Published in The Daily Beast
What Mitch McConnell lacks in charisma, he more than makes up for with steely discipline. With little fanfare, he pushed through a change in Senate rules last week to reduce the time for debate on certain judicial nominees and executive branch appointees from 30 hours to just 2 hours.
The poster child for why McConnell orchestrated the rules change is Patrick Wyrick, 38, a District Court nominee from Oklahoma who was on one of the lists President Trump circulated to conservatives of potential Supreme Court nominees, and who is Scott Pruitt’s protégé. Wyrick was confirmed under the new rules Tuesday on a party-line vote, 53 to 47.
Remember Scott Pruitt? He was Trump’s EPA administrator, one of the swampiest denizens. He was forced to resign amidst allegations of conflicts of interest with the oil and gas industry in his home state of Oklahoma, where he was attorney general before Trump tapped him for the EPA.
Wyrick was Pruitt’s number two, serving as solicitor general and doing most of the heavy lifting in oral arguments in court as the attorney general worked to undermine environmental protections in the state and challenge the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act.