Loretta Lynch, who conceivably could have been confirmed as the new attorney general months ago, likely will have to wait at least another week for the Senate confirmation hearings, as Republicans drag out the inevitable for no reason other than that they have the power to do so.
This does not sit well with many, including New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who told the New York Daily News: “It is one of those moments that clearly shows how (Republicans) allow politics to dominate substance and the right policy for the country. No one debates her credentials as anything less than stellar. She was one of the nation’s best prosecutors and did not try cases in the headlines and she is not a political creature.
“The great irony is that they even play politics at the nation’s Department of Justice, which is in so many ways the greatest injustice. But they just don’t care.”
Mitch McConnell, head of the Republican Senate, had said Lynch would go before the confirmation committee this week. On CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday, McConnell all but put off Lynch’s hearing another week, claiming a human trafficking bill had to be debated before Lynch.
“This will have an impact on the timing of considering a new attorney general,” McConnell said. “I had hoped to turn to her next week, but if we can’t finish the trafficking bill, she will be put off again.”
Then he added: “It’s not a threat.”
No, it’s a fact that the Lynch confirmation hearings have been repeatedly pushed back as a way of the Republicans displaying their angst with President Obama.
Lynch’s record as an attorney is impeccable, beyond reproach. But because she is Obama’s choice to replace outgoing Eric Holder, a selection that will make her the first Black U.S. Attorney General, the Senate continues to stall.
Obama, in nominating her for the job in November, said: “Loretta might be the only lawyer in America who battles mobsters and drug lords and terrorists—and still has the reputation for being a people person.”
N.Y. Daily News columnist Mike Lupica wrote of the Senate’s obvious stall tactics: “This time they use a human trafficking bill as cover, as they delay Lynch’s confirmation longer than any nominee in three decades. If you wonder why the American people regard this Congress with such contempt these days even as Republicans continue to blame Barack Obama for everything wrong in Washington except the hometown’s NFL team — all you have to do is look at the way they keep shoving Lynch to the back of the line.”
Lupica added: “McConnell does this out of spite and pettiness, does it because Loretta Lynch, whose life as a U.S. attorney from the Eastern District has been a hymn to our city, is President Obama’s nominee. Mostly McConnell does this because he can, even though when you put him up against Lynch’s character and intellect, he really does look small enough to be riding in the fifth race on Monday at Aqueduct.”