If Democrats Just Put On These Handcuffs, Mitch McConnell Pinky Promises To Stop Hitting Them. Deal?

If Democrats Just Put On These Handcuffs, Mitch McConnell Pinky Promises To Stop Hitting Them. Deal?

If Mitch McConnell wants to hold his breath until Chuck Schumer pinky swears not to get rid of the filibuster, he can have at it.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (oh, yeah, baby!) seems to be having a wee bit of trouble adjusting to his new JV status after Vice President Kamala Harris swore in Senators Jon Ossoff, Raphael Warnock, and Alex Padilla yesterday. For some reason, McConnell is laboring under the delusion that he's still in charge and able to dictate the terms. Now he's demanding as a precondition to handing over the gavel that Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (is it hot in here?) promise not to nuke the filibuster.

And get this, he's promising to filibuster the resolution reconfiguring committees to reflect the Democratic majority status until he gets his way. Chutzpah!

Look at this filthy sumbitch!

As if he didn't spend the past 12 years exploding the rules left and right. First he abused the filibuster to blockade almost all of Obama's judicial nominees, forcing then-Majority Leader Harry Reid to get rid of it to fill vacancies — a scheme Republicans referred to as "court packing." Then when Republicans were back in the majority he refused to even give Obama's Supreme Court nominee a hearing, holding Justice Antonin Scalia's seat open for 422 days because of a made-up rule that it was somehow illegal to confirm a justice in the last year of a presidential term. The he conveniently forgot about that rule in 2020, confirming Justice Barrett just 27 days after her nomination, and eight days before the election.

He tossed out the blue slip procedure by which senators could block the confirmation of judges from their own state. He jammed through the largest tax giveaway ever via reconciliation, so as to be able to work around the filibuster. And if it weren't for Republican Senators Lisa Murkowski, John McCain, and Susan Collins, he'd have done the same thing to explode the Affordable Care Act.

McConnell is promising to use the filibuster to block every progressive bill the Biden administration puts forward. And now he wants Democrats to promise to unilaterally disarm, giving up their only leverage over a caucus which just two weeks ago encouraged a marauding band of insurrectionists to take over the building because it was better to burn down democracy than admit they lost?


Which is exactly what Schumer told him, we assume. He's not saying anything publicly, but Politico reports that he's standing his ground, apparently unfazed by Susan Collins warbling that "You want to do it before there's an emotional, difficult, controversial issue. So that it isn't issue-driven, it's institution-driven."

Schumer proposes a return to the rules from 2001, the last time the Senate was 50-50 with a White House tie-breaker. When Democrats were the minority party under President Bush, they never demanded a pledge to adhere to a 60-vote supermajority for all business. And back then the Senate actually worked — well, comparatively speaking, anyway.

Gosh, who broke it? Oh, right, it was MITCH FUCKING McCONNELL. You know, the guy who vowed as Minority Leader to obstruct Obama's entire agenda and make him a one-term president and said blocking Merrick Garland's nomination was one of his "proudest achievements."

And now McConnell wants everyone to agree to play by the rules forever and ever so he can once again block all legislation and keep his fingers crossed that the GOP picks up a seat in 2022? We're supposed to believe that he himself won't nuke the filibuster in a hot second if Republicans take back the White House in four years?

Fuck off.

Reasonable minds can differ about the wisdom of getting rid of the filibuster in a body which is hopelessly gerrymandered to give Republicans an advantage. [Edit: Yes, I know the senate isn't literally gerrymandered. But Wyoming and California have the same number of senators, so unless 33 million of us want to move to Cheyenne, it's functionally the same thing.] But there's no disagreement about the wisdom of taking Mitch McConnell at his word.

He's a power hungry terrorist, and we do not negotiate.


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Liz Dye

Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.


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