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Fri Dec 7, 2012, 08:28 AM

What we learned from McConnell's failed gambit

Posted with permission.

http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2012/12/07/15751006-what-we-learned-from-mcconnells-failed-gambit

What we learned from McConnell's failed gambit
By Steve Benen
-
Fri Dec 7, 2012 8:00 AM EST


As Laura noted yesterday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), usually a master of floor procedure and strategy, looked pretty ridiculous when he was forced to filibuster his own proposal. And while that was no doubt unpleasant for him, as the day progressed, it became clear that we'd learned something important from McConnell's failure.

To briefly recap for those who missed it, President Obama had proposed to shift the responsibility for raising the debt ceiling from Congress to the White House, making it impossible for either party to use default and/or the threat of a global economic catastrophe as a hostage. Under Obama's plan, the debt limit would still exist, and Congress would still have blocking a presidential increase, if lawmakers wanted to force default on purpose.

McConnell assumed that Senate Democrats -- at least a big chunk of the caucus, anyway -- would balk at Obama's proposal, so he introduced the plan himself. The point was to have Dems object to McConnell's effort, so the Minority Leader could get a new talking point: the president's offer is so offensive that even his own party isn't willing to support it.

Except, McConnell's little stunt backfired -- Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and his caucus immediately endorsed the idea, leaving the Kentucky Republican to have to filibuster his own bill before it could pass. As Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) put it, the gambit was "a little too clever by half." Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) suggested there's no recent precedent for a senator filibustering his or her own proposal.

But the larger point isn't to just point and laugh at McConnell's misfortune and mistaken assumptions. Rather, the point is we learned something important in the midst of this failed stunt: Democrats are entirely united on debt-ceiling strategy and want this looming threat to the country and its economy taken off the table, permanently.

In other words, what was a long-shot White House idea is, at least for now, the official position of the Democratic Party and a majority of the Senate. It's the sort of revelation that's likely to influence the negotiating process as congressional Republicans once again threaten to hurt the nation, on purpose, unless their demands are met.

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Arrow 38 replies Author Time Post
Reply What we learned from McConnell's failed gambit (Original post)
babylonsister Dec 2012 OP
LisaLynne Dec 2012 #1
KharmaTrain Dec 2012 #2
babylonsister Dec 2012 #3
malaise Dec 2012 #6
Fantastic Anarchist Dec 2012 #7
Maeve Dec 2012 #9
ChairmanAgnostic Dec 2012 #12
jeff47 Dec 2012 #17
1StrongBlackMan Dec 2012 #19
jeff47 Dec 2012 #22
bemildred Dec 2012 #4
Fantastic Anarchist Dec 2012 #5
blackdiamond62 Dec 2012 #33
Pakid Dec 2012 #8
ChairmanAgnostic Dec 2012 #13
Coyotl Dec 2012 #10
ReRe Dec 2012 #11
rhett o rick Dec 2012 #14
phantom power Dec 2012 #15
Art_from_Ark Dec 2012 #31
efhmc Dec 2012 #16
Lone_Star_Dem Dec 2012 #20
2naSalit Dec 2012 #21
SteveG Dec 2012 #23
DallasNE Dec 2012 #18
obama2terms Dec 2012 #24
sheshe2 Dec 2012 #25
ceeRoy Dec 2012 #26
bucolic_frolic Dec 2012 #27
NYC_SKP Dec 2012 #28
Gore1FL Dec 2012 #29
Walk away Dec 2012 #32
lonestarnot Dec 2012 #30
burnsei sensei Dec 2012 #34
Quantess Dec 2012 #35
Dustlawyer Dec 2012 #36
irisblue Dec 2012 #38
Sam Osborne Dec 2012 #37

Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 08:33 AM

1. Nice article, very clearly explains what happened.

Thanks for posting.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 08:39 AM

2. They Still Haven't Figured Out President Obama Has The High Cards...

When we "go over the cliff"...the first ledge will be the elimination of the dubya tax giveaways to the rich. The only way they are saved is now...and right now the only option they have is to accept less of an increase...but the writing is on the wall that the rich will pay more. If the rest of us see our taxes hiked due to going off the cliff, the blame will fall on the rushpublicans and they will pay for it politically in 2014. So they'll come scurrying to accept restoring the cuts on those making under 250k and claim that was a tax cut. That's cliff one...

