If you were expecting Senate Democrats to be anything but churlish you were deluding yourself:
Senate Democrats are preparing to put Donald Trump’s Cabinet picks through a grinding confirmation process, weighing delay tactics that could eat up weeks of the Senate calendar and hamper his first 100 days in office.
Multiple Democratic senators told POLITICO in interviews last week that after watching Republicans sit on Merrick Garland’s nomination to the Supreme Court for nearly a year, they’re in no mood to fast-track Trump’s selections.
But it’s not just about exacting revenge.
Democrats argue that some of the president-elect’s more controversial Cabinet picks — such as Jeff Sessions for attorney general and Steven Mnuchin for treasury secretary — demand a thorough public airing.
“They’ve been rewarded for stealing a Supreme Court justice. We’re going to help them confirm their nominees, many of whom are disqualified?” fumed Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio). “It’s not obstruction, it’s not partisan, it’s just a duty to find out what they’d do in these jobs.”
Keep this in mind as you consider the “obstructionist” Republicans had confirmed basically all of Obama’s nominations before February 1, 2009 and a great majority of them were confirmed by voice vote the same day Obama was inaugurated. The worst treatment any of Obama’s nominees received was Secretary of Labor-designate Hilda Solis who was obviously a lying liar obviously lying during her confirmation hearing. Even she was on the job before the end of February.
We’re seeing two early tests of Mitch McConnell’s usefulness as anything but a container for entrails. The first is this week when the issue of filling a vacancy on the Federal Communications Commission will come up. The current make up is 2 Republicans and 2 Democrats. McConnell had promised Reid a vote on Obama’s nominee but that stalled. Now Reid is trying a last minute move to stack the FCC with progressives. The second test will be McConnell’s willingness to break heads to get timely votes on Trump’s cabinet. If he can’t break Democrat obstructionism on these nominations and deliver the FCC to the GOP then he needs to join Bob Dole in flogging Viagra.