We live in the age of the “Do nothing Congress”, a Congress whose favorability rating has hovered around nine percent for quite some time. It is a Congress whose inability to get things done has directly contributed to the rise of Donald Trump as an anti-establishment candidate in today’s politics.
Why, then, would Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and the other Republican senators choose not to allow President Obama’s nomination to the Supreme Court a full review on the Senate floor and, by not doing so, continue to feed the image of futility by this Congress? The answer: HYPOCRISY!
In the particular case of the Supreme Court nominee, the hypocrisy has been blatant. No sooner, for example, did Republican Senator Orin Hatch challenge President Obama to choose someone of the stature of Chief Judge Merrick Garland as a nominee did President Obama go ahead and choose the very same Merrick Garland. Senator Hatch then did an immediate about face and no longer supported the nomination he had suggested.
The Republicans point to principle, the principle of letting the newly elected President in November choose the nominee to fill the seat left vacant with the death of Justice Scalia. That is, if a Republican wins. If Hillary wins in November, however, Republican Senators such as Jeff Flake and Chuck Grassley have no problem with a lame duck session vote because they know Merrick Garland is way more centrist than a likely nominee from Hillary Clinton. Principles, did anyone say principles?
On this same topic, the Republican Senate exhibits selective memory when it erroneously points out that Presidents in their last year in office do not select Supreme Court nominees. I wonder if Justice Anthony Kennedy, who was nominated by President Reagan during his last year in office and approved by the Senate, feels like a forgotten justice. Seems like he is never forgotten when he votes with the liberal wing of the Court.
Hypocrisy in today’s Congress is, of course, not limited to this clear example. The instances of hypocrisy with this particular Congress and politics in general are far too numerous to list in one column, but let’s take a look at just a partial list.
Rejecting background checks on guns with the excuse that criminals don’t follow the law yet attempting to make abortions illegal without regard to the resulting return of abortions to the back alleys where they were prior to Roe v. Wade is another great example of Congressional hypocrisy. Criminals won’t abide by gun laws, but apparently abortion laws will be strictly adhered too as they were prior to Roe v. Wade. NOT!
On this same topic, how about Republican rants about the intrusiveness of government in people’s lives while trying to become more and more intrusive into the decisions a woman makes about her own health and body? This, to me, is the epitome of hypocrisy.
How about ranting about the need to support our troops and then cut veterans benefits when they return from active duty? More than hypocritical; more like disgraceful.
The list goes on: Rejecting for budgetary reasons any proposals for making a college education, if not free, at least affordable, yet having no reservations about pouring billions of dollars into a military that is already bigger than the militaries of the next eight nations combined? Last year alone we spent $596 million on national defense which is more than Russia, China, the United Kingdom, France, India and Saudi Arabia combined. Hypocrisy mixed with an ample dose of irresponsibility, I would say.
Let us also not forget those Congressmen who rejected disaster aid for the victims of Hurricane Sandy, yet had the unmitigated gall to then request disaster aid for the tornado victims in their own states.
Ronald Reagan is the closest thing the Republicans have to a saint, yet, while, praising his legacy they, simultaneously, choose to ignore his positions on eliminating assault weapons from the public, reforming immigration to provide a pathway to citizenship, and so on and so on? Hypocrisy! Hypocrisy! Hypocrisy!