Everywhere you go in conservative media today, you’ll find unflattering statements about Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
I told you guys the Senate GOP would screw us over on DHS funding, but even I had no idea Mitch McConnell would capitulate so easily. I assumed he’d do a major song and dance first, but instead he just went all Ned Beatty in Deliverance the moment Barack Obama looked at him funny. Good grief. Even CNN’s website declared that the Democrats were the ones blocking Department of Homeland Security Funding.
McConnell behaved as if he needs testosterone injections. His minion in the press want everyone to know the steel in his spine, but it is more silly putty. His friends say other people call McConnell “Darth Vader.” Honestly, I’ve gotten on Lexis-Nexis. The only people ever saying McConnell is Darth Vader are McConnell’s friends. It’s only fitting though because Darth Vader, in control of everything, lost the Death Star twice to a rag tag group of Democrats . . . errrr . . . rebels.
This is not the hill you’re looking for. Powder must be kept dry. Shut up and vote GOP (which a lot of people did based on the GOP’s promises on this very issue. Suckers).
McConnell’s plan is to pass his “anti-amnesty” bill the would undo the second round of executive amnesty while leaving the first round covering the so-called “dreamers” in place. When that bill passes, fails or doesn’t even reach the floor because the Democrats will just filibuster that one too, he will introduce the “clean” DHS funding bill Obama and congressional Democrats want. He’ll then call it a day and stick the House will all the pressure.
The only question that remains is, will Boehner find enough liberal Republicans in the House to pass this article of surrender or will he need Pelosi to deliver up some Democrats?
In other words…complete surrender to the Democrats. Obama will sign the “clean” DHS funding bill and then veto the stand alone repeal bill should it somehow even get to him.
Not only did the GOP cave, but now Reid’s going to twist the knife by demanding that Boehner agree before the Senate votes to push McConnell’s “clean” DHS bill, knowing full well that Boehner likely can’t guarantee that it’ll pass — certainly not without Democratic votes. He’s rubbing Republicans’ faces in their own strategic failure.
McConnell giving Reid a clean bill on DHS funding which concedes the fight on executive amnesty, putting the entire question into the hands of the courts, is a capitulation that, while, not unexpected, is a perfect example of why Republican voters are so irritated with the party’s leadership.
It’s not all McConnell’s fault. He’s dealing with a slow bleed among members of his caucus who are in full freak-out mode over the idea that DHS will go unfunded amid the ISIS threat, as though TSA security theater actually protects us from jihadists.
And if he no longer has a majority from his own caucus, there isn’t much he can do other than look for a soft place to land. But there isn’t one. And now, this thing is going to end up in John Boehner’s lap; he’s going to have to pass a clean DHS bill against the overwhelming majority of his caucus or else this whole thing collapses and Republicans get blamed.
But McConnell is at fault for not taking some good advice. Over the weekend Charles Krauthammer explained to him how to handle his DHS funding problem, and lots of future potential embarrassments like it, by chopping the Democrats off at the knees.
But Democrats have filibustered the bill in the Senate, where it will die. And as the night follows day, Republicans, not the filibustering Democrats,will be blamed for shutting down DHS and jeopardizing the nation’s safety at a time of heightened international terrorism.
A nice cul-de-sac. But there is a way out for the GOP. Go bold. Go nuclear. Abolish the filibuster. Pass the bill and send it to the president.
I know that breaks a lot of china. But Congress is already knee-deep in fractured porcelain. On policy, Obama has repeatedly usurped congressional power, most egregiously with an executive amnesty for illegal immigrants that for four years he himself had insisted was unlawful (a view given significant support this week in a federal district court).
As for procedure, then-majority leader Reid (D-Nev.) went nuclear in November 2013 when he abolished the filibuster for presidential appointees and judicial nominees (below the Supreme Court). He did it to pack the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals with liberals. The nation’s liberal chorus cheered. “Elections are supposed to have consequences,” read one typical commentary. “It was time to push the button.” Boom.
I was not the only one to warn that Democrats would rue the day. Once you go nuclear, so can the other guy.
Reid went first. Time for Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to finish the job. Push the button. Abolish the filibuster.
Then immediately pass the House homeland security bill and send it to the president. He is likely to veto it, but the politics will have been radically changed. The current story line is: Republican Congress won’t fund DHS, threatening to shut it down. New story line: Obama vetoes funding for DHS, threatening to shut it down.
The latter narrative is more accurate: Democrats are stopping the funding. Moreover, a presidential veto would lead to a more fair allocation of blame. And it’s blame allocation that determines which side blinks first. The president will have a major incentive to find some face-saving finesse.
But filibuster abolition is more than a one-shot proposition. It would radically change the next two years. It would give Republicans full control of the Congress and allow swift passage of a GOP agenda.
Eliminating the filibuster would stop McConnell’s problem with the John McCains and Lindsey Grahams of the world. They would no longer be in a position to oppose the majority of the GOP caucus on a bill de-funding executive amnesty, because the only issue left is whether to send Obama a bill funding DHS and stopping executive amnesty. No Republican would vote against such a bill.
Obama would veto such a bill, of course. He just vetoed the Keystone XL Pipeline bill. So be it. Abolish the filibuster, reduce the Senate Democrats to a sniveling mass of losers likely to begin selling each other out in order to salvage what they can of their time in the Senate (when your ideological principles are dead due to lack of votes, all that’s left is pork for your state) and send bill after bill to Obama’s desk for him to veto.
And set up the 2016 race as a referendum on whether the 54 Republican jobs bills will continue to waste away as a result of vetoes by a Democrat president, or whether the country gets moving again.
That McConnell didn’t take this advice and match Reid in power politics was a typically soft move. And now he’s going to lose on the issue, along with the GOP.
Even with a new majority, he can’t get the Democrats to fear him. Nothing changed last November.