Sen. Mitch McConnell has been very busy over the last week clutching his pearls and collapsing onto his fainting couch because President Obama said that he doubted the Supreme Court would take the “unprecedented” step of overturning the Affordable Care Act, which would demonstrate a “lack of judicial restraint.”
Shockingly, Mitch McConnell has had no problem turning a blind eye to much stronger language from his own party. From the great Steve Benen:
But the larger point that seems to have escaped the attention of the political world this week is that the Republican Party has been aggressively going after the federal judiciary — as part and parcel of the party’s messaging — for many years. High-profile GOP figures, including President George W. Bush, have used far stronger language to condemn the judiciary than anything Obama has even hinted at.
Where was Mitch McConnell when his party made court-bashing part of its larger electoral strategy?
Indeed, in his second term, Bush characterized what he perceived as liberal judicial activism as “a threat to our democracy — and it needs to stop.” In the same speech, the Republican president was warning against “tyranny.” Was this a threat? Did it cause Republicans everywhere to whine incessantly about the White House trying to “intimidate” jurists?
Throughout the Bush era, Republican leaders threatened to undermine the power of the federal courts. In one jarring instance, Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) went so far as to say judges who are the victims of violence may bring the attacks onto themselves with liberal rulings.
If McConnell found his own colleague’s remarks troubling, he kept it to himself.
More recently, members of the Republican presidential field have insisted they want to strip the federal courts of jurisdiction over entire areas of federal law, and disregard Supreme Court rulings they don’t like.
And yet, in GOP circles, it’s now taken as a given that Obama looks like a “thug” for having “attacked” the judiciary this week.
Mitch McConnell crossed a dumb line today. And anyone who cares about reality needs to call him out on it.
Yes, it’s almost like accusing Obama of only caring about re-election and not passing any legislation, while simultaneously declaring the defeat of Obama as his “No. 1 goal” and making a conscious decision to put an unprecedented amount of roadblocks and filibusters in his way from the very second he was sworn into office.
“I’m rubber, you’re glue” seems to be catching on these days.