Mitch McConnell

Senator Lindsey Graham: A Toady To Donald Trump, Who John McCain Would Condemn And More!

South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham has long been controversial in so many ways, but when his good friend, former Arizona Senator John McCain, passed away in 2018, the world witnessed a man who had totally lost all credibility, after being a massive critic of Donald Trump.

It is embarrassing to see the denuncations of Graham regarding Trump, followed by total obsequiousness to Trump since McCain’s death.

Even when Trump continued to denounce John McCain in the years since his death, Graham had nothing to say.

It is clear to any intelligent person that if McCain was still alive and in the Senate, he would have, at least symbolically, been motivated to slap Graham front and back and in the head, for his traitorous behavior!

And now, Graham says unless Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky makes obedience to Trump a priority, that Graham will vote against McConnell remaining as the leader of the party, whether minority or majority status!

As much as McConnell has been a disgrace and a disaster as Republican leader, he still has enough self dignity that he will not be likely to bend to Donald Trump.

And if push comes to shove, at this time, it would seem that the Republican caucus would NOT join Graham in replacing McConnell as their Senate leader!

Joe Manchin May Have Destroyed The “Build Back Better” Legislation Altogether!

West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin may have destroyed the “Build Back Better” legislation altogether.

Manchin went on Fox News Channel on Sunday to say that he cannot accept the legislation, after months of toying with different versions.

This caused an appropriately harsh reaction from President Biden’s press secretary, Jen Psaki, and many members of the Democratic Party in both houses of Congress.

It is hoped that some aspects of the proposed legisation can be salvaged separately, but sadly, this is the result of having a 50-50 Senate, and if Manchin were to become a Republican, as some suggest, it would simply put the Republicans in total control under Mitch McConnell!

Desire Vs Reality: Democrats At This Point Must Settle For Half Social Infrastructure Ambitions!

Sadly, it is now clear that Joe Biden and progressive Democrats have no choice to but accept a Social Infrastructure bill worth about half of the originally planned $3.5 trillion to help make life better for everyday Americans.

This author and scholar is furious about the impact of West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin and Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema, as well as some moderate Democrats in the House of Representatives.

But this is the reality when we have an evenly divided US Senate and a House of Representatives with a narrow margin of six votes.

But consider that IF Georgia had not elected two Democratic Senators in January—Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff–the first elected African American and first Jewish senators in Georgia history—the Republicans would be running the Senate under Mitch McConnell.

So the goal now is to accomplish what can be done, and try to work in the first half of 2022 for more, or make it the key campaign issue for the Congressional elections coming up next November.

Right now, celebrating what can be done, which advances the American nation, is still a major positive for Democrats, and it still will be the major domestic initiative, along with the financial assistance to deal with the COVID 19 Pandemic, that we have seen since Lyndon B. Johnson’s Great Society nearly sixty years ago.

So let us be happy for what can be done, and work to accomplish more Democratic Senators in the midterms, as there are more Republican seats up for election, and five Republicans are leaving, and more extreme nominees are likely, which, hopefully, will cause a major Democratic edge, despite historical trends, as this is a crisis situation for American democracy!

Three Present Members Of The Senate Likely To Be Three Of The Eight Longest Serving In Senate History!

Following up on yesterday’s article on the aging of the Congress, three present members of the US Senate are likely to be three of the eight longest serving in the history of that legislative body.

Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont will pass Senator Ted Kennedy in longevity on October 23, just a month from now, with 46 years, 9 months, and 20 days, one more than the Massachusetts Senator, and will be fourth longest serving. And he plans to run for a ninth term, having been elected in 1974, and if he finishes that term in 2028, he will have served two and a half years more than the longest serving member in history, Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia, who had nearly 51 and a half years in the Senate. Leahy would be 88 and nine months at that time.

Republican Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa has announced he is running for an eighth term, having served since 1980, and if he finished an eighth term, he would have served 48 years, longer than all but three Senators, Robert Byrd and Hawaii Senator Daniel Inouye, and also Leahy, and Grassley would be 95 years of age, with only Strom Thurmond leaving the Senate at age 100 in 2002 being older.

And Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the former Majority Leader and now the Minority Leader, has his seventh term end in 2026, when he would be 84 plus, and he will pass a number of Senators and be seventh or eighth longest serving at the end of that term five years from now, depending if he is in office for exactly 42 years, as former Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah served from 1977-2019.

A Need For An Age Limit In Congress!

The news that Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley at age 88 has announced for an eighth term which would take him to age 95 is a sign of the craziness of members of Congress, having no concept of retirement!

Senator Diane Feinstein of California is also 88, and will serve until past age 91. It has been noted that her short term memory is faltering, and that rumors have it that she yells at staff because she is not fully aware of what she is doing, or what she has been told about regarding her ability to do her job.

Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe just won a new term at age 86, and will serve what he calls his last term to 2026, when he will be 92!

Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy plans to run again in 2022 when he will be 82, meaning he would be in office until age 88 in 2028.

The other Vermont Senator, Bernie Sanders is now 80, and likely would run for reelection in 2024, meaning he would reach age 89 in 2030.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky would be 80 by February 2022, and will be in office until at least 84 plus in 2026.

Idaho Senator Jim Risch, just reelected in 2020, will be past age 83 at the end of 2026.

Maryland Senator Ben Cardin, reelected in 2018, will be 81 by 2024.

Independent Senator Angus King of Maine will be 80 by the end of his present term in 2024.

Only Alabama Senator Richard Shelby is retiring in 2022, at age 88 plus, the only Senator deciding it is time to leave.

Additionally, Illinois Senator Dick Durbin will be 82 at the end of his present Senate term in 2026.

Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal, expected to run for another term in 2022, would be nearing age 83 in 2028.

And there are six other Senators who would be 80 or past 80 by 2026, so a theoretical total of 17 Senators will be octogenarians (with two over 90) by that year!

Additionally, there are close to 50 House members who will be past 80 by 2026, and among the ten oldest are the three Democratic House leaders–Steny Hoyer of Maryland, Nancy Pelosi of California, and James Clyburn of South Carolina, all over 80 at this stage!

There needs to be some kind of age limit with a range of 80-85 at the most, but the problem is that Congress would have to enact such legislation or have a constitutional amendment, but it is highly unlikely that will ever occur!

The Supreme Court Reputation Has Been Seriously Tarnished, No Longer Seen As Representing Moderation!

The John Roberts Supreme Court reputation has been seriously tarnished, no longer seen as representing moderation!

By deciding to go along with an extremist Texas abortion law, in a one paragraph middle of the night statement, which includes no exceptions for rape or incest, and allowing private citizens to sue anyone engaged in promoting abortion, the Court has done one of the worst ever actions, which will be compared to such other issues as Dred Scott V Sandford (1857) and Plessy V Ferguson (1896), and a small group of other reprehensible decisions!

Chief Justice Roberts himself recognized how terrible this 5-4 decision was, so despite earlier personal expressions of being anti abortion, he joined the three liberals on the Court in opposition.

Roberts knows his own historical reputation has been permanently damaged, as the Court has become dangerously radical right wing extremist, with the three reprehensible appointments by Donald Trump showing their true colors!

The fact that the appointment of Amy Coney Barrett switched the Court balance from what it was under the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg right before the Presidential Election of 2020 is reprehensible!

But also, the fact that Brett Kavanaugh was the second Court Justice to face accusations of inappropriate sexual conduct, along with Clarence Thomas three decades ago, and now they decided the private lives of women, is totally infuriating!

And the fact that Neil Gorsuch gained an appointment after a full year of no replacement of Antonin Scalia, and that Merrick Garland was denied even a hearing as his replacement, makes all three of Donald Trump’s Court appointments questionable and wanting!

It is further proof that the Supreme Court has lost whatever aura it had, as a fair, reasonable body!

To reverse a decision of nearly 50 years, when the tradition of the Court is to uphold legal precedent normally, and that it has such a dramatic effect on more than half the population, is beyond the pale!

If Hillary Clinton had won the Presidential Election of 2016, which this author and blogger and tens of millions of Americans think is the truth, the Supreme Court today would not be in the crisis atmosphere it is in!

It requires an attempt to add members to the Court, because otherwise, the Court is on a tear to the promotion of Fascism clear and simple, and that cannot be allowed to move forward toward ultimate destruction of the Constitution and rule of law!

The idea that two Presidents, George W. Bush and Donald Trump,who lost the popular vote, could add two and three members to the Court respectively, which otherwise would have been appointees of Al Gore and Hillary Clinton, is simply outrageous and unacceptable for the long haul!

It will permanently destroy the reputation of a very evil man, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who brought about this travesty!

When one thinks back to the mid and late 1970s, we actually had a 7-2 Republican Court by party affiliation, but it included moderate Republicans, which included statesmen, including William Brennan, Harry Blackmun, John Paul Stevens, and Chief Justice Warren Burger!

So action must be taken to expand the Court, as we are in a constitutional crisis that will only get worse if no action is taken!

A Third Of Senate Republicans Are Ignoring Donald Trump Criticism On Physical Infrastructure Legislation!

It is fascinating to witness that, at this point, a third of the 50 Senate Republicans are ignoring Donald Trump’s criticism of the Physical Infrastructure legislation in process in the upper chamber, as they realize the urgent need for such projects!

The final total of Republicans could be more than the present 17 Senators, and this, hopefully, is a sign of the waning influence of the former President over the party and its future. With Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in support, and being attacked by Donald Trump, it is a sign that the Senate is not ready to follow the House Republicans and their treasonous leadership, led by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy into the abyss!

