On Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell killed a bill that sought to protect Special Counsel Robert Mueller from being fired by President Donald Trump. Calling the bill unnecessary, McConnell said he would not bring any such bill to a vote.
“That’s not necessary,” McConnell previously argued. “There’s no indication that Mueller is going to be fired. I don’t think the president’s going to do that. Just as a practical matter, even if we passed it, why would he sign it?”
As we all know, a bill that passes both the House and the Senate ends up on the president’s desk for either signing or veto. If Trump wants to fire Mueller, why in the world would he sign a bill that prevents him from doing that? Especially since his party currently holds both chambers of Congress.
Instead, the bill was nothing more than political virtue signaling. A message to the Democratic base that yes, congressional Democrats don’t like Trump and want to capitalize on either Congress or Trump stopping a bill protecting his investigator.
While addressing the possibility of Trump firing Mueller, McConnell commented, “I don’t think he should, and I don’t think he will.”
Maybe he will, maybe he won’t. Trump has shown us that he can be pretty unpredictable as a president. However, none of that changes the reality that, if he’s nearly as much of a megalomaniac as his opponents seem to think, the odds of him willingly signing away power is something that just isn’t going to happen.
Meanwhile, refusing to pass or sign such a bill isn’t a sign of anything other than understanding the structure of our government. Anyone in the Department of Justice serves at the whim of the chief executive, since he’s the person elected by the people. Protecting Mueller means the creation of an unelected fourth branch.
Which is why such a proposal should never have been brought up in the first place. Unless, of course, virtue signaling is really that important for congressional Democrats.