against a background of baseless GOP and right-wing media character attacks on the president. Thus, McConnell helped lead Republican members of Congress to abandon their normal legislative duties for a cynical power play. And come 2017, they found themselves in control of both houses of Congress and the presidency.

Blocking Merrick Garland

In March of 2016, President Barack Obama nominated Merrick Garland, a highly-qualified and broadly-respected judge, for the Supreme Court. But then-Majority Leader McConnell just brushed off the court vacancy and never even give Garland a hearing. And after ten months, with a new Congress, the nomination expired. Thus, McConnell neglected his duty to do the "Advice and Consent" function, as stated in the Constitution: "[The President] shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint ... Judges of the supreme Court."

And how did McConnell feel about his neglect of duty? In August 2016, during the sixth month of blocking Garland, McConnell said, "One of my proudest moments was when I looked Barack Obama in the eye and I said, 'Mr. President, you will not fill the Supreme Court vacancy.'"

Blocking Progressive Legislation

Last April, McConnell announced his plans for any progressive legislation during the next Congress:

If I'm still the majority leader in the Senate think of me as the Grim Reaper. None of that stuff is going to pass.

But, clearly, he has already taken that "Grim Reaper" role in the current Congress. Since Democrats took control of the House of Representatives in January 2019, they have sent some 400 bills to the Senate. Now, the great majority of those bills sit in McConnell's in-box, as he refuses to bring them up for debate.

Among the blocked bills are HR 1 for clean government, HR 6 to keep protection for Dreamers, HR 8 to close gun background check loopholes, HR 9 for climate crisis action, HR 986 to rescind administration allowance of junk health insurance, HR 1644 to restore net neutrality and internet freedom, and the recently-passed HR 3 to allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices. All of these are popular bills, which deserve movement and debate in the Senate.

Blocking a Fair Impeachment Trial

Now, an impeachment trial in the U.S. Senate is imminent. Chief Justice John Roberts would preside over the trial, so it seems McConnell would have no power beyond being a juror, like any other senator. But before the trial, Majority Leader McConnell would take the lead in setting trial rules, which must be voted on by the full Senate. And, here again, McConnell is true to form as a partisan hack. He said:

Everything I do during this [impeachment trial], I’m coordinating with White House Counsel. There will be no difference between the President’s position and our position as to how to handle this. ... I'm going to take my cues from the president's lawyers.

That proclamation conflicts, not only with the Constitution's oath to faithfully discharge the duties of the office," but also with the impeachment trial oath to "do impartial justice:"

Do you solemnly swear that in all things appertaining to the trial of the impeachment of Donald J. Trump, President of the United States, now pending, you will do impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws, so help you God?

Booting McConnell

Mitch McConnell must face Kentucky voters to retain his Senate seat in 2020. So far, one Republican is challenging him in the primary election. And six Democrats are vying in the primary for a chance to challenge McConnell in the November general election. One of the Democrats, Amy McGrath, has raised millions and was virtually tied with McConnell in a July poll. Also, the national Progressive Turnout Project PAC has set its goal in Kentucky to booting McConnell. Said the PAC's executive director:

If we hope to rebuild our fractured politics and institutions, we need to remove the king of partisan warfare, Mitch McConnell.

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Image: Mitch McConnell on Team Trump adapted from 'Super Trumps of the RNC... even Little Marco joined the team' by DonkeyHotey on Wikimedia.org; cc-by-sa-2.0 license

(From The Paragraph.) [Sources & Notes]

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By Quinn Hungeski, TheParagraph.com, Copyright (CC BY-ND) 2019

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Alligator Ed's picture

To which Empire? The Amerikan Exceptional one? The Chinese yellow horde one? Quicker than you can say Chao Chao, Mitch will always do what's in his best interests. Right now, going along with Trump is in his best interests. If M. Mitch wishes re-election, he needs to play nice with Trump. Trump is more popular in KY than Mitch. Fair, schmair. Does Nervous Nancy play fair? Do two wrongs make a right?

I know you meant this essay as sarcasm. How else could anyone consider a politician in Amerika of keeping their oath. Just look at our glorious U.S. tradition of not honoring a single treaty we've ever made. M. Mitch follows by example, merely mimicking, in a silhouette's way, going through the motion.

I learned from this essay that the "Do-nothing Congress" about which Commander Cheeto rails, is due to the McConnell bottling factory, bottling all 400 house-passed bills except for AUMF and wall-building. Those get express delivery to the Senate floor.

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hungeski's picture

@Alligator Ed The oath is not to the empire, but to the Constitution -- and every civil servant should keep it.

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"We dance round in a ring and suppose, But the Secret sits in the middle and knows." - Robert Frost

Alligator Ed's picture

@hungeski I'm not too quick in cold weather.

Well, technically you are correct, the empire did not officially begin until Mr.

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Alligator Ed's picture

@Alligator Ed Mr. Monroe.

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Centaurea's picture

If Obama hadn't screwed around during his first two years in office when the Dems had a supermajority; if he hadn't failed to hold Wall Street bankers responsible for the 2008 crash, failed to push through the public option, appointed neoliberal Clintonists to his cabinet, named DWS as DNC chair and abandoned the 50 state strategy, and in general failed to keep his campaign promises ... if he hadn't done all that, the Dems might well have kept that supermajority and even expanded it.

Which would mean that Mitch McConnell would not be Senate Majority Leader right now.

