The Washington Post’s latest article on the ongoing Democratic responses to Republican obstruction in the Senate included quotes from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on potential changes to the filibuster — but it didn’t include anything about McConnell’s own role in both holding up Senate procedures and changing the filibuster once the Republicans had full control.
The article ignored two important points: McConnell’s history of deliberate political obstruction for its own sake — as well as the fact that he had also changed Senate rules on the filibuster, when Republicans were in control of the government, to confirm President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court appointments. (Which had followed McConnell’s unprecedented blocking of President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee from getting even a Senate hearing.)
On Friday, however, the Post quoted from McConnell’s attacks on Democrats without noting any of his own track record:
But Republicans say such changes would create a free-for-all in the Senate and contend Democrats are threatening to toss the rules to gain an unearned political advantage.
“The same party that wants to change Senate rules when they lose a vote, pack the Supreme Court when they lose a case and throw out the electoral college every time they lose the White House now wants to forcibly rewrite 50 states’ election laws from Washington, D.C.,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said recently on the Senate floor, speaking in opposition to a Democratic election bill.
He added, “Millions of American voters elected 50 Republican senators and a whole lot of House Republicans to make sure that Democrats play by the rules — not rewrite the rules.”
The Post’s reporters shouldn’t even need to do a Google search for this basic knowledge: One of the co-bylines on the piece is White House reporter Sean Sullivan — who also wrote up McConnell changing the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees in 2017.
The article also obfuscated over key elements of the past in other ways. For example, it noted that President Joe Biden had previously “supported the Obama administration’s push to end the filibuster on most judicial nominations” — without noting that this occurred because McConnell had led the minority Senate Republicans in a blanket filibuster of all nominees to a set of key judgeships, claiming that the vacancies should not even have been filled at all.
Beyond that, this article is a perfect example of mainstream media outlets’ continued pretense of treating McConnell like a sincere person, when they know full well that the roadmap during any Democratic presidency is to withhold any and all Republican support from bills, and to foster governmental dysfunction that the public would then blame on the White House.
Sullivan wrote in 2017, for example: “Mitch McConnell never particularly took offense when his opponents branded him America’s No. 1 obstructionist, the Darth Vader of Capitol Hill. Call him dark, call him evil, he embraced it all, even posting the most biting cartoons on his office wall.”
But now, McConnell’s protests about a supposed attempt to “rewrite the rules” are just passed off as if they were serious comments.