If lies were taxed, the GOP would eliminate the national debt on their own.
The top Senate Republican is having medical health issues, and troublemakers in his party are angry that the Kentucky Governor refuses to publicly plan for his replacement. Governor Andy Beshear said that he is not making plans to appoint someone because Senator Mitch McConnell has assured him he’ll finish his term — but the GOP is twisting it into a nefarious plot.
If McConnell was to leave office early, for any reason, Beshear would be obligated by law to quickly replace him with a Republican, chosen by Kentucky Republican politicians, until a special election allows the voters to select a longer-term replacement. When Beshear was questioned about the law, he responded that his opinions on it are moot, since McConnell isn’t going anywhere.
Beshear initially vetoed the legislation, and his veto was overturned by the Republican-dominated legislature. In the event of McConnell’s sudden departure from Congress, perhaps he could fight the rule, but he’s given no indication he’d do so unless refusing to ghoulishly speculate on what power grabs might become available counts. The Washington Post reported:
“’There is no Senate vacancy,’ Beshear responded at the news conference. ‘Senator McConnell has said he’s going to serve out his term, and I believe him, so I’m not going to speculate about something that hasn’t happened and isn’t going to happen.’”
Naturally, some of the least trustworthy people in Congress are jumping at the chance to twist these words. Representative Lauren Boebert (R-CO) tweeted:
“A Democrat politician won’t commit to following the law. It’s just another day that ends in “y” in that case.”
Funny, she didn’t have anything similar to say when Donald Trump actually refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power.
Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) is also disgusted that Beshear wouldn’t sensationalize McConnell’s health for a soundbite. He tweeted:
“On what basis does Kentucky’s governor deem himself exempt from that law? Would this be considered an insurrection?”
Of course, the governor never indicated he’d disobey the law, but nobody’s expecting integrity from an elected official who actually has the word “based” in his Twitter handle.
Could Governor Beshear realistically, as these Republicans are pretending, find a way to override the law and appoint someone else — a Democrat, or a more moderate Republican than the three candidates state GOP leadership will put forward in the event it becomes necessary?
It’s certainly possible he could seek to challenge the provisions of the law, but it would be to little avail. Whoever he appointed — and he’d have only 21 days to make a pick, which really puts a damper on the imaginary plotting is only a temporary placeholder, and a special election would quickly follow, in which the same voters who chose McConnell again in 2020 would decide the winner.