The next is sequestration that will hit red states far harder than blue ones. Massive cuts in defense spending as well as cuts in corporate welfare will put lots of heat on rushpublican asshats who not only didn't bring home the bacon, they scared away the pigs. So it's lose-lose again.

Turtleman is trying to look tough in holding his raucous caucus together. The DeMint defection shows the chasm within and how this is sure to lead to mistakes and overplays. These antics couldn't come at a better time in light of the upcoming changes to the filibuster and how pruneface has abused them over and over again.

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Response to KharmaTrain (Reply #2)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 09:01 AM

3. This is SO much better than

any fictional drama. Every day I am just amazed, amused, and astonished at how tone deaf the rethugs are.

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Response to babylonsister (Reply #3)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 09:24 AM

6. It's freaking delish

I don't know which I'm lovin' more - their inability to understand the shellacking that knocked them out or the way in which they are eating their own in public.

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Response to KharmaTrain (Reply #2)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 09:25 AM

7. I agree

But don't underestimate Rush's spin. There will be useful idiots on the horizon. I have seen them. And they are plenty.

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Response to KharmaTrain (Reply #2)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 09:45 AM

9. Maybe the poker metaphor is too difficult for some of them--try this

Republicans, all you have left is the Old Maid card. It is not a winner.

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Response to KharmaTrain (Reply #2)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 09:51 AM

12. Plus, they never expected the White House OR the Senate to

finally stand up to them.

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Response to KharmaTrain (Reply #2)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 10:24 AM

17. One little thing that's off in your analysis

The next is sequestration that will hit red states far harder than blue ones. Massive cuts in defense spending

The defense spending cuts are more-or-less already in place. FY2013 contracts started November 1st, and the DoD had to operate as if the spending cuts were going to happen - they didn't want to sign a lot of contracts and then find the money was gone January 1st.

As a result, there isn't an upcoming big DoD hit that will coincide with the sequestration. That hit already happened. Which will make it harder to tie the hit to Republicans since it did not happen along with the rest of the sequestration.

However, the flip side still looks quite good for Democrats. If a budget deal includes essentially the same gigantic DoD cuts, the deal isn't going to be causing sudden layoffs - the layoffs already happened. If the budget deal does not include large DoD cuts, the Pentagon will hand out more cash resulting in some reversal of the recent layoffs. There's no remaining downside for the Democrats on this part of the budget.

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #17)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 11:08 AM

19. I don't know that to be true ...

The big defense contractor in my town just announced three huge DoD contracts.

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #19)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 01:45 PM

22. And 3 big defense contractors in my town announced large layoffs a month ago.

Cutting DoD spending doesn't mean there will be no new contracts.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 09:09 AM

4. Precisely, and that is good news. nt

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 09:21 AM

5. Hoisted by his own petard!

I've always wanted to say that.

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Response to Fantastic Anarchist (Reply #5)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 09:57 AM

33. I've heard this saying before

and it means (from the urban dictionary)to "hoist by one's own petard - you have been hurt or caught by the very device that you intended to hurt someone else". To simplify the meaning is to say that you stepped in your own mess. I do think Mitch is knee-deep in mess.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 09:41 AM

8. The Republican seem to become more out of touch and clueless by the day

Truth and honesty are no longer words that Republican understand. All they care about is putting the shaft to the American people for their rich overlords. Now if only we could get the people who vote against there own and their family best interest to see the GOP as it really is we would have it made!

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Response to Pakid (Reply #8)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 09:52 AM

13. The UN vote was unbelievable. Tea partiers are destroying the party.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 09:49 AM

10. The Rs are going to need a bigger thumb in the dike

to stop the flood of disgust with their obstructionism.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 09:50 AM

11. The Filibuster-n-Chief

K&R

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 10:13 AM

14. I appaud Sen Reid but is it fair to assume that all of the Democratic Senators would

have gone along? Or was it a bluff?

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 10:16 AM

15. I think its partly that their strategies are all built around Dems not punching back

I think it's revealing how quickly the GOP has been falling apart in the face of what is really still somewhat mild Democratic resistance.

I have this mental image of a happy warrior like FDR chewing through these guys like a cuisinart.

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Response to phantom power (Reply #15)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 02:43 AM

31. LBJ would have mopped the floor with them

from one end of the Senate to the other.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 10:16 AM

16. Am confused. Did it pass?

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Response to efhmc (Reply #16)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 12:17 PM

20. No. It was stopped by McConnell's fillibuster. NT

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Response to Lone_Star_Dem (Reply #20)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 01:22 PM

21. And the Senator

interviewed on RMS claims that there is now a new term used on the Senate floor known as "the McConnell Rule"...




