It might have been a good idea at the time in 1787 when the Founding Fathers decided a lame duck period should follow elections before the next Congress was seated (of course, transportation took forever then, so maybe they all took November and December off), but in the modern era…yeah, it’s way too long and too many with clipped wings flake out on the way out the door.
That’s what Arizona’s Senator Jeff Flake is in the midst of doing now that his actual retirement from the upper chamber is weeks away. Immediately after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell torpedoed an attempt to bulletproof the Bob Mueller hamster wheel farm to nowhere, Flake decided to play dirty.
Flake said on Wednesday that he would oppose all judicial nominees coming through the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Senate floor until Majority Leader Mitch McConnell puts a bill protecting special counsel Robert Mueller up for a vote.
“I have informed the majority leader I will not vote to advance any of the 21 judicial nominees pending in the Judiciary Committee or vote to confirm the 32 judges awaiting confirmation on the Senate floor until … [the bill] is brought to the full Senate for a vote,” Flake said in a speech at the Capitol.
What a snake, that Flake. Before a lot of prosecutions are pursued the Department of Justice needs those judges on the bench, including several for the main Kangaroo Court itself, the ninth circuit. And he decides that the Bob Mueller witch hunt is more important than clearing dockets of crimes with actual evidence produced?
Even MSNBC’s resident snowflake gets that this is ballsy.
As Rachel explained on the show last night, Flake’s gambit puts at risk 21 Trump judicial nominees currently pending in the Judiciary Committee – where Republicans have an 11-to-10 majority – and an additional 32 judicial nominees awaiting confirmation on the Senate floor.
There are very few things Mitch McConnell and his leadership team care more about than confirming the White House’s far-right judges, which means Flake no doubt captured the GOP leadership’s attention yesterday afternoon.
Flake has nothing to lose at this point other than displeasing his overlords who obviously are not the Republicans in the Senate. All this is going to do is delay court appointments that can’t make it out of committee. It will be taken up in January, whether the House goes to the Democrats or not.
The one positive thing here is that Flake is gone after the New Year. That day cannot come soon enough.