Last fall Steve Benen wrote about the GOP’s attempts to nullify federal law related to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau by refusing to vote on the nomination of Richard Cordray to lead the agency. My take is that the GOP’s radical embrace of nullification has become their standard operating procedure and they flat out don’t give a flying fuck about the effects that it could have on the country or the Constitution. If it “hurts” the President – they are for it. If it “helps” the President they are not only against it – but they are willing to go to war over it.
On “Fox News Sunday” yesterday, Chris Wallace asked Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) about Republicans refusing to allow lawmakers to vote on Richard Cordray’s nomination to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The GOP Senate leader wasn’t the least bit embarrassed about his party’s abuses.
“[W]hat we are saying to the president is: join with us and reform this agency, make it accountable to someone, the people elected the Congress for its funding and for its oversight, and then send up somebody and we’ll be happy to confirm them. There’s nothing wrong with Mr. Cordray personally. This is about an unaccountable, unelected czar. And we’re simply not going to appoint him, or confirm him, or anybody else to this agency that shouldn’t exist in its current form.”
McConnell said the bureau “shouldn’t” exist. That it already exists…. irrelevant. That the President was elected TWICE…. irrelevant. And listen to the overheated language that Republicans continue to use to when speaking about the President…
Around the same time, on “Meet the Press,” David Gregory asked Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) about the same controversy.
“So this consumer bureau that [Democrats] want to pass is under the Federal Reserve. No appropriation oversight, no board. It is something out of the Stalinist era. The reason Republicans don’t want to vote for it is we want a board, not one person, making all the regulatory decisions, and there’s no oversight under this person. He gets a check from the Federal Reserve. We want him under the Congress so we can oversee the overseer.”
Stalin… Hitler…. on and on.
What Republicans are embracing is, in effect, nullification. On every nomination, every “debt” negotiation Republicans are saying, this government is not legitimate. It is quite a big story that isn’t really being covered.