by Julie Kelly
In February 2020, Mitt Romney became the first U.S. senator in history to vote to convict the president of his own party. Despite a laughable impeachment case concocted by House Democrats and clear evidence of corruption tied to the Democratic presidential candidate whom the impeachment effort was designed to protect, Romney nonetheless supported the removal of Donald Trump from the White House.
“My faith is at the heart of who I am,” Utah’s junior senator claimed while working up tears from the Senate floor on February 5. “The grave question the Constitution tasks senators to answer is whether the president committed an act so extreme and egregious that it rises to the level of high crime and misdemeanor. Yes, he did.”
But Romney didn’t just pontificate about the president’s behavior. In that very same soliloquy, Romney defended the actions of both Joe and Hunter Biden.
“Taking excessive advantage of his father’s name is unsavory, it is not a crime.” Romney concluded, therefore, that since no crime had been committed by the Bidens, in his opinion, the president’s request that Ukrainian officials look into their shady business dealings was “political.”
With that, Mitt Romney secured his place in political history for something other than losing two campaigns for president.
In many respects, Romney is the poster child for the present-day Republican U.S. Senate: pandering, feckless, disloyal, and weak.
Yes, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s record on confirming federal judges, including three Supreme Court nominees, is laudable. But the four-year reign of the Republican Senate under a Republican president is a shameful account of missed opportunities, broken promises, and straight-up subversion of Donald Trump. During one of the most fraught, destructive periods in American history, Senate Republicans squandered rather than wielded their immense political power.
Longtime pledges to reform immigration laws and repeal the Affordable Care Act were cast aside. When the president used his legal authority to attempt to secure the southern border in the spring of 2019, a dozen Senate Republicans vetoed his emergency order.
Rather than stand up to the Democratic Party’s race hustlers, Senate Republicans—including McConnell—condemned the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor as racially motivated even when evidence contradicted those claims. A few Republican senators sponsored legislation to replace Columbus Day with Juneteenth as a sop to the Left.
As lawless thugs tore down statues of America’s Founders and Antifa mobs occupied swaths of major U.S. cities, some Republican senators didn’t even bother to attend a public hearing about Antifa’s ongoing threat to the country. President Trump often was the lone voice defending America’s history and ideals; following his riveting July 4 address at Mount Rushmore, where he unapologetically confronted America’s domestic enemies, Republican Senators were silent.
Bungling Obamagate and Russian Collusion
Of course, there’s no greater example of the Senate Republicans’ abdication of power than its complete and total failure to hold accountable any of the perpetrators of so-called Obamagate for orchestrating the biggest American political scandal of all time.
Republicans knew early on that the Steele dossier was garbage; Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and the late Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) were fully aware that the dossier was political propaganda sourced from a foreign operative paid by the Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee but legitimized its use as the pretext for the collusion scam.
Rather than put a stop to the phony Trump-Russia collusion plotline, Senate Republicans played along with their Democratic counterparts. Every single Republican senator supported the appointment of Robert Mueller, a Beltway crony and BFF of James Comey. The Senate Judiciary Committee, headed by Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) then by Graham, performed no oversight of Mueller’s destructive probe despite holding the purse strings. When the president justifiably expressed his frustration at Mueller’s “witch hunt,” instead of defending the president, Senate Republicans vowed to “protect the Special Counsel.”
At the same time, top Republicans did nothing more than write stern letters and give Fox News interviews threatening to “get to the bottom” of the real scandal. Subpoenas were blocked; criminal referrals were ignored by the Justice Department; public interrogations were canceled or delayed until public interest waned.
The flagrantly corrupt chiefs of the country’s law enforcement and intelligence apparatus, rather than face jail time or at least a public tribunal of sorts similar to what House Democrats did to Donald Trump and his loyalists for two years, continue to demean the president on cable news shows and on social media.
“Where Is the GOP?!”
The current composition of the Republican-held Senate is a tower of Jello, a quivering, wavering ship of fools, an embarrassing collection of dunces, dupes, and paper tigers.
For example, in a pre-Election Day tirade, Senator Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) insisted the president would cause major GOP losses as voters across the country rejected his antics and tweets. “We are staring down the barrel of a blue tsunami,” Sasse told supporters.
Not only did Republicans hold the Senate but they’ve picked up at least six House seats with more victories predicted.
Even now, as the president is fighting widespread election irregularities and suspected fraud, he is on his own. “Where is the GOP?!” Eric Trump tweeted Thursday afternoon. “Our voters will never forget . . .” (Late Thursday, Graham announced he would donate $500,000 to Trump’s legal defense fund.)
It’s pure folly to think this Republican Senate will act as a bulwark against a Biden-Harris Administration. Armed with a slim majority, Senate Republicans undoubtedly will play footsie with their former colleagues under the solemn banner of “bringing the country together.”
There is no reason to believe Senate Republicans won’t sign off on a Democrat-backed coronavirus relief package that includes a partial bailout of bankrupted blue states, a lite version of the Green New Deal or at least “climate change mitigation” legislation, expanded Obamacare coverage, more flexible immigration laws, and a variety of taxpayer-funded goodies from college debt forgiveness to some form of racial reparations.
McConnell already is ready to work with Biden on his cabinet after Democrats made life a living hell for every Trump appointee. According to a report by Axios, McConnell is signaling to Team Biden that he will approve “centrist options” and fight the nomination of any progressive candidates. But that won’t fly with the Democratic Party base; Biden owes them. And once the media goes scorched earth on Republican senators who won’t acquiesce, don’t be surprised when they cave.
Expect the Biden Corruption Scandals to Go “Poof”!
Oh, and the little matter of Hunter Biden and the overwhelming evidence of the Biden family’s pay-to-play schemes with hostile foreign entities? Don’t hold your breath waiting for any follow-up investigation. Both Graham and Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) recently refused to commit to issuing a subpoena for the younger Biden.
“And this election did not give the Democrats power,” Ben Shapiro tweeted Thursday morning. “Biden’s most progressive priorities are DOA in a McConnell-run Senate.”
Only people who haven’t paid close attention to a McConnell-run Senate believe that to be true. Do they really believe folks like Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Ben Sasse and Lindsey Graham will hold their ground against Biden? Do they really think Mitt Romney won’t attempt to carve out some simpish “Conscience of the Senate” role that lets him find common ground with Biden and Harris for the “betterment of democracy” or some nonsense?
I hope I’m wrong, but I doubt I am. Listening to the deafening silence of Senate Republicans this week only reinforces my cynical analysis. If you’re disappointed with McConnell and company now, just wait until next year if Joe Biden is president.
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Julie Kelly is a political commentator and senior contributor to American Greatness. She is the author of Disloyal Opposition: How the NeverTrump Right Tried―And Failed―To Take Down the President.
Photo “Joe Biden” by Gage Skidmore. CC BY-SA 2.0.