Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky. gestures during an interview with The Associated Press, Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2015, in his office on Capitol Hill in Washington. McConnell talked about the work to complete a compromise package that would fund the government through the 2016 budget year. McConnell also talked about the realities of divided government, working with new House Speaker Paul Ryan and his relationship with long-time Democratic nemesis Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell got asked whether Congress would confirm Merrick Garland in the lame duck session, assuming that the Republicans of course nominate Donald Trump and thus lose the Presidential election, the Senate, and quite possibly the House. His response? No. And that’s pretty much the long and the short of it: McConnell noted that even in a hypothetical lame-duck session Garland would still be opposed by the NRA and the NFIB. And if you think that normal Republican politicians – even ones about to go out of office* – are willing to tick off powerful organizations representing gun owners and small businessmen, you perhaps may not be that familiar with normal Republican politicians.

…It’s a very interesting situation that we have here, isn’t it?  Most of the people reading this probably assumed that Mitch McConnell and the rest of the Senate leadership would race to see who would cave on giving Barack Obama another Supreme Court Justice.  Instead, said leadership has been apparently racing instead to see who can say ‘Nope’ in ever-more new and exciting ways.  It’s rather refreshing, really; and that’s not entirely a compliment to McConnell and his coworkers.  Because the reason why folks expected them to cave is because there’s a history of Congressional Republicans caving. That they’re not doing it now is coming as a surprise to many people in the GOP base. A happy surprise, but a surprise nonetheless.

But, also nonetheless: praise behaviors that you want to encourage (I don’t need to tell a bunch of conservative Republicans to punish behaviors that you want to discourage).  Mitch McConnell is doing what we all want him to do, so I for one will say “Thank you very much” and “Good job, Senator.” I would heartily suggest that everybody else do the same thing.  You can of course do it and still watch the man like hawks; in fact, I would even encourage that.  Nothing like oversight to keep politicians on the straight and narrow, hey?

Moe Lane

*Especially ones about to go out of office.  That pension will only stretch so far, at least in the Imperial District.