McConnell will stop at nothing to thwart country’s democracy

So much for quaint notions of bipartisanship. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell this week bluntly admitted what should long have been obvious: He views partisan politics as a zero-sum game in which the only goal is to seize power from the opposing party by any means necessary.

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Opinion

June 21, 2021 - 8:50 AM

Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky (left) and Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-New York

So much for quaint notions of bipartisanship. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell this week bluntly admitted what should long have been obvious: He views partisan politics as a zero-sum game in which the only goal is to seize power from the opposing party by any means necessary. In an interview, McConnell acknowledged that, should Republicans retake the Senate next year, he wouldn’t even consider a Supreme Court nominee from President Joe Biden in 2024 — maybe not even a year earlier.

This should be a bright red warning on two fronts. Liberal Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, 82, must stop tempting fate and announce his retirement well in advance of next year’s midterms so Biden can appoint his replacement. And Sen. Joe Manchin and other centrist Democrats must decide whether extending doomed olive branches to a rogue Republican Party is more important than protecting democracy.

McConnell’s bottomless cynicism regarding the high court has been evident since 2016, when he refused for the final 11 months of President Barack Obama’s tenure to let him fill a court vacancy. McConnell, then Senate majority leader, swaddled his stunt in populist piffle, saying “the people” should fill the vacancy via their presidential vote. Not only is that not how the Constitution works, but it ignores the fact that “the people” had already hired Obama (twice).

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