As much as I hate to resort to Intertoobz cliché: LOL WHUT?
In merciful brief, Kevin Cramer, a Republican from North Dakota whom most of us wouldn’t recognize if he sat in our laps, signed up to co-sponsor a bill that would whack China for its repressive tactics in Hong Kong. Two weeks later, after complaints from Camp Runamuck, Cramer objected and denied unanimous consent on…his…own…bill. From Politico:
“Even for us, this is dysfunctional,” Cramer acknowledged on Wednesday [Ed. Note: You think?], a week after he objected to the bill’s unanimous passage on the Senate floor, after a last-minute plea from the Trump administration. According to Cramer, the White House and State Department proposed a series of “technical” corrections to the bill only a half-hour before Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) was set to ask for unanimous consent to pass his bill, the Hong Kong Autonomy Act. Cramer defended his decision to block the legislation, saying he hopes the bill eventually passes but that he wanted to try to “accommodate” the Trump administration’s concerns.
Cramer goes on to explain that the White House asked him specifically to be the one who hit the self-destruct mechanism, which perhaps tells us more about the senator than he thinks it does. He could have said no, but he didn’t. The White House could have asked any other one of its 50-odd lickspittles in the upper chamber, but they didn’t. Do I think they picked Cramer specifically to show him that, in LBJ’s immortal phrase, his pecker was in their pocket? Why ever would I think such a thing?
President Donald Trump has come under fire for his posture toward China, including recent scrutiny over allegations made by former national security adviser, John Bolton, who claims in his new book that the president sought political favors from Chinese President Xi Jinping. Bolton writes that Trump even encouraged Xi to continue building detention camps for religious minorities, most notably the Uighur Muslims, in the country’s Xinjiang region.
Imagine if the Senate had a majority leader that cared about more than jamming his former staffers onto the federal bench. The Senate makes up for being a rubber-stamp by being invisible on every other major issue, and it no longer can be viewed as an institution dedicated to public service. Probably would be worse if Mitch McConnell weren’t such a genius.
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