Mitch McConnell Has to Go

The
Republican Party has “three blind mice,” blind to their
Constitutional oaths and duties: Donald Trump, William Barr, and Mitch
McConnell. All three should be
impeached. This column has previously argued for the impeachment of both Trump
and Barr. As for McConnell, while the Constitution allows for it, I realize
that will never happen.

Nevertheless,
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has violated his oath and abused the power invested in his office. His
Democratic opponent should be supported when the Kentuckian runs for reelection
in 2020. While we are all getting an education about the frightening power of
the Office of President by watching Donald Trump, it is essential we likewise
understand the enormous power other offices, like Senate Majority Leader (and
Attorney General), invest in a single
individual.

The
Constitution requires that the office of Senate Majority Leader initiate the
process of “advice and consent” of the administration’s nominee for
Supreme Court Justice. This is not
optional
. It is an integral part of performing that office’s oath to
protect and defend the Constitution. Subsequent to the passing of Justice Antonin
Scalia, President Obama, in the last year of his presidency, nominated Judge
Merrick Garland to the High Court. Rather than adhere to his oath of office,
McConnell said: no hearing within the last year of a presidency. His rationale,
completely outside of the dictates of the Constitution: “The American
people should have a say in the court’s direction.” When recently asked
what he would do if the Supreme Court has another vacancy within the last year
of Trump’s first term, his response: “I’d fill it.”

Being
an elected official, especially a high elected official with a lot of power, is not a team sport. It’s
a solemn oath sworn to follow the rule of law. When Mitch McConnell said that
his sole obligation as the Republican Majority Leader was to ensure that
Barrack Obama was a one-term president, rather than do the people’s business,
he became a leader who put his tribe ahead of his oath of office. He continues to
do that.

In
the wake of the Mueller Report, which clearly details Russia’s intervention in
our 2016 election in favor of Donald Trump, McConnell pronounced: “case
closed [in the Senate], let’s move on.” He then proceeded to endorse an
investigation into the investigators who began what became the Mueller Report,
while not allowing legislation designed to counter another Russian attack in
2020 to be voted on in the Senate.

The
Democratic-controlled House has passed several election security and foreign
interference bills. Senator McConnell’s response: “I’m the Grim Reaper [of
House passed legislation].” Even when Republican Senators joined with
Democrats to co-sponsor legislation designed to shore up voting machines,
making it harder for foreign governments to hack, leak, and manipulate social
media in 2020, he has refused to allow votes in the Senate.

Our
intelligence agencies have warned that Russia will again attack our election in
2020. Our president said he would accept information on his opponents from a
foreign government: an illegal act. So, you have to ask, why would Mitch not
rally behind the need to protect the country from more foreign interference in
our electoral process?

McConnell
is up for reelection in 2020. He is only three points ahead of a generic
Democratic opponent, with more than 60 percent of Kentucky voters saying:
“It’s time for someone new to represent the state.” The leader of the
Senate should follow the Constitution. He should also be protecting us from
foreign interference in our elections. His failure to do so requires that he be
removed from office.

In
this time of blatant abuse of power, constituency has become a national
concept. McConnell’s abuse of power impacts all of us. Our response should be
supporting his 2020 opponent with: donations, phone banking, letter writing;
and, if possible, on the ground canvassing. The stakes are just too high to be
a spectator.

The post Mitch McConnell Has to Go appeared first on The Santa Barbara Independent.

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