GOP senators are concocting ridiculous excuses to oppose Biden's nominees


They're preparing to obstruct Biden all the way.

President-elect Joe Biden is slowly rolling out his nominees for key Cabinet positions — a slate of professionals who are unquestionably qualified for the jobs they've been tapped for.

But Senate Republicans are already finding reasons to oppose his picks, using hypocritical and illogical excuses for why they can't support Biden's nominees.

For example, Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) said Biden should not have nominated Neera Tanden, president of a liberal think tank, to direct the Office of Management and Budget, because Tanden has tweeted criticism of Republicans.

"I think in light of her combative and insulting comments about many members of the Senate, mainly on our side of the aisle, that it creates certainly a problematic path," Cornyn said Monday, according to Bloomberg News.

But Cornyn has ignored Trump's tweets for the last four years, claiming not to have seen some of Trump's worst comments on the social media site.

What's more, he voted to confirm Richard Grenell to be Trump's ambassador to Germany, even though Grenell is known for being a "Twitter troll" who tweets insults at Democrats.

In fact, almost as soon as Grenell was confirmed, he sent a tweet that insulted the Germans. (Trump later installed Grenell as acting director of national intelligence, even though Grenell had no national security experience.)

Cornyn said Biden should have consulted Republicans about the Tanden nomination to save them "embarrassment" for Tanden being rejected. Yet Cornyn still has not said Biden is president-elect.

Aside from panning Tanden, Cornyn also demanded "complete transparency" from Biden's secretary of state pick, Tony Blinken, regarding Blinken's clients in foreign countries.

"I will not support any nominee who doesn't provide full transparency into their work on behalf of a foreign government," Cornyn said Monday in a speech on the Senate floor. "I will not do it. The American people deserve to know if these or any future nominees are beholden to anything other than our national interest."

However, Cornyn did not put up any fight about Trump's foreign business entanglements, nor demand to see Trump's tax returns — showing he has a different standard for Trump than he does for Biden.

Meanwhile, Sen. John Thune (R-SD) also criticized some of Tanden's past comments.

"She's been pretty partisan in some of her previous positions. And in many cases, with respect to Republican senators who would have to vote on her potential nomination," Thune said Monday, according to Politico's Burgess Everett.

Of course, being a "partisan" who has made political attacks against the other party wasn't an issue when Thune voted to confirm Trump nominees like Mick Mulvaney — Trump's first OMB director, who describes himself as a "right-wing nutjob."

Then there's Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO), who is already crafting excuses for why he will vote against Biden's nominees, claiming that "Democrats deprived President Trump of a working government for four years" and so he will do the same to Biden.

That is simply not true.

Republicans controlled the Senate for all four of Trump's years in office and got rid of the filibuster on nominees, so Republicans were able to pass all of Trump's nominees without a single Democratic vote.

That makes Trump's decision to fill his administration with acting officials all the more confounding, as the GOP-controlled Senate could have confirmed them with a simple majority vote.

Hawley also complained that Biden was appointing "corporatists" to his administration.

However, during the campaign, Hawley warned that Biden would appoint liberal "Marxists" to the administration — making it seem that no one Biden picks could meet Hawley's standards.

Hawley tried to explain his shift in a tweet that included a lot of buzzwords from the far-right culture war.

"Let me explain this to you," Hawley tweeted in response to a critic who called out his 180 degree shift. "Corporate liberals are woke capitalists. The corporatists love critical race theory and all the other warmed-over Marxist garbage. They sell out working Americans and sneer at them at the same time. That’s the New Left."

Ultimately, if Democrats win both Georgia Senate races in January, then Republicans wouldn't be able to block all of Biden's nominees.

However, if Republicans win one or both of the seats, they could start Biden's tenure off with obstructionism that would rob Biden of even putting together a Cabinet of his choice.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.