What They Voted For

TedCruz-bw-banner

One of the hammers that has yet to drop after the 2014 GOP midterm victory is the obvious question:

Top Republicans want Loretta Lynch’s nomination to be attorney general delayed until they are in charge of the Senate — and they are insisting she divulge whether she supports the president’s plan to act without Congress on a major immigration amnesty.

Soon-to-be Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky issued a Friday statement saying her nomination should be considered “in the new Congress,” and on Saturday, Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Mike Lee of Utah also pushed for a delay.

Cruz and Lee issued a joint statement highlighting their demand Lynch divulge her thoughts on whether an executive amnesty would be constitutional.

“President [Barack] Obama’s Attorney General nominee deserves fair and full consideration of the United States Senate, which is precisely why she should not be confirmed in the lame duck session of Congress by senators who just lost their seats and are no longer accountable to the voters. The Attorney General is the President’s chief law enforcement officer. As such, the nominee must demonstrate full and complete commitment to the law. Loretta Lynch deserves the opportunity to demonstrate those qualities, beginning with a statement whether or not she believes the President’s executive amnesty plans are constitutional and legal.”

(Dennis)

It is not as if we should be surprised; they told us before the election. Even the Speaker of the House is on board with the suggestion that a lame-duck congress should walk away from its duties, even with a war on the line.

Steve Benen notes the functional problem with Republican logic:

It’s not a good argument. In 2006, senators confirmed a new Defense Secretary – with bipartisan support, no less – during a lame-duck session. In 1998, Republicans were comfortable impeaching a president during a lame-duck session, and some lawmakers who’d just lost their seats cast their votes. So why delay Lynch just for the sake of delay?

Apparently because Cruz and Lee oppose lame-duck sessions on a conceptual level ....

.... The simple fact remains that senators serve six-year terms, not five-and-three-quarter-year terms, Why should a senator be able to vote on a cabinet nominee after losing? Here’s a good reason: because they’re still senators.

Additionally, Benen points to Alexander Bolton of The Hill, who reported last month on the Texas junior’s attempt to rally support for a lame-duck abdication:

Last month, Cruz circulated among GOP colleagues a draft of a letter pressing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) not to schedule a legislative session after Nov. 4, Election Day.

“We should commit to completing the Senate’s business for the year by November 3, 2014, so that the American people feel confident that they are making the most informed choices possible on Election Day,” Cruz wrote in the draft, which was circulated to rally support for cancelling the lame duck altogether.

“We should commit to completing the Senate’s business for the year by November 3, 2014, so that the American people feel confident that they are making the most informed choices possible on Election Day,” Cruz wrote in the draft, which was circulated to rally support for cancelling the lame duck altogether.

One suddenly thinks back to the day Speaker Boehner decided to close the House of Representatives for an additional fifty-four days becausehe feared that congressional Republicans doing their jobs might hurt their electoral chances. But it’s true, when you are invested in promoting the notion that government inherently does not, cannot, and should not work, we can easily imagine how congressional Republicans actually doing their jobs might upset their base voting blocs. Something about a “very sick idea” goes here, about how congressional Republicans would “rather just sit around”.

But the hammer that has yet to drop is poised over the heads of Republican voters: So you believe that government doesn’t work? Look at who you vote for; maybe there’s a reason.

It is a simple matter of principle: If you vote for people who aim to wreck the government’s ability to function, you do not get to complain about government inefficiency or incompetence, or gridlock, or anything else like that. You do not get to complain about getting what you asked for.

____________________

Dennis, Steven. “Immigration Threatens Loretta Lynch’s Confirmation”. Roll Call. 8 November 2014.

Benen, Steve. “Cruz, Lee push for delay in A.G. confirmation process”. msnbc. 11 November 2014.

Bolton, Alexander. “Why Cruz tried to kill lame duck”. The Hill. 18 October 2014.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s