Mark Kirk Breaks With McConnell, Citing Duty To ‘Constitution’ Over ‘Party’ – National Review
After a week of silence on whether Republicans should refuse to consider President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, Senator Mark Kirk is speaking out.
In a Chicago Sun-Times op-ed posted moments ago, Kirk argues that, in the spirit of honoring the late Justice Antonin Scalia, Republicans should place the Constitution before their party.
“I recognize the right of the President, be it Republican or Democrat, to place before the Senate a nominee for the Supreme Court and I fully expect and look forward to President Obama advancing a nominee for the Senate to consider,” he writes.
“I also recognize my duty as a Senator to either vote in support or opposition to that nominee following a fair and thorough hearing along with a complete and transparent release of all requested information. The Senate’s role in providing advice and consent is as important and significant as the President’s role in proposing a nominee.”
By the same token, he urges the president to put forth a nominee who rejects partisanship and extremism.
“My sincerest hope is that President Obama nominates someone who captures the sentiment he spoke about before the Illinois General Assembly this month – a nominee who can bridge differences, a nominee that finds common ground and a nominee that does not speak or act in the extreme.”
Kirk’s words mark one of the more significant breaks from Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s swift call to block consideration for the president’s nominee; though a handful of senators up for reelection, such as Wisconsin’s Ron Johnson and Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski, have shied away from McConnell’s strategy, his conference is by and large standing behind him. But for Kirk, arguably the most vulnerable Republican in the 2016 Senate field, the stakes are high, and his team spent the last several days mulling his words carefully. In the interim, Illinois representative Tammy Duckworth, the Democrat who is likely to be Kirk’s opponent in November, blasted the senator’s silence, calling on Kirk to “immediately level with the people of Illinois, and let us know whether he supports the Constitution, or if he’ll be a rubber stamp for Mitch McConnell’s obstructionist and unconstitutional gambit.”
Kirk has spent his career crafting a moderate political profile in the upper chamber, and has angered Republicans for regularly crossing the aisle, such as when he voted to maintain funding for so-called sanctuary cities. A more tempered stance on the current SCOTUS fight, however, shields him from Duckworth’s criticisms, and could help him preserve his appeal to independents – who, in the battleground state of Illinois, will be key come November.
Hey GOP Senators, This Is It… No Hearings No Votes – Kurt Schlichter
GOP senators, if you give whichever Constitution-shredding libfascist Obama nominates a hearing, much less a vote, we are gone. Out of the GOP. Finished. And that means you’re finished too.
The “we” is us conservatives, and we are not in the mood for any pompous, delusional Senate-speak about how you can’t do what we elected you to do and defy Obama. You need to take a stand and shut him down. And we don’t care how much heat you have to take from the mainstream media and your distinguished commie colleagues across the aisle.
Man the hell up.
Our enemies keep blabbing about your alleged “duty” to act. Yeah, you have a Constitutional duty all right – to the freaking Constitution.
The reaction of Mitch McConnell was a pleasant surprise. After rolling over again and again, it seems to have dawned on Mitch that we conservatives are done with a submissive Senate going Gimp every time Obama demands something. Spending, Obamacare, illegal immigration – the GOP hasn’t been seemed to be able to draw a line, much less hold one, and we conservatives have been wondering why we even bothered to retake the Senate in 2014. But now our right to freely exercise our religion, our right to keep and bear arms, and even our right to criticize politicians like Hillary Clinton are at stake. There’s nowhere left to retreat to. Back, meet wall.
This is it. This is the moment you need to stop pretending the Senate is some sort of collegial debating society and realize that this is a life and death struggle for the future of our country. If the left gets its way, America is in serious trouble. And so are you, because if the GOP Senate can’t even stop the left from turning the Supreme Court over to the kind of people who run safe space universities, then what damn use is a GOP Senate?
We’ll be gone from your flailing party. We’ll check out, and then you’ll check out of the cloakroom for good. The revolt is already barreling down the highway; your weakness will only supercharge it. Do you think Donald Trump is some sort of accident? He’s the result of you and the rest of the GOP talking a big game about liberal abstinence and then getting to D.C. and giving it up to the first smooth talking establishmentarian you meet at the bus station.
You should be afraid, because this is about your careers. And remember, K Street’s not going to need you quite so much when there’s a big Democrat Senate majority after you betray us again – you might have to (gasp!) go get your sorry rears real jobs.
Supersize this, squishes. Are you feeling me?
But most of you are smart enough to understand that and to cultivate a healthy fear of losing your cushy sinecures – the majority of you seem to get that you don’t want to go home and run on not having stopped the SCOTUS nominee who just gave the thumbs up to trucks rumbling through your constituents’ neighborhoods with a speaker blaring, “Bring out your guns!”
But we can feel how much you truly want to submit, to adopt that chin-stroking pose of thoughtful pseudo-wisdom on some Sunday morning show and disclaim about your solemn duties and how the president’s candidate deserves careful consideration and blah blah blah blah blah. You know you’re in for mainstream media hell if you take a stand, and there’s nothing you hate more than having to actually defend conservatism rather than basking in the warm glow of strange new respect by going along and getting along with the liberal narrative. But most of you are also canny enough to see that this time is different, that this time you won’t be able to walk some weaselly tightrope where you avoid liberal establishment hate while not alienating your conservative voting base quite enough for it to toss you out of office.
Everyone knows fussy little Lindsey Graham would love to reach across the aisle and hug some guy on the other side, but he knows that South Carolina voters can tolerate only so much cavorting with the enemy. John McCain’s got an election in November and Arizona voters are watching, so he’ll hold fast even though we can see he’s aching to maverick all over conservatives again.
But then there are fools like Dean Heller of Nevada, who decided to respond with a joke when failing to commit to blocking whoever Obama nominates:
“‘The chances of approving a new nominee are slim, but Nevadans should have a voice in the process. That’s why I encourage the President to use this opportunity to put the will of the people ahead of advancing a liberal agenda on the nation’s highest court. But should he decide to nominate someone to the Supreme Court, who knows, maybe it’ll be a Nevadan,’ said Senator Dean Heller.”
Hey Heller, you’re hella unfunny. Do you think attacks upon Nevadans’ First and Second Amendment rights are comedy gold? Let me help you, and every other spineless senatorial sissy, with what you need to say:
“President Obama has spent over seven years disrespecting and disregarding the Constitution. He and his liberal soulmates have expressed nothing but utter contempt for the separation of powers and for our most basic rights. I will not stand by and allow them any further opportunity to infringe upon our freedoms. So my advice to Obama is not to bother nominating anyone to replace Justice Scalia, but if he does so then I shall withhold my consent. I will not support hearings on, or a vote on, or confirmation of, any Obama Supreme Court nominee, ever. Period.”
That’s how you do it. And unless Heller does, in two years I and others will be supporting and donating to his primary opponent – who I hope will be Adam Laxalt, the current Nevada Attorney General and a real conservative. But here’s a little secret – I hope Heller doesn’t come out clearly for what Hugh Hewitt has hashtagged #NoHearingsNoVotes. I hope he keeps trying to please the liberal media instead of his constituents. Why? Because I want us conservatives to destroy the budding career of some RINO next cycle, to select one wavering weakling and boot him out of office for the crime of defying us. The British used to occasionally shoot one of their admirals in order to encourage the others to greater bravery and resolve. We GOP conservatives should adopt this innovative incentivization strategy and each cycle cull the weakest from the herd, just to make sure that these Capitol Hill cretins remain more afraid of our wrath than the Washington Post’s.
No hearings, no votes – or you’ll be hearing from us, and you won’t be getting our votes.