October 8, 2018

"Amid celebrating the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell defended his previous decision to block President Obama's Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland, saying the move was entirely consistent with the history of the senate," Scarborough said.

They showed this clip from Face The Nation with John Dickerson and McConnell.

DICKERSON: Senator, how broken is the senate?

MCCONNELL: The Senate is not broken. We didn't attack Merrick Garland's background and try to destroy him. We didn't go on a search and destroy message, we simply followed the tradition in America which is if you have a party of a different -- a different -- Senate of a different party than the president, you don't fill a vacancy created in a presidential year. That went all the way back to 1888. You would have to go back to 1880 to find the last time a senate controlled by a different party from the president confirmed a Supreme Court justice to a vacancy created in the middle of a presidential election. They also conveniently forgot that Joe Biden said in 1992 when he was chairman of the Judiciary committee if a vacancy occurred they wouldn't fill it. They also conveniently forgot that Chuck Schumer and Harry Reid 18 months before the end of Bush 43 said if a supreme court vacancy occurred they wouldn't fill it. Talk about hypocrisy.

DICKERSON: But Mr. Leader, I don't think that's right. In 1956 Eisenhower nominated Brennan, the 84th Congress was Democrat controlled. And also on the Biden rule, Joe Biden was talking in the abstract. There was no nominee, no nominee was blocked and he said to not have the nomination come up before the election, but that it could come up after the election. So Democrats say when they hear you doing this, they say he's creating new rules to essentially do what he wants to do and as you've written in your book "The Long Game" when you do that it actually hurts democracy.

MCCONNELL: That's not exact -- that's not at all what happened, John. You are completely misconstruing what happened. What I gave you is the history of this. I know the history of this. I've spent a lot of time on this throughout my career. What I did was entirely consistent with what the history of the Senate has been in that situation going back to 1880.

DICKERSON: Well, I think the 1956 example and also in 1968 later in the election cycle when a Democratic president put somebody forward, the Republican leader worked with him to get that person a hearing and get him towards the Supreme Court, which is not something that you did. a vote --

MCCONNELL: Then there was a Democrat in the White House and a Democratic Senate.

DICKERSON: But the Republican leader at the time tried to help the Democratic president.

MCCONNELL: John, you are not listening to me. The history is exactly as I told you.

"It's like a used car salesman," Mika said.

"The history is what I told you."

"This car only has three tires on it."

"No, no, it's got four tires on it. You are not listening to me. It's got four tires. That was, first of all, good job by John Dickerson.

"Now they're moving the goal post to different parties pretty soon, Yamiche, I suppose if it serves him there will be a leprechaun rule, no, we can do it if there is not a leprechaun who is a vice president -- he's changing history, adjusting facts to suit his purposes today, but, of course, the great concern is the long-term ramifications even when Democrats get back in power, Harry Reid moved the goalposts, now you have Mitch McConnell moving the goalposts and the question is, what comes next? How undignified can this process become?" Scarborough said.

"Well, I've talked to Democratic sources who say if only we had a Mitch McConnell. There are a lot of Democrats who are looking at Mitch McConnell and say, yeah, what he did was changing the rules, what he did was in despicable in many people's minds but he bet the long game and bet his party's future on the idea that he could control the Supreme Court if he just had enough time and he did that. He was able to say I'm not going to even look at Merrick Garland even if it hurt the Republicans in the 2016 election for whatever reason it didn't hurt them enough to not get Donald Trump elected. Then you have Donald Trump elected and he was able to fill that seat," Alcindor said.

"So you have a lot of Democrats who are saying we need to make sure that when we talk about changing our Democratic leadership, I'm thinking of Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, but we still have to remember that these are people who understand how the Senate works and can deal with the same rules in the same way that Mitch McConnell does. There is a win there for Republicans that's undeniable. What it does of course for the Republican party when you look at millennials, when you look at women, it's not so clear."

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