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"Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep."
~Rumi

"If you want revolution, be it."
~Caitlin Johnstone

QMS's picture

good one gator
discharge from duty
due to dereliction

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snoopydawg's picture

Nancy failed to uphold the constitution when Bush launched the war on Afghanistan and Iraq. She was informed in 2002 that the Bush administration was authorizing torture which is a war crime and a crime against humanity. Why did she not impeach him? She said that she didn't want to set a precedent of impeachment.

Next came Obama and his illegal wars on Libya, Syria and the Ukraine, Hondorus and Egypt coups. Obama himself failed to uphold the constitution by letting the Bush admin off with torture ect....

Obama refused to give Ukraine lethal aid because he didn't want to increase tensions with Russia. Trump said that he refused to give them to them because of the corruption rampant in Ukraine and not to get dirt on Biden. He had that right because he was president. And dammit all I hate defending the POS Trump

But will Nancy ad further war crimes to the impeachment after Trump just bombed and killed people in Iraq and Syria? Hell no. This is when both parties come out and cheer him for furthering the war machine.

And again. Democrats had many procedural ways to make McConnell give Garland's appointment a vote. They didn't. And when democrats quit working with republicans to further the destruction of the US and stop our war machines then I might get upset with McConnell for not playing along with the impeachment farce. You might think what Trump did with Ukraine is the hill to die on. I do not. Not when other presidents have done far worse!

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In a free country civil liberties are not only for certain groups.
So this is how liberty dies . . . with thunderous applause.
The donor class doesn’t want it, and Americans elect the bribed. So suck it up.

hungeski's picture

@snoopydawg - I think Trump's only concern with corruption would be that he wasn't getting his piece of the action.

- I think the Democrats did a nice job with the impeachment proceedings and articles. It may not be the hill to die on, but praise be -- they did something right!

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"We dance round in a ring and suppose, But the Secret sits in the middle and knows." - Robert Frost

snoopydawg's picture

@hungeski

Robert Parry talked about impeachment and other issues of his time. I really wish he was still alive and he wrote about this impeachment. We lost a great voice when he passed.

Actually this was in response to your other comment below.

But as for Nancy doing a great job..this depends on whether you listened to the witnesses when the republicans had their chance to question them. Sonderland admitted that Trump did not tell him to hold the weapons from Ukraine until there was dirt on Biden. He said that was only his interpretation of what Trump wanted.

I don't know how knowledgeable you are of the other side of the Ukraine saga. We have written some good stuff on it and others have shown that democrats were really involved in the corruption. If the truth ever gets out Biden might be found guilty of laundering millions from the money that went to Ukraine. And Nancy's son was also involved as was Lindsay Graham and many others.

The latest email that everyone says proves Trump broke the law shows him saying that Ukraine was too corrupt right then to give them the weapons. But even though the weapons were released they can't be used on the front line of the proxy war with Russia and Russian separatists. We really shouldn't be providing fuel to the fire there.

Let me know if you see this comment. I'm interested in your response.

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0 users have voted.

In a free country civil liberties are not only for certain groups.
So this is how liberty dies . . . with thunderous applause.
The donor class doesn’t want it, and Americans elect the bribed. So suck it up.

hungeski's picture

@snoopydawg Thanks for the link to Robert Parry. He was my favorite reporter, and I wrote essays (with one on Ukraine) based on his writing.

"that was only his interpretation of what Trump wanted" - Well then, Trump got his message across.

"democrats were really involved in the corruption. If the truth ever gets out Biden might be found guilty" - Uh-oh, better not vote Biden.

"Trump ... saying that Ukraine was too corrupt right then to give them the weapons." - Again, I think Trump's only concern with corruption is that he gets a piece of the action -- in this case maybe via his favored LNG supplier.

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"We dance round in a ring and suppose, But the Secret sits in the middle and knows." - Robert Frost

PriceRip's picture

 

          Reality is a slap in the face. It is not clear that "they" actually understand Reality. It is not clear how many just parrot the "common understanding" as opposed to actually believe the "common understanding".

          Duplicity is the order of the day and at this time there are only Bernie Sander, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, along with a few others that are speaking truth. We are about to enter the last year of the twentieth century and we have yet to be able to cut through the crap and deal with issues honestly.

          If I could be granted one wish, it would be that no one would ever tell the lie that "taxes fund spending". Cutting this out of everyone's lexicon would go a looooog way to stopping the bullshit that is literally getting people killed. Oh, and when I use the word "literally" I actually mean literally for real literally!

          I am so tired of people (liberals maybe even more so than conservatives) pontificating about a subject (economics) about which they are so very ignorant. I hate lazy people that refuse to deal with real issues to work out solutions because they prefer to "think" like those disgusting pigs Tucker Carlson, and company.

          Ok, rant over, I need for my BP to drop a bit...

RIP

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snoopydawg's picture

Bush. He did far more than withhold lethal aid to Ukraine for our proxy war with Russia.

But I'm wondering why you haven't replied to any of the comments here? Is this just a dump and run?

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3 users have voted.

In a free country civil liberties are not only for certain groups.
So this is how liberty dies . . . with thunderous applause.
The donor class doesn’t want it, and Americans elect the bribed. So suck it up.

hungeski's picture

@snoopydawg She didn't explain it very well, did she? She also talks about how trivial the grounds for Clinton's impeachment were. So, yes, I think that Bush's war crime is far greater than Trump's abuse of power -- and that Clinton's mistake is far less.

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"We dance round in a ring and suppose, But the Secret sits in the middle and knows." - Robert Frost