To read Monday’s op-ed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, one might think it must have been a very bad April Fools’ joke. With a record of obstruction in the Senate as notorious as Senator McConnell’s, it is hard to take seriously his complaints about how Democrats have handled President Trump’s nominees. But since arguments about the Senate confirmation process can seem awfully inside-the-Beltway, let’s be clear about what this debate is really all about. Over the last 40 years, as the Republican Party has been driven farther and farther toward the extreme right by ultra-conservative activists, Republicans began to realize that their policy agenda was too unpopular with mainstream voters to be enacted in the light of day, through the legislative process. The hard right understood that they would never persuade enough Americans to support ending women’s reproductive freedom, taking away health-care coverage, rolling back civil rights, abolishing safeguards for clean air and clean water or other extreme ideas. Story Continued Below Instead, they decided there was another route to achieving their policy goals, one that doesn’t require public support or legislation: the courts. So Republicans, pressured by the hard right and wealthy conservative donors, launched a sustained effort… Read full this story
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