Cocaine Mitch Rides Again, but It's a Little Too Late

Sarah Silbiger/Pool via AP

Sen. Mitch McConnell has decided to play hardball again, and he’s seeking to force votes on a number of key issues that could leave Democrats squirming in their seats. These include things like whether to pay benefits to illegal aliens and whether to cut funding to schools that refuse to reopen despite.

Fox News has the story.

Senate Republicans are set to force Democrats to cast votes on a variety of potentially uncomfortable topics in the coming days, taking advantage of the rules of the budget reconciliation process Democrats are using to advance President Biden’s coronavirus stimulus plan while getting around a filibuster…

…”The new President talks a lot about unity, but his White House staff and congressional leadership are working from the opposite playbook,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said of the budget reconciliation process. “We’ll be discussing the facts… Senate Republicans will be ready and waiting with a host of amendments to improve the rushed procedural step that’s being jammed through.”

He added: “We’ll be getting senators on the record about whether taxpayers should fund checks for illegal immigrants… whether Democrats should raise taxes on small businesses in the midst of this historic crisis… and whether generous federal funding should pour into school districts where the unions refuse to let schools open. And this is just a small taste.”

I like the vigor, but anyone would be left wondering where this was when McConnell actually had the power to force these votes as Senate Majority Leader? Why, only when the GOP has lost power, does the party finally decide to project a backbone?

Thus is the issue that has plagued Republicans for a very long time. They love being in the minority. They are never more enthused and focused than when they no longer hold the power to actually exact any real change. The protest votes and putting Democrats in uncomfortable positions are nice, but they are hardly the pinnacle of governance for voters that put these people in Washington to actually accomplish things. McConnell could have forced a vote on school funding, for example, long ago. It was patently clear that there was no scientific reason to keep them closed as early as last summer. That’s why so many red state districts did, in fact, go back to school on time in August and September.

As Majority Leader, McConnell used to have the power to put Democrats on the spot at will. He didn’t do so, though. People should be asking why? I love the Cocaine Mitch meme as much as the next conservative political junkie, but if he’s only going play hardball when in the minority, that sort of defeats the point. It’s like the guy who acts tough by having his friends “hold him back” from throwing a punch. GOP voters want the punch to actually be thrown. They don’t want more theatrics. That’s part of what built the frustration that led to Donald Trump becoming president in the first place.

You’d think the establishment, so eager to move past the Trump era, would learn a lesson or two. That doesn’t seem likely, though.


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