By Bob Bennett
Senate Republicans are really proud of themselves today: They got the Democrats to accept the human-trafficking bill after weeks of filibustering it, without removing the language banning abortion funding—a rule that had been around for 39 years.
All the Republicans had to do was move forward on the Loretta Lynch nomination, which McConnell had blocked until the Dems ended their filibuster. A vote on her is expected Thursday.
Karl Rove’s Wall Street Journal op-ed Wednesday lauds this accomplishment and exults in the fact that “Congress finally appears to be working again as the Founders intended.” His idea of “working” means not opposing the Democrats too much. This isn’t exactly what the Founders had in mind.
The WSJ “Review and Outlook“ editorial actually said the deal serves as a “lesson for the GOP in dealing with a president who consistently exceeds his executive power.”
Whatever that means.
Obama wanted Loretta Lynch, his pick to succeed Holder as AG, to be confirmed; he publicly admonished Senate Republicans, “Enough! Enough!” Then Democrats and Majority Leader McConnell, hearing their master’s voice raised to near-anger, ended the filibuster on the bill and the block on Lynch’s confirmation.
The Journal added, “Jeb Bush is right that the Senate should in most cases defer to a President’s choices to run the executive branch.”
Of course, everyone knows that Jeb is the darling of the WSJ and commonly owned Fox News, as is Karl Rove, the patron saint of Establishment GOP. His philosophy is their philosophy.
In a rewording of the test for what’s good for America, “What would Reagan do?” we should evaluate this wonderful deal by asking: “What would the American People do?” This is a lot like asking what the Founders would do, because they were essentially just like us: they thought the three branches of government should stay in their places; they gave the Senate the power of advice and consent over presidential appointments—not to “defer to a President’s choices,” but to block him from appointing a stooge who would rubberstamp his lawless actions.
That’s exactly what the incredibly “qualified” Lynch intends to do; she has already served notice. The WSJ doesn’t get it, Mitch McConnell, Jeb Bush and Karl Rove don’t get it, but Senator Jeff Sessions does. This is what the Founders would say, if they were here:
“Ms. Lynch has announced that she supports and, if confirmed, would advance, the President’s unlawful executive amnesty scheme—a scheme that would provide work permits, trillions in Social Security and Medicare benefits, tax credits of up to $35,000 a year (according to the Congressional Research Service), and even the possibility of chain migration and citizenship to those who have entered the country illegally…
“The Senate must never confirm an individual to such an office as this who will support and advance a scheme that violates our Constitution and eviscerates established law and Congressional authority. No person who would do that should be confirmed. And we don’t need to be apologetic about it, colleagues.”
That’s the point—not the deal on the trafficking bill—and that’s what Jeb, Karl, Mitch, et al. wish to obscure. The president channeled Hugo Chavez; the Senate could’ve refused to fund his illegal amnesty, but did not. They could’ve listened to Ted Cruz and blocked Lynch forever, but did not.
And you can be sure they will approve this uniquely qualified woman on Thursday.
From this pathetic episode, we can see quite clearly the future plans of McConnell’s Republican Senate: don’t fight too much, cooperate with the Democrats, don’t worry too much about principle. Since they don’t have 60 votes to break a filibuster, Senate Republicans will be unable to do a single thing without Democratic permission.
Remember, that they lost the fight over funding the amnesty because the Dems filibustered four times the House’s bill—which contained amendments banning DHS funding of the amnesty.
McConnell must end the sniveling and change the filibuster rule, so that a simple majority—which the Repubs have—can break a filibuster, or he should resign.
Bob Bennett is a New York-based writer who has written op-eds for the Wall Street Journal and the NY Post, and has appeared on Fox and Friends and America’s Newsroom. He has traveled widely and written travel pieces for the NY Post, a cover article for the Jewish Press, and an op-ed for the medical journal Cancer Biotherapy & Radioimmunotherapy. Bob was also award-winning producer of a travel radio show heard on New York stations: WMCA, WNWK and 50,000 watt WOR and the national Sky Angel Network. He now blogs on Tea Party Nation, Tea Party Community and Red State Diaries.