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Will the Real Mitch McConnell Please Stand Up?

Berry Craig: McConnell will doubtless keep working non-stop to undermine and delegitimize the guy who won two presidential terms—the last time by nearly five million votes.

Will the real Mitch McConnell please stand up?

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(I was a big fan of the old "To Tell the Truth" TV show.)

“The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new President,” the senate majority leader said in a statement right after the unexpected death of conservative Justice Antonin Scalia.

McConnell will doubtless keep working non-stop to undermine and delegitimize the guy who won two presidential terms—the last time by nearly five million votes.

McConnell is a conservative, too. He’s afraid Obama will nominate a liberal to replace Scalia.

“At the outset, the Senate should discount the philosophy of the nominee,” the Bluegrass State’s senior senator wrote when he was in law school at the University of Kentucky.

McConnell added, “The President is presumably elected by the people to carry out a program and altering the ideological directions of the Supreme Court would seem to be a perfectly legitimate part of a Presidential platform. To that end, the Constitution gives to him the power to nominate.”

Republican Richard Nixon was in the White House, when legal-eagle-to-be A. Mitchell McConnell, Jr., authored “Haynsworth and Carswell: A New Senate Standard of Excellence.” His article was published in the Kentucky Law Journal, Vol. 59, 1970-1971.<

Clement Haynsworth of South Carolina and Floridian G. Harrold Carswell were federal judges who Nixon nominated to the Supreme Court. Neither was confirmed. Both were conservatives, some said white supremacists. Carswell’s ethics were questioned, to boot.

The Democratic-majority senate turned thumbs down on Haynsworth in 1969 and Carswell in 1970. Later in 1970, the senate confirmed Nixon nominee Harry Blackmun, 94-0.

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Here’s more from law student McConnell “…If the power to nominate had been given to the Senate, as was considered during the debates at the Constitutional Convention, then it would be proper for the Senate to consider political philosophy. The proper role of the Senate is to advise and consent to the particular nomination, and thus, as the Constitution puts it, ‘to appoint.’ This taken within the context of modern times should mean an examination only into the qualifications of the President's nominee.”

The real Mitch McConnell is the law student and the senate chief. When a Republican is president, shifting "the ideological directions of the Supreme Court" is legit, according to the senator.

Yet when a Democrat is in the White House, and a Republican-nominated justice dies, we should wait to replace him “until we have a new President," McConnell insisted.

Of course, McConnell hopes a Republican will be inaugurated next January 20. But if Democrats Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders wins, I wonder if he’ll call for yet another new president to nominate Scalia’s successor.

berry craig

Meanwhile, McConnell will doubtless keep working non-stop to undermine and delegitimize the guy who won two presidential terms—the last time by nearly five million votes.

In 2010, McConnell grabbed headlines when he said, “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.”

All but forgotten is Kentucky State Treasurer Todd Hollenbach’s quip from 2014: “Mitch McConnell's a guy who's made a cottage industry out of hatred for the president of the United States."

McConnell, the longest serving senator in Bluegrass State history, sees himself as a solon in the Alben Barkley and John Sherman Cooper mold.

Berry Craig

His own words betray him as just another hack politician.

Berry Craig