Monday, March 6, 2017

Dick And The Moscow Special

As I said earlier today, Republicans will continue to do nothing about Trump and Russia until the cost of doing nothing exceeds the cost of pissing off Trump's base.  Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut is trying to raise that cost of doing nothing.

U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal says he will use “every possible tool” to block the nomination of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein until he commits to appointing a special prosecutor to investigate ties between the Trump administration and Russia. 
Following Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ recusal from involvement in the Russian investigation, it is now the responsibility of the Deputy Attorney General to appoint a special prosecutor.

On Monday morning, Blumenthal’s will detail how he would block Rosenstein’s nomination until he commits to appointing a special prosecutor to investigate ties between the Trump administration and Russia. 
The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing Tuesday on Rosenstein’s nomination to serve as Deputy Attorney General. 
“Unless Rosenstein commits to appointing a special prosecutor, Blumenthal will use every tool available to block his nomination, including denying unanimous consent and obstructing action on the Senate floor,” the Democratic senator’s office announced in a release.

I have no idea how effective this will be, and I appreciate Sen. Blumenthal's efforts, the reality is that this will delay Rosenstein's confirmation by at most a week, and most likely not at all.  Again, it's important to note that the Deupty AG would be the person making the decision on a special prosecutor for Russia since AG Jeff Sessions's recusal last week, but again, that's simply not going to happen.

Blumenthal is doing the right thing here, applying pressure where it needs to be applied, but again there's simply not much Dems can do right now except annoy Republicans.  The real decision to take this investigation seriously has to come from Republicans determined to actually stop Trump and again that will never happen as long as Republicans fear Trump's base more than they fear the wrath of the general public.

There are some small signs that this may be starting to happen.

So far in 2017, special elections have largely gone Democrats’ way, but in each instance, these were state legislative races. The real test will come next month in a congressional special election in a Republican district in Georgia. 
In theory, keeping the seat, which was held by Tom Price before he became HHS secretary, should be easy for Republicans, but as the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported yesterday, GOP officials appear to be quite concerned.

If a blood-red House district in Georgia is competitive enough for Republicans to spend serious ad money on it, maybe there's still some slender reed of hope left.

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