Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Reaching a New Low, Senate Republicans Filibuster Their Own Bill

Oh, I have no respect for you whatsoever, Mr. McConnell.

It's no secret that I have little respect for Congress as an institution anymore, and I'm not sure that I have any respect for any Republican in Congress anymore.

In spite of my already rock-bottom opinion of the Republicans in Congress as a whole, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell did something so stupid last week that it lowered my opinion of Congressional Republicans even more, if that were possible.

The old fart filibustered his own bill last week.

Yup, you heard that right - for the first time in the history of the United States Senate, as far as anyone knows - a Senator filibustered his own bill. And it was the Republican leader in the Senate.

I'll turn it over to the NYTimes for the details:
Here’s how it happened: In the morning, Mr. McConnell went to Harry Reid, the Senate Majority Leader, and asked him to take a vote on a bill that would allow the president to raise the debt ceiling. That’s the artificial limit imposed by Congress on how much money the government may borrow to make good on past debt. (Please note here: “imposed by Congress” and “past debt.”)
Mr. McConnell’s clever plan was that the Democrats would not be able to muster a regular majority to pass the bill, thus proving to the world (or at least the 18 people who still have the patience to pay attention to Congress) that the Democrats don’t really want to end the pointless fight over the debt ceiling Mr. McConnell cooked up in 2011.
But Mr. Reid consulted with his caucus and found support for the bill, so he went to the floor, offered it and scheduled 20 minutes of debate before an up or down vote.
And that’s when Mr. McConnell may have made Senate history. He rose in objection to his own bill. “Matters of this level of controversy always require 60 votes,” he said. Using the Senate’s phony politesse, he added that he wanted “my friend, the majority leader, to make it 60 votes.”
Mr. Reid said no. “The republican leader objects to his own idea,” he said. “We have a filibuster of his own bill.”
Senator Dick Durbin, the Illinois Democrat who is the Majority Whip, was incredulous. “This may be a moment in Senate history, when a Senator made a proposal and when giving an opportunity for a vote on that proposal, filibustered his own proposal,” he said.
In a classic understatement, he added: “It really calls into question whether or not this was the kind of offer that would be considered to be good faith.”
Yes, gee, it calls into question whether the Republicans do anything in good faith anymore. As far as I can tell, the answer is no.

And here's the video proof - it's rather incredible:

A new low indeed.