Coons Puts His Big Boy Pants Back On

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At least one anonymous reader was incensed that I harshly criticized the reader’s personal friend Chris Coons yesterday. I stand by what I said, but I will also note approvingly that Coons has walked back his earlier comments, suggesting that he hasn’t ruled out a filibuster of the Gorsuch nomination to the Supreme Court.

A number of other senators have done the same, forcing a previously gleeful John Cronyn to retract his “we’re on the verge of victory” retweet of a later-corrected Politico story.

If some Dems have been encouraged to hold the line on a filibuster, good. Simply by allowing a hearing to proceed is more courtesy than Republicans ever gave Merrick Garland, any further at such an early stage would be, as I wrote yesterday, a cowardly act of preemptive surrender.

And actions like this one by Republicans on two pending nominations should not inspire anyone as to the good faith and rule-abiding nature of GOP senators, who have very quickly turned into wholly owned subsidiaries of Bannon Industries, the world’s leading purveyor of racist, misogynistic and anti-Semitic bile.

Senate Republicans pushed through committee two of President Trump’s Cabinet nominees on Wednesday morning, reacting angrily to Democratic stalling tactics to disrupt a series of confirmation hearings the day before.

In a rare move likely to further stoke partisan tensions, Senate Finance Commitee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) suspended his committee’s rules to advance Steven Mnuchin as Treasury secretary and Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) as secretary of Health and Human Services. Their nominations now head to the Senate floor for an up-or-down vote, though it’s unclear when that will occur.

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