On Monday morning I predicted that Chuck Schumer's proposal to rename the Russell Senate Office Building in honor of John McCain might be blocked by Republicans -- and I hedged because I thought perhaps I was being too cynical about Republicans. This would just be a symbolic act, right? Wasn't it possible that Senate Republicans ignore their voter base's negative opinion of McCain and do him a solid, given the fact that he was a member of their own party? Sure, the GOP is a party of white racism, but the guy whose name would be removed was a (segregationist) Democrat, so why not make the switch?
I should have been more cynical. We don't know this officially, but it's clear that the renaming isn't going to happen:
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky, on Tuesday delayed efforts to rename the Russell Senate Office in honor of Sen. John McCain by creating an official group to vet a variety of memorial options.
That's the time-honored way of burying any proposal in Washington: You create a commission and wait until the momentum for change goes away.
"I'd like to put together an official group that can collaborate and bring together ideas from current members, former colleagues, and friends," McConnell said on the Senate floor. "It will be bipartisan — as only befits John's legacy. And come to think of it, we should probably call it not a committee, but a 'gang.' So I'm glad we'll be able to form this gang to ensure that a suitable, lasting tribute becomes a reality."
McConnell's use of the word "gang" is a tell. He's dog-whistling to conservative xenophobes, who hear "gang" in connection with McCain and think "of eight" -- a phrase that makes their blood boil. They hated the Gang of Eight, whose immigration reform bill they believe would have turned this country into a brown-skinned Third World hellhole.
Georgia Republican Sen. David Perdue told reporters that Schumer jumping forward to offer one suggestion could be viewed as a political play.
"I think we need to take a deep breath and do these ceremonies this week in a manner that will respect his legacy and his life," Perdue said. "Then I think we need to take a deep breath and find the right way to honor him publicly and permanently. Rushing to judgment and making it political or whatever is not the appropriate thing."
Perdue's Georgia colleague, Sen. Johnny Isakson, refused to discuss the possibility of renaming the building, saying he did not want to inject politics into a week meant to honor McCain.
Dudes, I know you're racists, but these days don't you at least pretend that you think segregation was bad and the civil rights movement was a good thing? Even the Trump White House pays lip service to this viewpoint -- today it issued a proclamation commemorating the 55th anniversary of the March on Washington and Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech. Being in favor of integration and racial equality isn't supposed to be "political" anymore.
So McConnell invokes immigrants, while Perdue and Isakson say we're still having a political debate over whether black people are citizens. Anyone else want to weigh in? Ma'am, I see you're wagging your finger in a scolding manner:
Others, like Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said Schumer didn't discuss the idea with other senators before making the announcement.
"It's my understanding that Sen. Schumer announced it without even talking to a single Republican," Collins said.
How dare Chuck Schumer propose to dishonor a fellow Democrat and honor a Republican without talking to a single Republican!
They're all afraid. They really do believe that they'll be primaried as open-borders n****r-lovers if they sign on to this proposal.
It won't happen.
crossposted from No More Mister Nice Blog