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Letter to the Editor: Voter Ruth Bamberger says McConnell should act in a democratic way as Leader

In a recent NKyTribune op-ed by Sen. McConnell, I agree with his assessment of China’s authoritarian regime’s suppression of freedom, self-expression, and self-government in Hong Kong.

China, in fact, is violating the 1997 agreement honoring the right of Hong Kong to continue its economic and political systems as it did under former British rule.

Mitch McConnell

But McConnell’s record as Senate Majority Leader (and Minority Leader) leaves one wondering whether he has any credibility lecturing about other nations’ actions. He has disregarded democratic norms and policies in his current role in the Senate. He refused to work with the Obama administration by sitting on numerous bills rather than allowing debate; he stymied the advancement of judgeships, and most notably stated before Justice Scalia’s body was even cold, that he would deny the President another replacement, even though Merrick Garland had impeccable credentials.

While a Senate Majority Leader’s job is to promote his or her party’s agenda, he or she must work with the minority party to advance bills.

Currently, McConnell is sitting on numerous bills passed by the House that have the support of a large majority of Americans—among them gun control, campaign finance reform, securing elections from foreign influence, net neutrality guaranteeing people’s right to internet access. It appears that McConnell has little interest in what the public supports. He is an obstructionist par excellence.

The Constitution calls for a government of separation of powers and checks and balances. We are a democratic republic with elected representatives. Congress, in addition to its policy role, must also be a check on the Executive. Here McConnell has capitulated to the WhiteHouse in advancing appointments of questionable candidates for judges with low marks from the ABA, and Trump crony candidates for cabinet and other federal agencies with poor credentials; he seldom questions or even comments on executive orders weakening clean air/water rules, opening public lands to mining, or canceling international agreements. Most recently, he refuses to appoint members to the Federal Election Commission which regulates campaign finance laws, so this agency no longer has a quorum to do business.

The two-party system is a viable part of our democratic experiment, but McConnell has enabled the Republican Party at present to be Trump’s Party. Trump is no democrat with a small “d,” and neither is the current Senate Majority Leader.

Until McConnell changes his ways, he has no business lecturing others on how and why they should behave democratically.

Ruth Bamberger

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  1. Kimberly Luber says:

    Great points Ruth.

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