Stop the presses! Mitch McConnell has a nonsensical explanation for why his insistence that the Senate confirm a replacement for the late Justice Ruth Ginsburg six weeks before Election Day does not contradict his refusal, in 2016, to confirm a replacement for the late Justice Antonin Scalia eight months before Election Day.
McConnell’s hypocrisy in this matter is so naked that it’s given at least momentary pause to Senators Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski. It may also lose him the support of Senator Mitt Romney.
For most people, the news that McConnell is being unprincipled will be roughly as surprising as the news that professional wrestling is staged. Still, we need to give this instance our attention, if for no other reason than to observe a sad decline in the art of political chicanery. American politicians have been bamboozling the public since the dawn of the republic, but in bygone days they at least tried to sound convincing. There was such a thing as skill, damn it, and craft.
No more. McConnell (and Trump, for that matter) have abandoned artful sophistry for mere gibberish. It makes a sort of cockeyed political sense. Why make a big effort to deceive when you’re no longer actually trying to convince anybody? These days, Republican politics is more about herding voters than persuading them. But we shouldn’t let it pass without protest that the American voter is being treated like cattle.
Here’s what McConnell said about ramming a Supreme Court nomination through the Senate in six weeks: