October 8, 2021

According to Beltway media and cable yakkers, Republicans have hurt fee-fees because Chuck Schumer didn't politely look the other way when they broke their own filibuster in order to raise the debt ceiling, as they should have done without a filibuster in the first place.

Let's just get the facts:

  1. A debt ceiling bill came over from the House to the Senate raising it through the end of 2022, a reasonable time frame which would free the hostage until after next year's midterms. All that needed to happen at that point was for a vote to take place.
  2. But alas, Republicans filibustered the bill, launching a game of chicken. Republicans were trying to get Democrats to squander a reconciliation bill on the debt ceiling and hopefully squash Biden's Build Back Better bill in the process, instead of simply doing what is responsible and raising the debt ceiling (or better yet, just get rid of it altogether) so we can pay the debts we owe.
  3. When it became evident to Mitch McConnell that he was going to have to break his own party's filibuster in order to keep the nation from falling into deep and lasting recession due to a default, he managed to scrape up 11 Republicans to break their own filibuster so they could defer economic ruin until December.
  4. No Republican voted to raise the debt ceiling.

Again, let me repeat: McConnell's team filibustered, and then had to break their own filibuster, in order to keep the nation from economic ruin. No Democrat contributed to that mess; McConnell and his team all did that on their own.

Which is exactly what Chuck Schumer said after the vote Thursday night.

Leader McConnell and Senate Republicans insisted they wanted a solution to the debt ceiling, but said Democrats must raise it alone by going through a drawn-out, convoluted and risky reconciliation process. That was simply unacceptable to my caucus. And yesterday Senate Republicans finally realized their obstruction was not going to work.

CUE WEEPING AND GNASHING OF TEETH, with Senator Joe Manchin leading the way.

"I think basically what we ought to do is find a pathway forward, make sure we de-weaponize," said Manchin. "We have to de-weaponize, you can't be playing politics, none of us can, on both sides."

NARRATOR: No one was playing politics there. That was just putting the state of things on the record.

Instead of reporting on what actually happened, the happy-way-too-early-anchors on CNN framed it this way:

"And if there is one picture to sum up the state of Congress, it is this one, Democrat Joe Manchin, head in hands listening incredulously or maybe despairingly to Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer. A scene out of Washington's latest flirtation with economic calamity that let's just call Mr. McConnell or How I learned to stop worrying and embrace the debt ceiling," chirped Brianna Keilar.

BUT LOOK AT WHAT MCCONNELL DID! "He did though, what needed to be done and got 11 Republicans to join Democrats." Unsaid part: 11 Republicans broke THEIR OWN FILIBUSTER that they never needed to have placed on this legislation in the first place! See what they've done with the constant filibusters? They've conditioned media to expect everything, even the most mundane things, to require 60 votes.

But wait, it gets better. "So was he met with thanks from his Democratic counterpart? Definitely not."

Oh please, give me a break. Democrats are now supposed to get down on their knees with gratitude and thank their Republican overlords in the minority for finding enough votes to overcome a Republican effort to run the damned Senate?

Again, this was a REPUBLICAN FILIBUSTER which was wholly unnecessary. Where is that in their reporting?

John Berman summed it up in exactly the wrong frame: "On the one hand, no complete economic calamity for a few days or months hopefully. On the other hand, some hurt feelings. Bottom line, they got it done, temporarily. So this either shows that getting stuff done is possible temporarily or that even doing the easy things can't be done without rancor."

No, John. It shows that Republican senators are feckless, craven cynics who won't make the choice to do what is right for the nation if it means they have to give up their obstructionist ways. And if they DO that thing to keep the nation from default for 6 weeks or so, they're gonna do it with as much whining, kicking and screaming as possible so they can blame Democrats for something -- anything, really, even mean speeches -- to keep the spotlight on them.

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