According to Republican leaders in Washington, D.C., a president’s second term in the White House is now limited to three years.
Nothing of consequence should happen over the final 25 percent of the term, lest an executive’s legacy be expanded beyond the GOP-induced seven-year cap.
The reckless obstructionism many feel has been the cornerstone of the Republican agenda since President Barack Obama was sworn in more than seven years ago reared its ugly head quickly following the passing of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia on Saturday afternoon.
Within moments — literally minutes — of the breaking news, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) sent out a heart-felt message, offering condolences by noting the nation “lost an unwavering champion of a timeless document that unites each of us as Americans.”
Except the same release also included the following warning, in bold type no less: “The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new President.”
And there you have it, the reason why Americans outside of the beltway despise the way business is conducted, or not, in Washington.
President Obama is constitutionally obligated to, and should, nominate a replacement. “I plan to fulfill my constitutional responsibilities to nominate a successor in due time,” the president said. “There will be plenty of time for me to do so and for the Senate to fulfill its responsibility to give that person a fair hearing and a timely vote.”
According to Amy Howe at scotusblog.com, “The historical record does not reveal any instances since at least 1900 of the president failing to nominate and/or the Senate failing to confirm a nominee in a presidential election year because of the impending election.”
There is more than enough time for fair, meaningful and appropriate dialogue to take place between now and Jan. 20, 2017. The history of blocking federal appointments, particularly over the past two administrations, for partisan reasons is one Americans have grown tired of. Be sure to tell your Congressmen this obstructionist agenda has gone on for too long.