Mitch McConnell's Chutzpah: Blames Congress' Stalemates on Obama's Unwillingness to Blindly Endorse GOP Proposals

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said this week that White House’s “explicit strategy” is to “make people believe that Congress can’t get anything done.” Seriously, that’s what he said. As McConnell sees it, President Obama doesn’t want Congress to function.

Yes, after years of tragic dysfunction and Republican-imposed obstructionism unseen in American history, the conservative GOP leader from Kentucky believes this is all the president’s fault.

“[T]hat’s their explicit strategy — to make people believe that Congress can’t get anything done.

“And how do you make sure of it? By proposing legislation you know the other side won’t support — even when there’s an entire menu of bipartisan proposals the President could choose to pursue instead. The President can govern as though this is the congress he wants or he can deal with the congress he has. Along the first path lies gridlock and along the second lies the kind of legislative progress Americans want. And as for Republicans, well, we’ve been crystal clear from the outset that we prefer the latter route.”

Got that? If Obama embraces proposals uncompromising Republicans like, then he’s being responsible. If he pushes an agenda Republicans reject, then the GOP-driven gridlock is his fault.

I rather doubt McConnell is so far gone that he actually takes this nonsense seriously, but let’s set the record straight anyway, in case anyone is confused enough to believe his ridiculous rhetoric.

For two and a half years, President Obama has, in practically every instance, tried to govern in a mainstream way, with proposals that have traditionally enjoyed at least some support from both parties. Much of his base has been infuriated by this, but the Obama White House has made a concerted effort, first outlined in the 2008 campaign, to govern in a way that could garner support from responsible officials in both parties.

Republicans haven’t cared. Even when the president has embraced GOP ideas, he’s found Republicans are willing to reject their own proposals if Obama agrees with them.

Arguably the one person most responsible for the breakdown of the American political process is Mitch McConnell. Indeed, in several instances, he’s been quite candid about his anti-governing strategy.


Washington Monthly / By Steve Benen

Posted at October 8, 2011, 5:13am

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