WATCH: Schumer Blocks National Security Briefing, as Revenge for SCOTUS Process, or Something

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Posted: Sep 23, 2020 1:05 PM
WATCH: Schumer Blocks National Security Briefing, as Revenge for SCOTUS Process, or Something

Late yesterday, I saw this tweet from Sen. Marco Rubio, who is now the acting chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee.   Based on his telling, it appeared as though Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer had intervened to block or cancel a scheduled hearing on national security and election integrity as a bizarre means of retaliation for the GOP's constitutionally-appropriate and historically-normal decision to move forward with the task of filling a Supreme Court vacancy.  Was this an accurate representation of what occurred on the Senate floor?


Let's go to the video tape:

Schumer was reading from a script, so this little stunt was planned. I'll remind you that Senate Democrats -- and Schumer specifically -- have been demanding election security briefings and actions for four years. Schumer has publicly insisted upon briefings and focus on this subject at least three times in the last month. But here he is blocking one such briefing because "the Senate Republicans have no respect for the institution" so "we won't have business as usual here in the Senate." Chairman Rubio seemed taken aback, but calmly reacted by expressing the irony of the situation and inquiring if Schumer planned to obstruct other bipartisan briefings on matters of national security.  Democrats have accused Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell off not doing enough to secure the integrity of our elections against hostile powers like Russia (he responded at length here), slapping him with the patriotism-impugning nickname 'Moscow Mitch.'  Even the Speaker of the House has used this insulting moniker.  

Now that Schumer has made this impotent 'retaliatory' move -- which would likely delight the Kremlin, on a number of levels, based on recent Democratic rhetoric and standards -- what should he be called, under his side's demagogic approach to discourse?  Chernobyl Chuck?  As I watched the clip above, I had the same reaction as Noah Rothman:


It's a foolish own-goal that looks even more foolish in light of the cool, 'ok bro' reactions of Rubio and Mitt Romney, who was presiding over the session at the time.  This accomplishes literally nothing, and makes Schumer look petulant and small.  Good work.  Some leftists are applauding Schumer's tantrum-stunt, noting that Rubio himself is guilty of hypocrisy on the Supreme Court vacancy.  And that's true of Rubio, setting aside the important differences between the current situation and the 2016 episode.  But it's also very true of Chuck Schumer, who has no principles whatsoever on this issue, beyond what is beneficial to his side's power.  It really is that simple.  I'll leave you with Schumer making more threats, pretending as if the GOP is forcing him to destroy the Senate if he becomes majority leader.  He loves his hostage -- er, I mean legislative body, so much, you see, he might have no choice but to kill it.  Because Republicans are doing a normal thing, or whatever:


But this is a strong and pretty persuasive counterpoint from Phil Klein to the notion that Senate Democrats would undoubtedly charge forward with filibuster-ending, court-packing schemes if they win in November.  I'd say it depends on their margin of hypothetical victory.  But the desire is there.  These threats should be taken seriously.  Oh, and this will leave a mark. McConnell brought receipts:

When McConnell says, "the American people do not need any more revisionist history lectures, any more threats, or any more performative outrage from the side that launched this unfortunate fight, and escalated it time, after time, after time," he's correct.  This is only a sliver of the history: