Election 2016

Dems Look on in Wonder as Mitch McConnell Filibusters His Own Proposal

Quite a moment in Senate history.

Photo Credit: Wikimedia

If Mitch McConnell wants to be taken seriously when he complains about proposed changes to the filibuster rule, he probably shouldn't go out and do ridiculous things like filibustering himself. He seriously asked Harry Reid to have a vote on the president's plan to keep Congress from destroying our credit rating. And when Harry Reid said, "Okay, let's vote," McConnell refused to grant unanimous consent for it.

That's what happened.

I'll spell it out a little more specifically for you.

McConnell believed that there were Democrats in the Senate, particularly some from red states who will be facing the voters in just two short years, who would refuse to vote for the president's reform of how the debt ceiling is handled. So, he called for a vote.

Harry Reid agreed to the vote, but only if it was a true majority vote. He would need 50 votes out of his 53 members, and Vice-President Biden could break the tie.

McConnell, realizing that perhaps he had miscalculated the level of disgust and contempt the Democrats have for how the whole Debt Ceiling Fiasco went down, insisted that the vote be held at the 60-vote supermajority threshold.

But 60-vote thresholds are for overcoming filibusters. Was McConnell going to object to his own proposal being debated? Was he going to deny a vote on his own proposal?

Well, yes, he was going to do that. All he wanted was to try to divide the Democrats and put some of them on the record as having supported something potentially troublesome for their reelection prospects. He didn't want to be humiliated in front of everybody instead.

So, McConnell filibustered himself. He wouldn't allow a vote on the bill he said should be voted on.

Harry Reid is from Nevada. They know a little something there about calling people's bluffs and making them show their cards. He just ate McConnell's lunch and drank his milkshake.

Does anyone want to argue that McConnell isn't taking his abuse of the filibuster to a preposterous extreme?

Martin Longman is the editor of Booman Tribune (www.boomantribune.com), and a consultant for Democracy for America (www.democracyforamerica.com/).
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