I suppose this brief piece could also be called, “Isn’t It Ironic?” with a shout-out to Alanis Morisette.
Let’s recall one Sen. Mitch McConnell who, feeling very full of himself as Senate Majority Leader under President Obama, invented a new rule that a Supreme Court justice could not be nominated eight (8) months before a presidential election. In fact, right after Justice Scalia died in February (nine months before the election), McConnell said, “…the American people should have a say in the court’s direction…it is the Senate’s constitutional right to act as a check on the president and withhold its consent.”
Merrick Garland hadn’t even been nominated, but McConnell already decided to withhold the Senate’s — his own — consent. This purely political power grab resulted in Garland not even being granted a hearing, interviews, etc. — nothing. Unprecedented obstruction of presidential privilege.
I’m sure Mitch was just giggling when he got home to Elaine that day. In fact, several months later, in an August speech in Kentucky, 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.’” More giggling at home with Elaine.
Mitch got his way. Trump was elected and appointed three justices to the Supreme Court, including one, Amy Coney Barrett, whom Trump nominated only 38 days before a presidential election. Mitch was fine with not letting the American people have a say in that one.
But the American people DID have a say, and elected President Joseph R. Biden…who went on to nominate Garland as his Attorney General. And many Republican senators voted to confirm this nomination — including, yes, you guessed it, Mitch McConnell.
I’m not sure what Mitch was thinking at the time. Better he be at DOJ than on the Supreme Court? What possible harm could he cause as the Attorney General? Apparently, however, he was more comfortable with Garland being at DOJ than on the Supreme Court.
As it turns out, Garland is every bit as brilliant, meticulous, and by-the-book as people said when he was nominated for the Court. I would also add that he’s turned out to be a remarkably capable administrator of a sprawling department that has had issues with missteps and leaks over recent years. He was the AG we needed to deal with the sprawling mess that is Donald Trump Republican Party.
Isn’t it ironic that the man whom McConnell kept off of the Supreme Court may be the one who finally brings Trump to justice? Even if he’d been appointed to the Court, the two other judges that Trump appointed would have still swung the Court to the far right and would have still resulted in decisions such as the Dodd abortion ruling. In other words, Garland may have well been a non-factor on a Court with five Republican-appointed justices.
Isn’t it ironic that Obama’s vice president, Joe Biden, resurrected Garland’s career at DOJ, where he has a front-row seat to the corruption that is the modern Republican party? Undermining our electoral system. Refusing to concede power. Promoting insurrection and blood in the streets. Stealing and hiding highly classified documents that belong to we the people. Telling women what we should do with our own bodies.
What do all of those corrupt actions have in common? The DOJ, under Merrick Garland, can use the full authority of the U.S. government to investigate crimes — including high crimes and misdemeanors — and support a woman’s right to reproduction health care, even if she must cross state lines to do so.
Isn’t it ironic that the investigations into these corrupt Republican actions will probably prevent Mitch from being the Senate Majority Leader? Perhaps forever? And, in fact, create a larger majority for the Democrats?
Isn’t it ironic that Merrick Garland is possibly serving his country more effectively as Attorney General than as one of nine Supreme Court justices? If there is one person to thank for the fact that he was available for the job when Joe Biden called him, it’s Mitch McConnell.
Now THAT’S ironic!
This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.