Elections usually end with losing candidates congratulating winners and graciously accepting defeat, thereby demonstrating their commitment to the democratic system over the particular outcome they fought to achieve.
But of course, under Trump and McConnell, none of that is happening. And even after Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are sworn in on January 20, Mitch McConnell has vowed to block Biden’s selections for Senate-approved positions, from the cabinet on down.
So, the Great Obstructionist will is at it again. Is there anything President Biden can do to deal with McConnell’s intransigence?
Use “Acting” until McConnell schedules the votes on the nominees
- Put together a slate of appointments that truly represent the people he wants and submit it to the Senate.
- Quietly appoint people to “Acting” positions, people who would be guaranteed to drive McConnell and his ilk into apoplectic frenzies.
- Announce that these “Acting” appointments will be replaced as soon as the Senate approves Biden’s submitted slate.
- Begin a media blitz for the purpose of publicizing McConnell’s failure to give Biden’s choices due consideration, with a constant review of the history of presidential cabinet choices and Senate confirmations.
- Proceed with governing the nation.
The trick is to find people who are not currently filling critical needs, would do a superlative job, and would force McConnell to allow Biden to fill his posts quickly with the people he wants.
And if nothing else, it would be fun.
Use the “Kirschner Gambit”
Glenn Kirschner is a former Assistant US Attorney, with extensive experience as a federal prosecutor, homicide prosecutor, and Army JAG. On his YouTube channel Justice Matters he lays out another strategy for “turning the tables on McConnell.”
Kirschner first points out the use of Executive Orders to undo the damage Trump has perpetrated on the nation.
But, President Biden is going to need something much more forceful than just Executive Orders to break the deadlock between Congress and the Executive, because we should expect McConnell to use his disingenuous “Merrick Garland tactic” to prevent any Biden nominees being confirmed.
So, Kirschner lays out these steps:
Step 1 – The day after Inauguration, President Joe Biden presents McConnell with a slate of 20 nominees for key Cabinet positions. McConnell announces that he will not give any of them a hearing. Democratic Leader Schumer and other prominent Democratic Senators object, calling out McConnell’s refusal to abandon his extreme unconstitutional position but McConnell is unmoved.
The U.S. Constitution says in Article 2:
… by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law
Step 2 – President Biden interprets this inaction from McConnell as waiving the opportunity to provide the Advice and Consent of the Senate. Biden goes ahead with a ceremony to congratulate the nominees on their Presidential appointments and invites them to take up their positions.
Step 3 – Let Mitch McConnell run to court to convince a judge that he gets to rewrite the Constitution – there will be no consent and advice hearing because I, Mitch McConnell, say so.
Let him make a fool of himself in the courts. The judges will call him out because he doesn’t have a legal leg to stand on. Judges have little patience for frivolous partisan lawsuits.
While McConnell is busy preparing for his day in court, President Biden will be appointing more Ambassadors and Officers of the United States so they can get on with the job of healing America and her relationships with her allies.
That will free up the Executive even more so they can spend a whole lot of time and energy and resources investigating, indicting, and prosecuting crime, particularly political criminals.
That will give McConnell something else to worry about since many of the GOP politicians in his caucus are likely to attract the attention of investigators. Mitch may be operating on a very slim majority or a slim minority position so if he loses just one of them, it will seriously threaten his ability to obstruct the nation’s healing process and give Democrats some victories for the American people.
The “Replacement Senators” move
This next suggestion is brilliant. If needed, Biden can relegate McConnell to minority leader status right away by promoting two Republican senators from states with Democratic governors to cabinet positions.
The beauty of these two appointments is that these Republican senators would be replaced for the duration of the 117th Senate session by choices made by their Democratic governors in states with no strictures regarding which party Senate replacements represent.
McConnell would be enraged over two of his senators deserting him, but that would be his problem.
Will Biden do any of these?
Who knows? But, even if Democrats don’t take both Georgia runoff seats, there are still ways around the Great Obstructionist. Let’s hope President Biden takes advantage of them, so we can move forward with healing the country.