In his April 9 op-ed, “Reaping what they have sown,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), in blaming Democrats for the “direct attack on the traditions of the Senate” that led his conference to change Senate rules, conveniently left out the fact that the Senate, under his control, abdicated its constitutional responsibility to advise and consent with regard to President Barack Obama’s nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court. Under Mr. McConnell’s watch, Mr. Garland did not even get the courtesy of a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, much less an up-or-down vote on the floor of the Senate.
It was “unprecedented” for Democrats to filibuster Judge Neil Gorsuch, according to Mr. McConnell. Well, it was equally unprecedented in recent history for the majority leader to announce that the Senate would take no action on any nominee selected by the sitting president, as his term had less than one year to go and it was an election year.
This despicable act, to which the Senate Republican Conference acquiesced, was a remarkable showing of disrespect for a sitting president and for Mr. Garland, a well-qualified nominee. It resulted in the seat remaining unfilled for more than a year. While Mr. Gorsuch is certainly well-suited for the job, his rulings will be forever tainted by the fact that his seat on the court was effectively stolen by a man who despised the fact that Mr. Obama was twice elected president.
Larry Sternbane, Washington
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) wrote that Judge Neil Gorsuch has “sterling credentials, [a] record of independence and long history of bipartisan support.” The same is true of Judge Merrick Garland. Mr. McConnell complained that the Democrats’ “objection was really that a president of a different party had nominated him” and that they should have given Mr. Gorsuch “fair consideration and an up-or-down vote.” Surely there can be no other reason than that it was then-President Barack Obama making the nomination for Mr. McConnell himself to deny Mr. Garland those same basic considerations he now feels are so important, given Mr. Garland’s long history of bipartisan support in the Senate.
Although Mr. McConnell would like to pretend that Mr. Gorsuch’s nomination happened in a vacuum, we must not forget Mr. McConnell’s reprehensible conduct in 2016, when he was presented with a true consensus candidate.
Benjamin Hollander, Washington
Sen. Mitch McConnell’s nauseating op-ed about Democrats needing to work with the Republicans came from the man who said in 2010 that his top priority in government was making Barack Obama a one-term president .
Citizens are finding out that obstructing legislation is much easier than writing and executing it. Mr. McConnell will go down in history as one of the major stonewallers of government of our time.
Marijane Hynes, Bethesda
The Senate majority leader’s op-ed was stunning in its hypocrisy, given his treatment of Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland. Even scarier: Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) either is blind to his own political behavior and believes what he wrote, or he knows full well that he was being hypocritical but thinks the American people are stupid enough to be taken in.
Margaret McKelvey, Arlington
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s April 9 op-ed, pleading for the Democrats to cooperate, should be snipped from print copies and tacked to the walls of any political office where interns are to be taught how cleverly crafted hypocrisy, in the presence of enough voter ignorance, can justify otherwise reprehensible behavior.
For example, if you accuse your opponent of “blind ‘resistance’ ” and voters have forgotten about your own categorical obstruction during eight years of your opponent’s administration (or don’t care because of their own blind attachment to your party), then the court of public opinion just might rule in your favor.
If you truly believe that your house of Congress has an important role to play, and you claim moral high ground on how it does so, then leave out how you decided that the Senate majority could, nearly a year from an election, dodge its collective responsibility to confirm your opponent’s Supreme Court nominee, for no reason other than “a president of a different party had nominated him.”
Vincent Miragliotta, Springfield
Even if the Democrats planned to filibuster the nomination, it did not follow that the “nuclear option” had to be invoked. That was discretionary. In his op-ed, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) did not mention Judge Merrick Garland, even though Mr. McConnell again stretched the limits of what could be done just to deny Mr. Garland a seat on the Supreme Court. It isn’t fairness Mr. McConnell is seeking; it is partisan supremacy no matter the cost to the nation.
Myron Beckenstein, University Park