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Whigging out
Author: Raine    Date: 02/09/2015 14:07:10

Last November the house increased its GOP majority and the Senate found itself with a Republican majority. The conservatives were happy. They would now be ready to legislate their agenda. The new Senate majority Leader was ready to go to work.
" {Henry} Clay obviously has a special place in the lives of many Kentuckians, and particularly somebody like me who ended up being in the Senate and looks to a person like Clay for guidance," McConnell said in the interview. "The way Clay operated — a marvelous combination of compromise and principle — is a lesson for the ages if you're a public official."

It's a lesson McConnell says he wants to bring back to the Senate.

"The Senate in the last few years basically doesn't do anything. We don't even vote," McConnell said in a press conference one day after the election.

Many blame McConnell for that. He did, after all, once declare that his top priority was to make Barack Obama a one-term president. Now, he says he wants to see the Senate become the chamber of deliberative debate. He wants to see it pass bills, not resort to procedural gamesmanship.

Flash forward to February 2015. The Republican-led Senate held three votes in three days to fund the DHS — which includes overturning the President's executives actions regarding immigration changes — and all three times the Democratic minority filibustered it.
The conundrum was somewhat predictable. McConnell had relinquished his only surefire leverage — to withhold funds to keep the government running — by promising there was "no possibility of a government shutdown" on his watch.
McConnell was flummoxed by Democrats' blocking tactics.

"I think it's a rather, honestly, absurd position to say that, 'We object to the bill but we don't want to debate the bill or change the bill.' So, I'm perplexed," he said, responding to a question from TPM. "I think it's a pretty hard argument to make with a straight face."

After the Thursday vote, McConnell adjourned the Senate for the week without a fallback plan as the clock ticks to a DHS shutdown on February 27.

Multiple Republican senators who spoke to TPM to last week — including Sens. John McCain (R-AZ), Roger Wicker (R-MS) and Jeff Flake (R-AZ) — said they didn't know what the Senate would do next on DHS funding.
Behind closed doors, there are Republicans asking for a clean bill to get out of this mess.
The GOP-led House had just created a quandary with no easy way out — passing a $39.7 billion Department of Homeland Security spending bill loaded with riders on immigration policy that stand no chance of clearing a Democratic filibuster in the Senate. And with funding set to run out at the end of February, some GOP senators were in no mood to play endless games with the House.

“We just need to rip the Band-Aid off,” said one Republican senator, saying the Senate should strip out all the immigration language and pass a “clean” DHS funding bill. “I think the House guys rolled a grenade in the room,” a second GOP senator said later.
They have no back up plan. And it really does drive the point that Senator Franken made last week.
Roughly 25 minutes into Thursday’s meeting, senators had finished debate but were still lacking the attendance level needed to officially advance legislation on child pornography victims and public access to government information. Then, Franken arrived to push attendance over the tipping point.

“You know, you guys are in the majority,” Franken teased GOP senators as he entered the room.

With a reporting quorum secured, Chairman Charles E. Grassley, R-Iowa, sought to quickly move ahead with the committee’s agenda.

But Franken pressed his point, telling Grassley, “No, I want to say something about this.”

“You know when we were in the majority … we had the responsibility to provide a quorum,” Franken said. “And I thought that you guys, your side, didn't show up because you just resented being in the minority. But now I know … it’s just sheer laziness.”
Don't let the article's headline fool you, he may have been smiling when he said it, but he was not joking.

They are too lazy and quite honestly, spiteful to actually govern in any proper way. Let's go back to the 2014 article I posted above…
Democrats are quick to point out, however, that he has also led more than 500 filibusters against them since Obama took office. Binder says McConnell can only hope they don't retaliate in kind.

"Henry Clay hated the filibuster! He knew that it was preventing his Whig majority from getting anything done," Binder said.

So ironically, if Democrats do get their revenge on McConnell with filibusters, he'll have one more thing in common with his Kentucky hero.
That's right. Henry Clay, upon his death, was a member of the Whig party.

At the rate that the GOP is headed, It will go the way of the Whigs and just become the Tea party.

It could be one more thing the leader might have in common with his political Hero.


46 comments (Latest Comment: 02/09/2015 23:41:48 by TriSec)
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