As day 150 of Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch’s wait for a vote to replace current AG Eric Holder began, it looked like political pressure and a procedural threat from Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) might have sufficiently loosened the jar to ensure Lynch a confirmation vote some time next week. That didn’t stop President Obama from getting a few more licks in at Republicans Friday afternoon, as he held a joint news conference with Prime Minister Matteo Renzi of Italy.
The president was asked to weigh in on the delay of Lynch’s nomination as the last of a three-part question, so by the time he got finished talking about the Russians and the Iran nuclear deal, he had almost forgotten that Margaret Talev had asked him about Lynch. Clearly, he was loath to let the opportunity slip by, as he lit into Republicans for their “embarrassing” dysfunction, and fairly commanding them to get the confirmation done. The best part, though, was the little smile and parting “Thank you” at the end:
“I have to say there are times where the dysfunction in the Senate just goes too far. This is an example of it. It has again too far. Enough. Enough! Call Loretta Lynch for a vote, get her confirmed, put her in place, and let her do her job. This is embarrassing, a process like this. [pauses and smiles] Thank you.”
That thank you was for Margaret Talev, who gave him the chance to slap the GOP around a little more even though it looks like they’re ready to give in anyway.
It’s unclear just what political benefit Republicans ever thought they would derive out of this episode, particularly after it was they who insisted that the president and the Democrats wait until the new Congress had been sworn in to push for a vote, and promised to consider her swiftly. You’d think by now that they’d realize they already have the total asshole vote locked down tight.