The Senate’s unseemly rush to steamroll approval of Donald Trump appointees is redolent of other putsches in history (“Republicans push ahead on hearings of nominees,” Page A1, Jan. 9). The way it is being done is anathema to our democracy, and it violates every tradition, precedent, and practice of the Senate.
The committees are asked to proceed without information that nominees are required to provide before hearings commence, so senators cannot be adequately prepared to do their jobs. The hearings have been scheduled at the same time so that senators have trouble meeting the committee-hearing schedules, let alone preparing for them.
The bunching of hearings in this way seems to be an obvious ploy to undermine the process. The nominees will take office without adequate vetting and without public awareness of who they are and what their records are. History will eventually provide these disclosures, but then it will be too late.
There is no justifiable support for such radical behavior. History will not, and ought not, be kind to Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell for working with the Trump team to engage in this shameful behavior. A terrible blow has been dealt to American politics, one that is likely to have lasting adverse effects on our system of checks and balances. McConnell and his collaborators in this abuse of power may not be around when the historical record becomes clear, but we can be sure it will not be flattering.