President Donald Trump got something of a gift from the Supreme Court Tuesday when it upheld his so-called travel ban on several majority-Muslim countries, Venezuela and North Korea.
And with a photo posted on the @TeamMitch Twitter account, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s campaign arm would like you to know exactly who is behind every 5-4 decision that goes Trump’s way.
That would be Mitch McConnell, who delivered a Supreme Court nomination to Trump on a silver platter – and then crafted a second platter upon which to deliver Neil Gorsuch to the bench without 60 votes.
That’s why his campaign’s account posted a photo of a smiling McConnell and Gorsuch shaking hands in McConnell’s Senate office. No caption necessary.
The travel ban, which sprang from Trump’s campaign promise for a larger ban on all Muslims coming into the country, had been mired in the courts and revised repeatedly since Trump’s chaotic surprise rollout shortly after taking office. It benefited from a 5-4 court and the support of Gorsuch, the justice who sits on the bench because McConnell sat on former President Barack Obama’s very different nominee (Merrick Garland in case you’ve forgotten) for more than a year and then changed Senate rules that required 60 votes to break a filibuster on Supreme Court nominations.
In other words, McConnell did all the heavy lifting to make the Gorsuch appointment happen.
(And by the way, that @TeamMitch Twitter handle is turning into one of the more interesting political accounts this year. It similarly gloated when ex-con Don Blankenship lost the Republican primary in West Virginia).
It’s got to be a smidge satisfying for McConnell to note that of the big political wins of the Trump administration, he’s had his hands in all three.
First, there’s the Gorsuch nomination itself. McConnell iced Obama’s Garland nomination. He changed Senate rules. Trump’s nomination of Gorsuch was the most flawlessly executed moment of his presidency so far.
Second, McConnell got a tax reform bill through the Senate, massaging budget rules to make it happen without any Democratic votes. The once-in-a-lifetime overhaul is Trump’s signature legislative achievement (and McConnell’s).
Third, McConnell can now gloat about any 5-4 decision in which Gorsuch casts a vote with the majority. That Tuesday’s ruling happens to cement executive power and let Trump pay lip service to a campaign promise is all the better for them.
If getting the Supreme Court to ratify his travel ban on people from certain countries is a win for Trump, he owes some gratitude to the man who made that nomination happen.
That man is McConnell. His campaign Twitter account wouldn’t mind reminding you of that.