For the Republican Party to survive in shape for the future, which is highly doubtful, it MUST separate itself from the extremists that fueled the January 6 US Capitol Insurrection!

As it is, it was 8 Republican Senators who refused to accept the Electoral College vote count after the Insurrection, as compared to 139 House Republicans, nearly two thirds of all in the lower chamber.

That in itself is shocking, two thirds of the House Republicans, but only 16 percent of the Republicans in the Senate, so it is the Senate which has the opportunity to promote survival of the party future.

There needs to be a massive move to remove the cancer of House Republicans, in order to save the party for the long term!

17 Republicans Join 50 Democrats In First Senate Vote On Physical Infrastructure Legislation

In a surprising development, 17 Republican Senators joined the 50 Democratic Senators to vote for a version of the Physical Infrastructure legislation, a promising sign of bipartisanship.

The 17 Republicans who voted in favor include:

Roy Blunt Missouri
Richard Burr North Carolina
Shelley Moore Capito West Virginia
Bill Cassidy Louisiana
Susan Collins Maine
Kevin Cramer North Dakota
Mike Crapo Idaho
Lindsey Graham South Carolina
Chuck Grassley Iowa
John Hoeven North Dakota
Mitch McConnell Kentucky
Lisa Murkowski Alaska
Rob Portman Ohio
James Risch Idaho
Mitt Romney Utah
Thom Tillis North Carolina
Todd Young Indiana

This list includes moderates Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, and Mitt Romney, but also leading figures in the party, including Lindsey Graham, Chuck Grassley, Mitch McConnell, and Rob Portman. It also includes both Republican Senators from North Carolina, North Dakota, and Idaho, an unlikely scenario!

And yet, Donald Trump has condemned this move in the Senate, and particularly attacked Mitt Romney, terming him a RINO (Republican In Name Only), and it is all jealousy that he was unable to accomplish any infrastructure legislation during his Presidency, despite saying it was an important goal!

It is good to see that Republicans are ignoring Donald Trump on this matter, and hopefully, the party will wrest its freedom from the danger that Donald Trump represents!

Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer Should Retire, For Secure Survival Of Liberal Wing Of Court

It was very disappointing news that Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer has announced he has no plans to retire, as he reaches age 83 on August 15.

Breyer has served long and well on the Supreme Court since being appointed by Bill Clinton in 1994.

Already he is one of the longest serving Justices in American history, 25th longest of a total of 115 Justices who have served.

His arguments for remaining on the Court are that he likes being the Senior Justice of the liberal wing, and that his health will determine how long he stays.

But he fails to recognize that health can change rapidly, and when one is in his or her 80s, he or she needs to consider the impact of a sudden death, as with Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s sudden passing, which led to a rapid appointment of a Justice (Amy Coney Barrett) who was rammed through in record time, instead of leaving the appointment to the winner of the Presidential Election of 2020.

With a Court now more conservative and right wing than it has been since the 1930s, it is alarming to think that Breyer is gambling the effect on the liberal wing of the Court by refusing to retire.

Joe Biden should be given the opportunity to replace him, but if even one Democratic Senator dies before 2023, then the Republicans will take control of the US Senate, and prevent any Biden nominee.

And if the Republicans win the Senate in 2022, then Joe Biden will be denied any appointment, even if a vacancy, as Mitch McConnell denied Barack Obama the opportunity to replace Antonin Scalia with Merrick Garland in 2016!

A 50-50 Democratic Controlled Senate Could Any Time Switch To Control By Republicans!

With the reality in 2021 of a 50-50 US Senate, the ability of the Democratic majority to get the Joe Biden agenda adopted becomes a constant headache, and the inability to adjust the filibuster to allow votes on some issues without a 60 member majority support is infuriating.

And behind the scenes, there are concerns over the distinct possibility that were a Democratic Senator to die or become incapacitated and be unable to vote, such event would literally switch control of the Senate back to the Republicans, and Mitch McConnell.

The Senate has 5 members over 80, and 25 members in their 70s, an all time high such number, and the average age of all Senators is 63, also the highest in the history of the Senate.

18 of these 30 members over 70 and into their 80s are Democrats, so in many respects, the clock is ticking, and it is essential for quick action on a multitude of issues before a possible tragedy occurs.

Also, history tells us that the party NOT in the White House tends to gain seats in the midterm elections that follow, and that portends a disaster for the Democrats, with an evenly divided Senate and only a 6 vote margin in the House of Representatives.

Of course, the tumult around Donald Trump and the “Big Lie” might help the Democrats to gain seats, and history is not a guarantee for the party out of power in both houses of Congress.

But this is certainly a time of concern, including the possible future retirement, although clearly not imminent, of Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer!