After Mitch McConnell got through admitting he plans a sham impeachment trial in the Senate, he boasted about how he obstructed the appointment of judges in the Obama era, and how he’s stacking the courts under Trump.
The discussion began with McConnell declining a prod from host Sean Hannity to praise Donald Trump. First, Hannity bragged that he has known Trump longer than McConnell. Then, after rattling off a string of Trump’s accomplishments, Hannity asked, “What have you learned over this time with the president now, almost three years, that maybe you didn’t know?”
McConnell ducked the question and tooted his own horn instead. Also, the new edition of his book he was hawking:
MCCONNELL: Well, let me tell you what this book is about. This book is about the most long-lasting contribution that Donald Trump and Senate Republicans have made for the country. And that is putting young men and women who are strict constructionists, who believe the job of the judge is to follow the law on the courts. We did our 50th circuit court judge just yesterday.
Actually, what McConnell has done is to install right-wing ideologues, out of step with the majority of Americans, and without regard to whether they are qualified or not. I wrote about the terrible and lasting impact this will have in a post for Crooks and Liars today. I will add here some horrifying facts about that 50th judge, Lawrence VanDyke, ruled “not qualified” by the American Bar Association, via Law & Crime:
While the ABA conceded that VanDyke was “a highly educated lawyer with nearly 14 years of experience in appellate law,” these accomplishments were “offset by assessments of interviewees that Mr. VanDyke is arrogant, lazy, an ideologue, and lacking in knowledge of the day-to- day practice including procedural rules.”
Not that make-believe legal expert Hannity cared anything about VanDyke’s appalling record.
But McConnell wasn’t through patting himself on the back:
MCCONNELL: Sean, to put that in perspective, Barack Obama did 55 circuit judges in eight years. We’ve done 50 in three years. And we have at least a year left for sure. We’re gonna do more.
One fourth of the circuit judges – remember most cases don’t make it to the Supreme Court. Most complex litigation never makes it beyond the circuit courts. This has been the most long-lasting and important contribution a president could make and well into the future. Far beyond his tenure in office.
Even worse, McConnell went on to admit that his excuse for blocking Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court only pertains to Democratic presidents. You may recall that then, McConnell claimed that Garland’s February nomination was too close to a November election for a Senate confirmation. Under Trump, McConnell openly sang a very different song.
HANNITY: Let’s say somebody [on the Supreme Court] were to retire at the end of this year, leading into the summer. You have been very clear, if the president appointed somebody, you would follow through on that nomination.
MCCONNELL: Absolutely. We definitely would do that ...
... Sean, the most important decision I’ve made in my entire political career was not to fill the Supreme Court vacancy when Justice Scalia passed away. That was the beginning and now we’ve got an exclamation point here after three years that we thought the public would be interested in reading about and that’s why the president and I collaborated on this paperback.
HANNITY [smirking]: I was shocked that the former President Obama left so many vacancies and didn’t try to fill those positions.
MCCONNELL: I’ll tell you why. I’ll tell you why. I was in charge of what we did the last two years of the Obama administration. [McConnell laughed smugly]
HANNITY [also laughing]: And I give you full credit for that. And, by the way, take a bow.
If you ever needed a better reason to do everything possible to throw Trump and McConnell out of power and take back the Senate, this nakedly self-satisfied power grab should do it. Watch it below, from the December 12, 2019 Hannity.
I saw one candidate under questioning who couldn’t answer the simplest question about court procedure and who had no understanding of fundamental documents submitted to court. He must have cheated on his Bar exam. Anyone who’s watched Law And Order knows more.