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Response to efhmc (Reply #16)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 02:50 PM

23. No it didn't pass

Right now under current rules, it takes 60 votes to bring a bill to the floor for a vote (it's called a cloture vote), that's what is used instead of a talking filibuster (think Jimmy Stewart in Mr. Smith goes to Washington). If his proposal had come up for an up or down vote, it's pretty sure that Reid had the votes to pass it.

One accidental side effect of this is that McConnell has set himself up to keep his hands clean if the house insists on holding the government hostage over a debt ceiling crisis... leaving a the blame for such an event in Boehner's.

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/2012/12/mcconnells_accidental_genius.php?ref=fpblg

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 10:50 AM

18. Yes, A Picture Is beginning To Emerge

And this link belongs in that same picture because Boehner has dealt McConnell and his bungling out of the picture. http://www.democraticunderground.com/1014328748

I would say that McConnell has taken one on the chin if only he had one.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 04:59 PM

24. Mitch McConnell the gift that keeps on giving

This just keeps getting better "grabs popcorn"

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 06:03 PM

25. Thank you for the post Babylonsister.

Well Said!

I love our new united front.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 06:17 PM

26. WOW!!!

 

WHAT AN INCOURAGABLE FOOL!!....

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 08:26 PM

27. Now wait a minute

This is almost too good to be true

was it deliberate?

You mean to tell me Mitch was the only Republican in the chamber

OR he didn't order one of his herd to filibuster for him?

I am finding these nuances hard to believe.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 10:27 PM

28. nth-dimensional chess.

I loves it!

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 10:41 PM

29. What would have been more awesome...

...is if the filibuster rules were already changed and McConnell actually had to speak.

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Response to Gore1FL (Reply #29)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 05:33 AM

32. That would have been a riot! Imagine Foxnews covering it! nt

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 01:51 AM

30. Despicable americafuckers.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 08:29 PM

34. Erras!

McConnell assumed that Senate Democrats -- at least a big chunk of the caucus, anyway -- would balk at Obama's proposal, so he introduced the plan himself.


In chess, this would turn a would-be winner into a loser, and a loser into a hopeless mass of gelatine.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 11:22 PM

35. What an ass.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 12:21 AM

36. But I still like the smaller point of "... just pointing and laughing at McConnell's misfortune and

mistaken assumptions!"

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Response to Dustlawyer (Reply #36)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 10:16 AM

38. I'm willing to point and laugh, at least 15 minutes.....

match that filibuster turtleman....(is there an emoticons for the Silian gesture of hand flicking out from chin....I really need it now)

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 08:52 AM

37. A 40-minute filibuster for one

And add Sen. Chuck Grassley to the foolish pile---Grassley in a 40-minute-long diatribe on the Senator floor ended up sounding like he was filibustering in support of filibustering (excerpted in the Press-Citizen captioned “Filibuster change a partisan power grab,” 12/9/12).

Grassley and his fellow Republican obstructionists are trying to continue their partisan stranglehold that constitutes government of the privileged few, by the privileged few and for the privileged few. In his long-winded propaganda Grassley spoke of the “design” he contends is built into the Constitution but disingenuously tries to hide the fact that ”filibuster” is not even provided for in the Constitution.

Filibuster is a rules-instituted ploy devised to thwart what is provided for in the Constitution and that is “a representative form of government.” This is what the first Republican President Abe Lincoln took the people in Union to ensure would not perish from the earth and so described on a battlefield of that war of preservation as “government of the people, by the people and for the people.”

In addition to James Madison’s Federalist Paper No. 63 in which he describes the role of the Senate, Grassley might want to read and grasp what Madison had to say about the remedy to partisanship in Federalist Paper No. 10, “The Utility of the Union as a Safeguard Against Domestic Faction and Insurrection.” In it Madison comes down in strong support of representative government as the remedy and concludes his paper with:

“In the extent and proper structure of the Union, therefore, we behold a republican remedy for the diseases most incident to republican government. And according to the degree of pleasure and pride we feel in being republicans, ought to be our zeal in cherishing the spirit and supporting the character of Federalists.”

Do away with the filibuster and get to work doing WE THE PEOPLE’s business---if what is done does not serve the interests of the people within our republican hey can use their vote to throw out of office those that misrepresent them and their common interests.

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