Mitch McConnell Filibusters Himself
Some days, Congress doesn’t even try to look like they’re accomplishing anything. On Thursday, Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) made another entry into the annals of Senate banality when he filibustered his own vote, after never intending it to work in the first place.
McConnell proposed the vote to Senate majority leader Harry Reid (D-NV) on a measure that would allow the president to raise the debt ceiling, unless a two-thirds majority of Congress voted against him. McConnell had mentioned this measure years ago as a “last resort;” a two-thirds majority would be nearly impossible to get, almost assuring that the debt ceiling could be raised at will. This would prevent the debt ceiling nonsense that precipitated the “fiscal cliff” in the first place, and would be a crushing blow to Republicans and the Tea Party on one of their signature issues.
Apparently, McConnell thought Democrats would not have the votes to pass the measure, and initially he seemed correct. (I’m not sure why. Maybe some Democrats were afraid they would look like they were increasing spending; although the debt ceiling only allows Congress to borrow money already owed, it is often misconstrued as directly representing spending.) Then, the Republicans would be able to claim that even Democrats did not want to grant this power to the president.
But McConnell was wrong. Reid put the measure to an up-or-down vote. And like any man who has his bluff called, McConnell was forced to show his hand and look darn silly doing it.
Democratic Senators piled on, calling McConnell’s failed maneuver “too clever by half,” and “comic, but sad.” The event also gave Democrats more ammunition in their fight to pass filibuster reform.
McConnell was later seen explaining to his granddaughter that he wouldn’t take her to Disneyworld, because he never expected her to get all A’s on her report card. No, just kidding.
What do you think of McConnell’s filibuster?