Becerra’s Confirmation Underscores the Senate GOP’s Uselessness

If you thought America in 2021 couldn’t possibly be a more depressing place—think again.  In a near-party-line vote, the United States Senate on Thursday voted to confirm California Attorney General Xavier Becerra as secretary of Health and Human Services.

Becerra sued the Little Sisters of the Poor, an order of nuns that cares for the indigent poor, because their Catholic faith compelled them not to be complicit in the sale of contraceptives under Obamacare.

Becerra charged David Daleiden, a pro-life activist and journalist whose undercover videos exposed Planned Parenthood’s sale of aborted babies’ body parts, with 15 felonies.

Becerra went all the way to the Supreme Court in 2018, defending a California law that would have forced pro-life crisis-pregnancy centers to advertise abortion—a move so brazen that Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote separately to liken the law to the way “authoritarian regimes” are “relentless” in their “attempts to stifle free speech.”

Understandably, you’re probably scratching your head right about now, wondering how on Earth Becerra could be confirmed when the Senate is split 50-50, only 99 senators voted, and the GOP in the upper chamber is, by all accounts, staunchly committed to life, free speech, and religious liberty.

Surely a Republican didn’t put him over the 50-votes threshold?

To ask such a question, unfortunately, is to answer it.

Senator Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) did not participate in Thursday’s vote, but she didn’t need to. Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) gladly stepped up to cast her “Yea” vote to confirm this radical, not to mention deeply unqualified, nominee.

Now, in an alternate world, had Collins gone the other way (like anyone with a brain would have done), the vote would have been 49-50, and Becerra would not now be celebrating his promotion. And that would have held until whatever was important enough that it kept the race-obsessed Hirono from hopping on a plane to show up and vote for a Hispanic nominee. Which of course means that Kamala Harris would have been called in to break the tie (after walking through the razor-wire fence that keeps the people out of “the people’s house”—even though “walls don’t work!”).

But no! That was too much to ask of the Grand Old Party.

Instead, the Senate GOP let the ghoulish Becerra squeak by without a history-making, tie-breaking vote from Harris, leaving former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos as the only cabinet-level nominee who has ever needed a tie-breaking vote from the vice president to be confirmed.

It’s infuriating, unbelievable, and depressing all at once. 

It’s rare that Democrats hand us things on a silver platter. But this was one of those times. Becerra was going to be confirmed. The party of death, mask fetishization, and social control would make sure of that. But why did a Republican have to be the reason? Whatever happened (to paraphrase the great dissident Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn) to this ethos: “Let the [evil] come into the world, let it even triumph. But not through me”?

Too much work, apparently.

The GOP is not, properly speaking, a political party, since it has no affirmative political goals, and its raison d’être is merely to frustrate progressivisms’ advances. It serves no discernible purpose, except to trip over itself to give Democrats exactly what they want—and make them look better than they otherwise would when they do, inevitably, get it.

Until we wrest the Republican Party from the control of its spineless “leaders,” expect more of this. Much more.

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About Deion A. Kathawa

Deion A. Kathawa is an attorney who hails from America’s heartland. He holds a J.D. from the University of Notre Dame and a B.A. from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. He is a 2021 alumnus of the Claremont Institute’s John Marshall Fellowship. Subscribe to his “Sed Kontra” newsletter.

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