In a Saturday piece for The New Yorker, staff writer Jane Mayer argued that Mitch McConnell has a crucial weakness that could impact the upcoming Supreme Court battle set to take place in the wake of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death.
According to the writer, Democrats should not focus on highlighting McConnell’s hypocrisy in his push to replace the late justice in an election year.
“Obviously, it nakedly is, given that Ginsburg died forty-five days before the 2020 election, and this was McConnell’s rationale for blocking Barack Obama’s nominee two hundred and sixty-nine days before the 2016 election,” she wrote.
“But anyone familiar with the Republican senator from Kentucky’s long political career knows he couldn’t care less about hypocrisy; like President Trump, he is immune to shame.”
Mayer, who wrote a profile on McConnell in April, spoke to political scientist Norman Ornstein following Ginsburg’s death and highlighted his comments. According to the resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, McConnell is a “ruthless pragmatist” who will do whatever it takes to serve his own interests.
Based on this knowledge, the New Yorker staffer argued that if McConnell had to choose between appointing a new conservative justice or retaining control over the Senate, he would choose the latter.
The writer argued that this priority is a weakness that could make it difficult for him to successfully push a new justice onto the Supreme Court.
“The problem for McConnell now is that it may be impossible for him to both confirm a new Justice and hold onto his personal power as Majority Leader.”
In particular, the columnist opined that Democratic outrage from the process could compromise Republican Senate candidates and cause the party to lose the upper chamber in November.
As reported by CTV News, McConnell has pledged to ensure that Trump’s forthcoming nomination is considered by the Senate “without delay.” But Mayer noted that the 78-year-old politician has curiously not provided a timetable on the vote.
According to Ornstein, this exclusion may be due to a plan to hold off on the vote until after the electoral process concludes to ensure that Republicans in the Senate are shielded from any blowback. During this delay, Ornstein believes that McConnell may ask GOP lawmakers to pledge to support a later vote.
Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, who is facing stiff competition for re-election, has already broken ranks with the president and the GOP and said she believes the winner of the upcoming election should select the nominee.
Trump said on Saturday that he would likely have a nominee ready in the next week, and the candidate would likely be a woman.