Hey Mitch? Payback’s A Bitch.

Back around the end of 2008, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell had an overriding goal:  To make President Obama a one-term President.   He even acknowledged that last year:

On Fox News Sunday, Bret Baier asked him if he stands by his previous statement that “the single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term President.” McConnell confirmed that his goal remains unchanged.

Which is why Senator McConnell is having … issues these days.  You see, he also thought that Republicans would be taking over the Senate.  After all, “the numbers” were in their favor.  More Democratic seats had to be defended, and the election results from 2010 looked to him like it was a serious possibility.  So, in order to head off changes, he did a song-and-dance against changing Senate rules to Senator Reid at the start 2011, which he promptly … ignored once the session started.  Yes, he and his caucus went out of their way to obstruct,  filibuster, and generally delay any legislation.    Well, we saw how that worked out.

Yes, Mitch McConnell is an unhappy Senator these days.  Besides his party not winning the Presidency, they lost seats in the Senate.  To make things worse for him, the incoming Senate is talking seriously about changing the filibuster rules.

What Reid appears most likely to do is push for an end to the filibuster on so-called motions to proceed, or the beginning of a debate on bills or nominations. If Reid goes this route, senators could still filibuster virtually any other aspect of Senate business, including any movement to end debate and call for a final vote on a bill.

And Reid is strongly considering pushing for other filibuster changes, too — most notably requiring senators to actually go to the floor and carry out an endless talking session, rather than simply threaten them as they do now. Reminiscent of the 1939 movie classic “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,” the idea has picked up steam in liberal circles — and its intent is to discourage senators from filibustering, though it would fundamentally change the very nature of the modern Senate.

Yes, Senator McConnell doesn’t like that at all.   Why, it could

“poison” party relations in the upper chamber even further, adding that it would “undermine the very purpose of the Senate” and amount to “an affront to the American people.”
Oh, yes, jumping on that podium, flag wrapped around him, piously proclaiming his shock, shock that such a thing might happen!  Oh, how damaging to the collegiality of the Senate!   Except that he’s the one who has busily been poisoning the well the past 4 years, and demonstrating that his word is worthless.  Which wasn’t unnoticed by the Democratic Senators:
“The point I would make is that I’ve said from the outset is that a test of a good proposal is whether or not you could live with serving under it in the minority,” said Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR). “That’s why the talking filibuster is the right way to go. McConnell has broken the social contract. His team, under his leadership, uses it constantly and silently, out of public sight.
and in case you think that Senator Reid is in the mood to “let bygones be bygones?”
“The Republican leader thinks things are going well here. He’s in a distinct minority because things aren’t going well around here,” Reid said. “Lyndon Johnson: one cloture. Reid: 386. That says it all.”
Yes, yes it does.  He has spent the last 4 years betting that obstruction was a winning strategy, and that he could continue to “game” the Democrats.  Now that it turns out neither was the case, he’s whining and throwing tantrums.   Senator McConnell is learning that there are not just consequences to elections, there are consequences to not negotiating in good faith.    Putting it more crudely?  Payback’s a bitch, ain’t it?


Filed under Politics

12 responses to “Hey Mitch? Payback’s A Bitch.

  1. McConnell and McCain have been very grumpy since the election. This isn’t the world they expected and their too old to actually consider a revision of how they do business. Abuse of the filibuster has created a real barrier to dealing with the issues. I say make them physically filibuster like in the old days. The way it’s been used is to require 60 votes to do anything remotely controversial. That’s insane.

    • Exactly. One of the bad things is that all a “filibuster” really requires these days is for a Senator saying “I’m going to filibuster,” and it acts as one. 🙄 McConnell promised Reid in late 2010, when this was being discussed, that “normal business” wouldn’t be filibustered in this session, and then promptly turned around and had his caucus filibuster constantly. They’ve even done it on standard, non-controversial, routine items. So any complaints he now has are taken with a liberal dose of salt.

  2. Vic78

    What kills me about this whole thing is that we’re supposed to pretend the GOP isn’t eating out of the toilet. The Democrats have finally had enough and now we have these dipshit pundits talk about the left running over the other party. I’m ready to bury our sorry ass media right along with the GOP. An example of how sorry they are is Bill Maher saying Anne Coulter makes good tv.

    It’s good that we’re seeing Harry Reid’s ruthless side. I knew it was over when Reid said he’s had enough with the filibuster. I knew the dems were going to keep their majority. Unlike the pundits I know you can’t be stupid and beat incumbent democratic senators. What the hell business did Magic Mike have running against Elizabeth Warren? These majorities are going to hold for a while and now the GOP senators can learn what it is to be on the bottom. They need to read their bibles. It said something about reaping what you’ve sewn.

    • McConnell is having to deal with a self-inflicted wound. One of the “unwritten rules” – or as Merkley put it, the social contract – in the Senate is that your word is supposed to be good for something. Reid accepted McConnell at his word in 2010, and McConnell proved that he is not to be trusted. Hence, any “promises” he makes now to try to stave this off are not going to believed.

      • Vic78

        I was pissed in 2010 when they made that gentleman’s agreement. I knew what was going to happen. Everyone that paid attention knew what was coming. I was upset with Dirty Harry for a minute. I believe this will damage the GOP. How do they argue against rule changes without looking stupid? They’ll make some interesting campaign commercials.

        • I think it’s going to get better than that. I think that another “unwritten rule” will be broken, this time by Reid. Mitch McConnell will, in 2014, face a very well funded Democrat, and that’s if he survives a primary. 😉

  3. “And Reid is strongly considering pushing for other filibuster changes, too — most notably requiring senators to actually go to the floor and carry out an endless talking session”

    Yes. This is what I and I think every other American would like see be they on the right, left or center. It’s time for a little transparency here.

    • Well, it’s traditional! 😆 I think it’s way to easy too filibuster, so making them have to “hold the floor” in person have the effect of making them decide just how much they’re against it. 😉

  4. McConnell’s lies have caught up to him. He promised he’d not overuse the filibuster to stop the Senate from governing, and he went back on his word immediately. He knew he was lying when he made the promise. That his tactic backfired on him should be no surprise to him or the other republicans in the Senate. I truly believe that the GOPers thought Americans would blame the president and the democrats for their obstruction, but we were more aware of their obstructionism than they ever imagined. The filibuster needs to be reformed, and I’m glad Senator Reid is making this move. He knows that the republicans are untrustworthy, and that it would be ludicrous to take their word that they wouldn’t abuse the filibuster in the 114th Congress. It seems as if Charlie Brown is no longer believing that Lucy won’t snatch the football away when he attempts to kick it. About time.

    • Harry Reid took a lot of heat from the liberal media and from within his own caucus when he decided to let the rules stand in the last Congress. So McConnell immediately going back on his promise, making Reid look like a fool for taking his word has got to be a big part of why Senator Reid is now moving forward with this.

  5. see above

    In a look back at history, Reid and Lyndon B served about the same time in the senate Reid filibusters 356 Johnson 1. I don’t think there is such a thing as a trustworthy R anymore. But it’s not over remember 2010. We are already working on the next elections all across the country to get RR’s out of as many states as we can and building for 2014 to hold or add to the Senate number and take back the house.

  6. see above

    Almost forgot they should have to stand on the floor of the Senate and inform the world why the are staging a filibuster. Imagine the Political ads if they did that.