Dems Snuff Lynch Confirmation This Year

It is reported by NBC that the Senate, controlled by Democrats, will not take up the confirmation of Loretta Lynch as Attorney General during the lame duck session of the Senate. The current rule, recently changed by Harry Reid, is that an appointment such as Attorney General, requires a simple majority. Can anyone believe that having Mitch McConnell as the next majority leader in the Senate officiate this confirmation will be preferable?

Such ill-considered decision-making is exactly why the Democrats got their butts kicked during the midterm elections. From the very beginning, even before the Republicans took the House in 2010, President Obama made clear his priorities. When he took office, he was extremely busy cleaning up the mess left by the Bush administration – two wars and a crashing economy. Of course, some of the blame for the crashing economy could be attributed to the then compromised, ever wimpish Democrats, extending back to Bill Clinton’s ill-advised complicity in dumping banking regulations in 1999.

As bailouts of Wall Street transpired, Obama appointments and policy began to signal his priorities, which involved continuing the pro-Wall-Street policies of the Bush administration. It was all saving the derelict Wall Street banks with few strings attached to loans of the people’s money and very little done to rescue people affected by Wall Street fraud.

Then too, even casual observers knew that the stimulus package was too meager and too top-heavy with handouts. It wasn’t fiscally sound but purposely politically appealing to Republicans, who had a minority. In contrast, the Bush administration ran roughshod over Democrats during his eight years, who were often bamboozled and intimidated by Karl Rove propaganda and tactics.

As a recovery developed, Obama made the same mistakes as spineless Democrats before him and allowed the Republican noise-machine, even unmanaged Democrats, to influence many of his decisions: appointments of Bush and other Wall-Street-friendly people, the decision not to prosecute many Wall Street perpetrators not only in high places but also lesser malefactors, the announcement that abuses of power among the Bush leaders (torture, lying us into the Iraqi war, etc) would not be pursued, and that the people who suffered due to the abuses of the Bush administration and due to Wall Street, would not be rescued.

Apart from the ACA, an accomplishment intimidated Democrats backed away from during years of vociferous GOP attacks, we had a disaster sign-up period, this after Obama’s first term of being hassled and intimidated by an intractable GOP army and its media henchmen at Fox. Finally in the second term, almost punch-drunk, Obama got the message that Republicans would never, never compromise.

So here we are with the Loretta Lynch appointment, Obama saying he’s OK with confirmation now or later. Then the Democratically-controlled Senate saying there isn’t time to do the confirmation this year – to hold hearings and have votes on nominee Loretta Lynch. Excuse me for saying this, but whoever engineered this decision is a disgrace.

Is there any reason to believe that Democrats are smart enough, bold enough or astute enough to represent the people they are supposed to serve? Empirical evidence from the last two decades or more says absolutely not. Obstructionist Republicans have outsmarted them at every turn. Of course, the Republicans got help from right-wing Supreme Court Justices, often confirmed by outflanked Democrats in the Senate, and the resulting avalanche of money that five in the Supreme Court helped unleash. Top that off with voter suppression, disengaged Democratic voters, and chicken-hearted Democrats backing away from accomplishments.

Remember the productive lame-duck Democrats in 2010? When the Republicans swept in a majority in the House in the 2010 November election, both the House and the Senate (the Lynch confirmation only involves the Senate) accomplished the following major legislative victories in 2-3 weeks in December of 2010, before the next session began in January, 2011:

1. Bush tax cuts extended.
2. Middle class tax cut and unemployment insurance agreement made.
3. Repeal of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ made.
4. New Start Treaty over nuclear weapons with Russia signed.
5. Passed revised 9/11 responders health coverage bill.
6. Passed food safety bill.
7. Senate votes to oust a federal judge.

Don’t tell me there is no time to confirm President Obama’s appointment of Loretta Lynch. I am sure that the wily, partisan Mitch McConnell is downing his second glass of Kentucky Bourbon while saluting his chinless visage in a gilded-framed mirror.

The question is, “What are Harry Reid and President Obama doing”?

James Hoover is a recently retired systems engineer. He has advanced degrees in Economics and English. Prior to his aerospace career, he taught high school, and he has also taught college courses. He recently published a science fiction novel called Extraordinary Visitors and writes political columns on several websites. Read other articles by James.