Judging by social media posts, there are plenty of conservatives who are “impressed with” or “surprised by” or even “proud of” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell announcing his “no” vote on Joe Biden’s Supreme Court Justice nominee, Ketanji Brown Jackson. In reality, there is nothing impressive or surprising by it, and nothing McConnell does or says should make a conservative proud.
Despite his rhetoric that accurately lambasted her, nothing in what he said expressed the real reason he is opposed. This is 100% a political move, just like everything else McConnell does. He went through his standard calculation protocols before making a decision and the tea leaves told him he would be better off opposing her.
The other side of the coin would have had him call for bipartisanship, showing that he believes in her credentials and skills even if he disagrees with her stances on certain topics. That speech may have already been prepared as well, just in case the tea leaves told him that was the way to go.
Here is what he claims are his reasons for not voting to confirm her, followed by what I believe are his real reasons. According to Slay News:
Mitch said: “The judiciary committee has completed its hearing for Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson. I enjoyed meeting the nominee. I went into the senate’s process with an open mind.
“But after studying the nominee’s record and watching her performance this week, I can not and will not support Judge Jackson for a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court. First, Judge Jackson refuses to reject the fringe position that Democrats should try to pack the Supreme Court.
“Justice Ginsberg and Justice Breyer had no problem denouncing this unpopular view and defending their institution. I assumed this would be an easy softball for Judge Jackson, but it wasn’t.
“The nominee suggested there are two legitimate sides to the issue. She testified she has a view on the matter, but would not share it. She inaccurately compared her non-answer to a different, narrower question that a prior nominee was asked, but Judge Jackson actually tipped her hand. She said she would, ‘be thrilled to be one of however many,’ however many, the opposite of Ginsburg and Breyer’s sentiment.
“The most radical court-packing fringe groups badly wanted this nominee for this vacancy. Judge Jackson was the court-packers’ pick and she testified like it.”
Mitch also warned that Jackson would engage in “judicial activism.”
“It’s a recipe for courts to wander into policy making and prevent healthy Democratic compromise. This is the misunderstanding of the separation of powers that I’ve spent my entire career fighting against. I will vote against this nominee,” he said.
All of these are sound arguments, but this is Mitch McConnell. He can turn anything into a sound argument regardless of which direction the political winds blow. In reality, he knows that few Republicans will vote for her, so few that he would stand out in such a small crowd. That would put him at risk of losing his position of power over the caucus and McConnell will never do anything that could make him an average Senator in his final years on Capitol Hill.
But there’s an even bigger reason he can vote against her. When she’s confirmed, he’ll be able to fundraise off of it. That’s the big prize to someone like McConnell who has built a successful career as fundraising powerbroker extraordinaire. His control over the most powerful Senate PACs in the land mean his reach will extend long past his retirement.
He never hated Obamacare. He loved it because of the funds he was able to raise from it. That’s why he was able to pass countless bills to repeal or defund it when Barack Obama was in the Oval Office to veto it, but he couldn’t send a single bill to President Trump. EVERYTHING McConnell does is calculated and self-serving.
Before anyone gives McConnell kudos for making the right political move on Ketanji Brown Jackson, we should remember who he is and what he represents. He’s a snake. He’s the Swamp.