Don’t think for a minute that Democrats in Washington aren’t upset over losing the White House. They had that thing locked up, sewn up, and tightly in their back pockets. I think Hillary even went in and measured for drapes before the election. And don’t think for a minute that Democrats are going to roll over and play dead just because Republicans control both houses of congress AND the White House. That’s not about to happen.
Thank the Republicans balking on Merrick Garland as Supreme Court Judge for that one.
Now, the Democrats can’t stop any of Donald Trump’s nominations for various cabinet positions, but they can slow the process down to a crawl. All it takes is 51 votes to get someone through the nomination process. But there are hurdles to clear. Dems can throw elongated hearings at each candidate, and then can add to the melee the actual floor debate. Don’t forget, the Senate doesn’t work 40 hours a week. Hell, they don’t even keep “bankers’ hours”. They only work like three days a week, and not even 8 hours a day most days. But Mitch McConnell can certainly change that. If I were Mitch, this is what I’d do to get the nomination process moving quickly.
I would call a special “nomination session” to hold hearings, have debate, and vote on each of the cabinet nominees that require it. You can’t limit debate in the Senate, so McConnell doesn’t have that card to be able to play, and Democrats can certainly filibuster any nominee because the Republicans don’t have the required 60 votes for cloture. But McConnell isn’t without tricks to play. He can keep the Senate in session seven days a week until everyone is confirmed. He can keep the Senate open 24 hours a day until that happens too. Of course, that has happened in the past. And frankly, if the Dems are going to play hardball, which by the way, I wouldn’t blame them for doing, I’d play hardball back. Let them have their filibuster…but make them actually filibuster the damn thing.
I’d sprinkle in the easy nominees with the tough ones so that there is a mix. I wouldn’t get the easy guys and gals through first. Mix it up so everybody has the same chance. But keep it going. Until everybody gets nominated, you keep the Senate open for business and don’t let anyone go home. That should speed up the process.
As for the Supreme Court Justice nominee, that will be a tough one. That one will require the 60 votes of the Senate to pass. And right now the GOP isn’t anywhere near that plateau. But they can fight, and they don’t have to give up. Make the country come to screeching halt and blame the Democrats for it if it does. It’s as easy as pie. It just takes having balls to get the job done!
Carry on world…you’re dismissed!