America’s five worst Senators
This November, we face a momentous election. Obviously, replacing Donald Trump has to be priority number 1. But without the Senate, such a move will be pointless.
Consider poor Merrick Garland. Universally agreed to be an exceptionally qualified jurist, he was not even granted a hearing by the Republican-controlled Senate when he was nominated to the Supreme Court. President Obama had apparently hoped that nominating a well qualified, moderate judge to the Court would mute Republican objections. In response, Republican leader Mitch McConnell blocked the nomination, bragging later that this action was his “proudest moment.”
Lest you think McConnell’s position was some kind of principled stand, he repeatedly stated publicly that the Senate would confirm a Trump nominee to the Court this year despite his claim that such action was inappropriate when the nomination was Obama’s. In other words, McConnell’s action was an exercise of pure political power, nothing more. He was able to take this action because Republicans had the majority in the Senate.
Thus, even if we win the White House and retain the House of Representatives, little will change unless we win a majority in the Senate as well.
That’s good news. Based upon their behavior over the past few years, Republicans have shown themselves to be particularly unsuited to controlling the Senate. Their undeservingness of such leadership has been amply illustrated by Republican unwillingness to provide any check upon Trump’s bad behavior. Notwithstanding their overall poor performance, however, there are a few outstanding examples of Senatorial defalcation that deserve special recognition.
As a result, I present for your consideration, the list of America’s five worst Senators.
5. Tom Cotton (R-AR): Today’s fifth choice won his position with a column in the New York Times that called for the military to occupy America’s cities. This editorial, which was deemed “short of our standards and should not have been published” by the Times, resulted in the resignation of the paper’s editorial page editor. These fascistic views have resulted in his loyal support of Trump’s agenda, and indeed, he holds an 87.7 percent record of voting Trump’s way.
4. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA): It’s amazing how much Senator Loeffler has accomplished in her short time in Congress. A political neophyte, since her appointment to the Senate on December 4, 2019, she has accumulated a 100% pro-Trump voting record. And don’t be fooled that she is a true believer. After receiving a secret White House briefing on coronavirus, and declaring support for the President’s actions in response, she sold $3 million worth of stock. In other words, she may publicly state support for Trump, but she takes care of her own interests in secret. The good news is that she is up for re-election this November, one of two races in Georgia, so her time in Congress might be short.
3. Mitch McConnell (R-KY): How could we forget the Senate Majority leader? He is a cynical practitioner of politics who fights against campaign finance reform, and for tax cuts for the rich. But if there is anything we can thank Mitch McConnell for, it is the rightward tilt of our judiciary. Indeed, if you like the polarization of today’s politics, you will love Mitch McConnell. The good news is he is facing a tough re-election campaign this fall against Democrat Amy McGrath. And as the senator with the lowest approval rating of any, he might finally be replaced.
2. Lindsey Graham (R-SC): He was John McCain’s best friend. But after McCain’s death, Graham went looking for a new friend, and he found him in Trump. Some might consider this an unlikely pairing in that Graham was a passionate critic of Trump’s before the election, calling him in 2016 a “kook,” “crazy” and “unfit for office,” among other things. But since his vitriolic attack upon Christine Blasey Ford during the Kavanaugh Supreme Court nomination hearings, Graham has positioned himself as Trump’s number one supporter, even joining him in his frequent forays to the golf course.
- Ted Cruz (R-TX): Described as the “most hated man in America,” Cruz has built himself a unique brand on Capitol Hill. Despite his self-styled independence (he once called Mitch McConnell a “liar” on the floor of the Senate, a rare moment in which I agreed with him), he has debased himself to Donald Trump. Trump, you may recall, once accused Cruz’s father of assisting JFK’s assassin, and personally attacked Cruz’s wife on Twitter. In response, the strong, independent Ted Cruz has become perhaps Trump’s biggest defender. Oh well. So much for conviction.
I have to admit that it was tough putting together this list. There are so many great choices of Republican senators, including some honorable mentions:
Susan Collins (R-ME): She did vote to save Obamacare, something that kept her out of the top five, but her consistent pro-Trump voting record, including her pathetic vote in favor of Supreme Court Justice Kavanaugh’s nomination, put her far out of the mainstream for her generally center-left Maine constituency.
Marsha Blackburn (R-TN): Here, I will rely on the words of that all-American girl Taylor Swift: “She voted against equal pay for women. She voted against the Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, which attempts to protect women from domestic violence, stalking, and date rape,” Swift continued. “She believes businesses have a right to refuse service to gay couples. She also believes they should not have the right to marry. These are not MY Tennessee values.” One additional note: she has the honor of having the worst score of any Senator on civil rights issues according to the NAACP.
Martha McSally (R-AZ): After being defeated in her U.S. Senate bid by Kirsten Sinema (D-AZ), McSally was appointed to replace John McCain. What a step down. McCain was famous for talking to anyone, especially veterans, even when they disagreed with him. But McSally won fame for refusing to speak to a group of veterans who sought to discuss the issues with her on Capitol Hill. Instead of talking with her constituents, she ran off, pretending to take a phone call.
Rand Paul (R-KY): He blocked passage of an anti-lynching bill. I think that about says it all.
Even with these additions, this is still just a partial list. Consider the many Republicans who scored 7 percent on civil rights issues according to the NAACP. Or all the hypocrisy of so many Republicans on the national debt. If you disagree with my list, I look forward to hearing your comments.