A Republican senator who blocked President Obama's Supreme Court nomination now says Congress should do whatever Trump wants.
Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) is insisting that Democrats "bend over backwards" to fund Trump's racist border wall to end the government shutdown he engineered.
Alexander made the comments Thursday, from the Senate floor, disingenuously suggesting that giving in to Trump's extreme and unpopular demands somehow honors the tradition of bipartisan compromise — a tradition Alexander's party pointedly did away with under President Obama.
"Democrats should recognize now as I did that when an elected president, one elected by the people of the United States, whatever you may think of him, has a legitimate objective, you should bend over backwards to try to meet that objective if you want a result," the Republican senator said.
Alexander's characterization of Trump's election as some sort of mandate for his agenda doesn't align with the facts. For one, Trump lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton, with nearly 3 million more Americans supporting her and her agenda.
Since Trump has occupied the presidency, his wall agenda has continued to lose out. Millions of voters backed Democratic candidates in 2018, supporting a House majority that flatly opposes spending billions of dollars on Trump's vanity wall project.
The shutdown Trump engineered to extort money for his wall — money he repeatedly insisted during his campaign would come from Mexico — certainly does not have the support of the American people.
Alexander stands on even weaker ground when his own record is compared to his rhetoric. While he's now saying, under a Republican president, that Congress should "bend over backwards" to accommodate the president's agenda, he sang a different tune when President Obama was in office.
When President Obama nominated Merrick Garland to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court, Alexander was part of the block of Republicans who refused to do their constitutional duty and even hold hearings, much less a vote, on Garland's nomination.
Alexander argued in March of 2016 — eight months before the election — that the president's nomination should be ignored, and the seat kept empty, until the next president was in office.
"It's about whether to give the American people a voice in the selection of the next Supreme Court justice," Alexander said at the time.
Now Alexander claims winning an election, while losing the popular vote, means Congress should do the unpopular thing that Trump demands.
Alexander is in the final phase of his time in the Senate and will not run for re-election. His statement, jam-packed with hypocrisy, marks his legacy in the legislative body, showing ultimate subservience to Trump.
He has worked as one of Trump's key henchmen in the Senate, trying to dismantle Obamacare and voting for the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, despite credible allegations of attempted rape and other sexual assaults.
Now he is trying to argue that Trump should get his way, even if it's not what the voters want, in the name of deference to the office of the presidency that Alexander himself doesn't believe in and helped destroy.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.