Pity Tom Cotton, a former Army officer and combat veteran. He’s used to men keeping their word and behaving with honor. And now he’s a U. S. Senator, surrounded by people, particularly Democrats, who couldn’t find integrity and honor in an Internet dictionary. Stephen F. Hayes at the Weekly Standard reports:
When President Donald Trump visited the CIA Saturday, he had hoped that CIA Director Mike Pompeo would accompany him. But when Trump arrived at the Langley, Virginia, headquarters of the Agency, he was instead accompanied by Congressman Mike Pompeo.
Representative Pompeo will almost certainly be confirmed as CIA Director on Monday. And the CIA will no doubt survive two days without its new leader. But the nastiness of the partisan sniping between top Republicans and Democrats that led to the delay may well have a lasting impact on the Senate – in this Congress and beyond.
According to six sources familiar with the negotiations over Pompeo’s confirmation, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer told Republican leaders that he would allow Pompeo to be confirmed by voice vote on Inauguration Day, along with two other Trump nominees who have national security responsibilities. But Schumer broke his promise, these sources say, and offered an insulting excuse for having done so.
Senator Cotton is relatively new to the Senate, but many of his Republican colleagues have no excuse in believing for a moment, that Chuck Schumer, or many Democrats, will keep their word about anything. The abominable and juvenile behavior of many Democrats in refusing to attend the inauguration, and making sure the media was informed of their temper tantrums, also speaks volumes about their future intentions.
Trust is important, even between adversaries,’ says Senator John Cornyn, one of the Republicans involved in the discussions. ‘And that trust has been damaged.
The only surprising thing about this particular situation is that someone with Senator Cornyn’s experience dealing with Chuck Schumer and the Democrats would think them, for any reason and in any way, trustworthy. After all, Cornyn has been around for the Harry Reid years, where Democrat abuse and lies were a given, and has also known Schumer for a very long time.
Hayes notes the Senate Majority worked a deal with Schumer—the Senate Minority Leader—to confirm CIA nominee Congressman Mike Pompeo on January 20, Inauguration day, by voice vote. In so doing, they graciously gave in to Democrat’s objections, even though there was no rational, legislative reason to do so.
But on January 19, one day before Trump’s inauguration, Ron Wyden said he’d seek to delay Pompeo’s confirmation when the Senate convened late Friday afternoon.
The problem, for those not intimately familiar with the Senate, is the Minority and Majority leaders speak for their colleagues. Any deals they make are binding on the Senators they were elected—by those Senators—to represent. This is not a matter of law, but a matter of personal integrity and honor. If their word is no good, business in the Senate can—and will—grind to a halt. Why, entire bills—like Obamacare–could be passed without a single Republican Senator’s approval!
The Senate reconvened after the inaugural ceremonies on Friday, with Pompeo’s nomination set to come up at 4:50pm. Cotton angrily confronted Schumer about his broken promise. According to witnesses, Schumer told Cotton to lower his voice and asked him move off of the Senate floor to an adjacent hallway for a private discussion. ‘We need to take this out into the hallway,’ Schumer said. Cotton walked with Schumer but loudly rejected his first request. ‘Don’t tell me to lower my voice!’ he shouted, with an additional salty admonition tacked on for emphasis. [Richard] Burr and [John] Cornyn were present, as was Senator Mark Warner, ranking member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and several aides.
Schumer told Cotton that the Senate had never previously confirmed a CIA director on Inauguration Day and if Cotton had been around eight years earlier, he’d know that Republicans didn’t extend that courtesy for incoming president Barack Obama. ‘Eight years ago, I was getting my ass shot at in Afghanistan,’ Cotton snapped. ‘So don’t talk to me about where I was 8 years ago.
The greatest personal risk Schumer has ever run is the risk of a bad haircut from a Senate barber or an overdone steak in the Senate dining room.
Cotton asked Schumer why he’d gone back on his word. Schumer claimed that he’d only been speaking for himself when he promised to let Pompeo through. ‘I said that I would not block him,’ Schumer said, emphasizing the personal pronoun, according to sources who witnessed the exchange. ‘I never said that I could speak for 47 other Democrats.’
The Republicans were stunned.
Why were they stunned? Because Schumer lied. He welched on the deal. He made plain, at the very beginning of the Trump presidency, he does not speak for Senate Democrats and cannot be trusted. Can even the Republicans, the stupid party, fail to learn that lesson?
I know what you promised me,’ said Burr. ‘You made the deal!’
Cornyn recalls: ‘That’s when [Schumer] started dissembling and said: ‘I don’t control my whole caucus.’ Either he’d lost control or he was trying to make excuses for an outcome he wanted.’
Burr, not known for his aggressiveness, pointedly told Schumer that Republicans had learned something important about taking Schumer at his word. ‘I won’t make that mistake again,’ he said.
This is encouraging, but there is, of course, no promise that Burr, or the rest of the Senate Republicans will learn the lesson they should have learned decades ago: Democrats will tell any lie, back stab, use dirty trick, use any slimy tactic to get what they want. We’ll see how much time passes before Burr and other Republicans make that mistake again.
I wish Senator Wyden had accepted our offer to conduct the debate he sought on Friday afternoon and I wish Senator Schumer had delivered on his agreement for a Friday vote,” said Cotton. “But I look forward to a large bipartisan vote to confirm Mike on Monday.
Trump appeared at the CIA Saturday afternoon and gave a long, extemporaneous statement on threats to the US…
Trump did also mention Mike Pompeo and his nomination to run the CIA. ‘He was approved basically but they’re doing little political games with me,’ Trump said.
And on that, at least, he was right.
By all means, take the link and read the entire article for the details I’ve omitted here. In Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Republicans are dealing with a fundamentally dishonorable, dishonest man, a man who understands only corruption and political advantage, a man whose political career should tell even the casual observer he absolutely is not to be trusted. That Democrats chose him as their leader speaks eloquently to their intentions for the Trump presidency.
What’s that you say? Not every Democrat is a liar and a weasel? This may be true, but it is a matter of degree. If the lie or dishonor will secure a big enough progressive goal, such as Obamacare, there is no low to which they will not stoop.
During the Obama years, Republicans accepted the reality they lost the presidency and behaved generally honorably, at least as far as honoring the traditions and regular order of the Senate were concerned. Democrats did not. One example: they abolished the supermajority requirement for judicial nominees so they could pack the Federal courts with radical leftists. Sen. Schumer has declared that no Supreme Court nominee he does not approve will be confirmed, and he may be able to deliver on this threat, as current Senate rules require a 60-vote supermajority to confirm justices. One may be reasonably sure Schumer’s Democrat colleagues will honor that promise.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has the stiff backbone of the average jellyfish, should waste no time in abolishing the supermajority requirement for Supreme Court justices. With this as precedent, what reason would anyone have to believe the Democrats will abide by Senate rules and traditions and behave honorably? Invoke the nuclear option; Nuc ‘em from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.
Perhaps Republicans should demand every agreement in writing? One doesn’t secure gentlemen’s agreements with people that have demonstrated, for decades, they are not gentlemen—and ladies. Democrats would still lie, but at least there would documentary evidence of the truth when they lie about lying thereafter.
With this, Senate Democrats have demonstrated their intentions for the future with crystal clarity. All that remains to be seen is how quickly, like Charlie Brown trusting Lucy, time after time, to hold the football for him, it takes Republicans to delude themselves into believing Democrats can be trusted.
I give it less than 24 hours.