Guest Piece by Larry Schweikart, America’s History Teacher
Yertle’s Quiet Effectiveness
Poor old Mitch McConnell. The Senate Majority Leader is frequently accused of being part of the “Swamp.” Perhaps he is, but he has been superbly effective for the last four years, and almost nobody notices. Indeed, Yertle (as I affectionately call him) has been a one-man Senate wrecking crew against liberals.
Yet he is constantly under fire, most recently from Rush Limbaugh who cited Yertle’s comment that if the House impeaches President Trump, the Senate must have a trial. Well, duh.
That’s the Constitution fer ya!
But I don’t think it means at all what it seems, and I think Nancy Pelosi (who I refer to as “Botoxic”) is realizing that. But let’s review Yertle’s record first, shall we?
In 2015, at no one’s urging, Yertle took it upon himself to block Barack Obama’s U.S. Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland, from receiving a vote, claiming (with no particular historical precedent) that because Zero (my nickname for Obama) was in the last year of his presidency, that would not be fair. Keeping Garland off the Court and preventing a Democrat 5-4 majority would have been huge, to say the least.
But Yertle didn’t stop there.
*Lucy Koh, nominated to the Ninth Circuit, was reported out of the Judiciary Committee but Yertle didn’t give her a floor vote. Instead that went to a Trump appointee, Daniel Collins.
*The same story was true of Donald Schott, a Seventh Circuit nominee. The seat ultimately went to Trump pick Michael Brennan.
*In the Eighth Circuit, the nominee Jennifer Puhl likewise was not given a vote. That went to. Trump pick Ralph Erickson.
*At the Supreme Court level, Yertle promised that both Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh would be confirmed. They were. (By the way, yesterday Russell Bucklew was executed: his appeal, Bucklew v. Precythe involved the issue of capital punishment, and the Court ruled against Bucklew. That very well may not have happened without Kavanaugh.)
*He promised to pass the tax cut. He did.
*He promised to bring Obamacare up for a vote (note: Yertle did NOT promise to pass it, as I think he knew John McCain would do his infamous “thumbs down.”)
So as best I can tell, every time Yertle says he will do something, it gets done. Let’s return to Yertle’s comment about holding a trial if Botoxic passes impeachment: I don’t think this was Yertle laying down at all (or, I guess, retreating into his shell). I don’t even think this was him absentmindedly saying he’d follow the Constitution.
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This was a shot across Botoxic’s bow. This was Yertletalk for “Make my day.” This tells me Yertle knows he hsa 34 hard “acquits” in his caucus (and likely another 10 squish acquits—that is, RINOs who, when they see how the vote is going, will be on the winning side). Indeed, I think Yertle is right now just a couple of votes away from something that is rarely mentioned: a “dismissal.” The Senate must convene a trial, but in Bill Clinton’s impeachment trial, two weeks in, Senator Robert “Sheets” Byrd filed a motion to dismiss.
It only failed by seven votes—for a president who had clearly lied and obstructed justice. Therefore, I think Yertle probably could count on about 45-47 votes to dismiss right now. If the impeachment charges from the House are lame (as almost certainly they will be), Yertle can reach 50, and Mike Pence breaks the tie. By saying “We’d have to have a trial,” Yertle was promising Botoxic and the Democrats would lose in a most embarrassing way, that there would be no stalling, and that it would be over before Ilhan Omar could marry another male relative.
Yertle knows his caucus, and he knows that other than Mitt (“Minion”) Romney, no one will vote to convict Trump of anything. I can almost hear Yertle, in his best Pedro Serrano voice (from “Major League”), “You bring dat chit to me, mon. Bring dat chit to me!”
Larry Schweikart, co-author of the New York Times #1 bestseller, A Patriot’s History of the United States with Michael Allen and author of Reagan: The American President, has regular court and political updates at his site www.wildworldofhistory.com on the VIP side. For a free “Reagan” webinar, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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