In a column for the conservative Bulwark, a former assistant U.S. Attorney who worked with under Ken Starr during the Whitewater investigation implored Kentucky voters to dump Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, saying he has used the rules of the Senate to crown himself king.
According to Kimberly Wehle, a professor at the University of Baltimore School of Law, McConnell has used his ascension to the majority leader’s spot to become the “obstructionist-in-chief.”
Pointing at a government that appears frozen in place, Wehle wrote, “Voters are pointing fingers, variously, at House Democrats, Republican senators, federal agencies, the federal judiciary, their state and local counterparts, and of course Donald J. Trump himself,” before adding, “Much of the logjam in government falls at the feet of a single man whose power does not stem from the Constitution at all. As Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell has repeatedly and single-handedly flouted the will of the people and the prerogatives of his governmental counterparts otherwise mandated by the U.S. Constitution.”
Wehle notes that McConnell’s use — or misuse — of power has allowed him to ignore the will of the public, Congress and even presidents.
“Nothing in the Constitution authorizes the Senate Majority Leader to thwart the president’s appointment power by refusing to trigger the advice and consent process in the first place (though neither does anything explicitly prevent McConnell from doing what he did),” she explained before pointing out the ramifications.
“Keep in mind that in a representative democracy of 327 million people, McConnell is a single senator from a single state. What this means is that a relative handful of Kentuckians hold the rest of America by the throat. This is not democracy,” she wrote.
“Yet in the hands of an obstructionist-in-chief like McConnell, these ‘ad hoc arrangements’ have functioned to override the constitutional prerogatives of a sitting president and the rest of Congress,” she continued. “In short, McConnell can stop any congressional action in its tracks by refusing to bring it to the Senate floor. In a country founded on the violent and sacrificial rejection of a monarchy, Mitch McConnell has crowned himself the King of the Senate.”
Stating “This constitutional blind spot in government by ‘We the People’ must be fixed,” the law professor suggested, “McConnell has way too much power, and as long as he remains at the helm, senators won’t even get the chance to consider rule changes that would enhance the voice of the people. Kentucky voters: America needs your help.”
You can read the whole piece here.
One-term presidents: Will Donald Trump end up on this ignominious list?
Donald Trump has many hardcore fans and many, many detractors. It's certainly possible he will be re-elected, but also clearly plausible that he will be a one-term president. General election polls have generally found him trailing in a head-to-heat matchup with either former Vice President Joe Biden or Sen. Bernie Sanders, and roughly even with Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Sen. Elizabeth Warren. It would be folly to say that he is definitely going to lose, to be sure, but it is equally foolish to act as if he has victory in the bag.
How to prevent ugly primary feuds
It started as garden-variety tensions between two campaigns competing for the same voters. Then it exploded into a testy exchange during — and after — Tuesday night's Democratic presidential debate, when Elizabeth Warren refused to shake Bernie Sanders' extended hand. By Wednesday morning, Sanders' supporters online were using a snake emoji to symbolize Warren, and it wasn't hard to decode the sexist reference to the original betrayal in the Garden of Eden.
I asked people why they don’t vote — and this is what they told me
With the 2020 presidential election approaching, directives for people to “get out and vote” will be firing up again.