January 9, 2014

Poor picked on Mitch McConnell. It seems he's been so terribly traumatized by that mean old Harry Reid and his decision to finally reform some of the Senate filibuster rules that he took to the Senate floor this Wednesday to express his dismay: Mitch McConnell On The Senate: 'What Have We Become?':

"What have we become?" cried Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell during a lengthy floor speech Wednesday afternoon. The Republican leader lamented the "theatrics and the messaging wars" that he said have come to define and "cheapen" the upper chamber today.

"I'm absolutely certain of one thing: the Senate can be better than it is," he said.

"We've gotten too comfortable with doing everything we do here through the prism of the next election, instead of the prism of duty. And everyone suffers as a result," the Republican leader said.

McConnell blamed Democrats for the rancorous partisanship that has damaged the chamber in recent years, mourning the days when it functioned in a bipartisan manner, unlike "the hollow shell of a Senate we have today." [...]

McConnell said neither party was blameless but he accused Reid of repeatedly denying Republicans opportunities for amendments and input in the legislative process. He also attacked Reid for weakening the minority's filibuster power with a bare majority.

McConnell made a promise with an eye to the 2014 congressional elections, during which he's defending his own seat.

"If Republicans are fortunate enough to be in the majority next year,
amendments will be allowed," he said. "Senators will be respected."

Reid hit the floor to respond to McConnell's remarks shortly after, accusing him of "looking for a distraction -- a diversion, a phony process meant to steal attention away from their unconscionable stand on the issues that matter most to the middle class."

"It's interesting. During the Republican leader's remarks there wasn't a word about jobs, about unemployment compensation or the economy. Not a word," the Democratic leader said, charging the GOP with demonstrating a "callous opposition to the plight of 1.3 million Americans."

As TPM's Kapur noted in his article, this was roundly criticized by Adam Jentleson, a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who took to Twitter to remind everyone what Mitch McConnell and the Republicans' actual priorities have been -- like caring more about making President Obama a one-term president than actually governing. Or insisting that they will work with Obama if he just does everything their way. Or that there was anything the Democrats could have done to get Republicans to come along on the ACA.

Thank goodness McConnell had MSNBC's Chuck Todd to come to his rescue this Thursday, who just could not resist using the speech to play a game of a "pox on all your houses" with former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell.

Todd asked Mitchell to "put politics aside" and weigh in on the relationship between McConnell and Reid, because heaven forbid, we wouldn't want anyone in the audience to have to consider the fact that EVERYTHING is political when it comes to the Republicans and their refusal to cooperate and to obstruct every single thing President Obama tried to accomplish since he was elected to office. It seems like that just might have contributed to that nasty partisanship McConnell was crying about Chuck.

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