In case you were wondering where Republicans in Congress would do for an encore after having completely dispirited and depressed their voting base in less than 60 days by flubbing a slam dunk abortion bill and passing a clean DHS funding bill without anything more than a token fight over Obama’s executive amnesty, well, you’re going to want to sit down because [mc_name name=’Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’M000355′ ] and his crack crew are ready to knock your socks off:
With the Department of Homeland Security standoff in the rearview mirror, Senate Republicans are going on offense with proposals that divide Democrats such as an Iran oversight bill and trade legislation.
Senate Republicans are desperate to show they can govern after they largely wasted February haggling over a DHS funding bill without winning any of the concessions they hoped for on immigration.
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Senate Democrats last week accused Senate Majority Leader [mc_name name=’Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’M000355′ ] (R-Ky.) of turning a bipartisan Iran bill into a wedge issue by pushing it on to the floor before the administration had completed its negotiations with the Iranian government over its nuclear program.
McConnell relented on bringing up the bipartisan bill, which would give Congress oversight over an Iranian nuclear deal, after Democrats vowed to unify and filibuster it.
“In an opportunistic moment he tried to drive a wedge between Democrats and Israel and with his backtracking, that move backfired,” said a senior Democratic aide.
Trade is another issue on the Senate agenda that divides Democrats. While President Obama has called on Congress to grant him fast-track authority to negotiate trade deals, Senate Democratic Leader [mc_name name=’Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’R000146′ ] (Nev.) is opposed.
It’s difficult to know where to begin in terms of describing the abject futility and aura of despair that surrounds everything [mc_name name=’Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’M000355′ ] does these days. In the first place, the priorities McConnell is pursuing are absolute non-issues in the minds of most Americans. In the most recent Gallup polling of “The Most Important Problem Facing America Today,” “Trade” literally does not register, and “International issues, problems” pulls in at a whopping 1%.
Of course, what McConnell is pushing for, to wit, “maintaining Congressional control over negotiations with Iran” and “ensuring President Obama has more latitude to conduct trade negotiations” polls even more irrelevantly, if possible. Which is to say nothing about the stupidity of the contradictory message McConnell will send at the probable forthcoming press conferences on these issues: “We want Congress to have more authority over Obama’s negotiations with Iran! We want Congress to have less authority over Obama’s negotiations with everyone else! Why are these Democrats who are blocking us so unreasonable?”
Setting aside the fact that McConnell has already capitulated on forcing the Iran vote, even if he succeeds in splitting the Democrats in Congress on these votes, who in America will care? It’s like [mc_name name=’Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’M000355′ ] is using some retro mid-90s playbook only with less ideas, strategy, and testicular fortitude behind the entire enterprise. Meanwhile, all of America has moved on to other things (like immigration (13%), dissatisfaction with government (19%) and the economy (20%)) for which McConnell has no answer other than “keep doing things the way we have done them” or “sorry, the Democrats are in control here.”
This is a national embarrassment. If this is how the GOP Congress intends to pick up the pieces and redeem themselves in the eyes of America after the spectacular debacle of the last two months, they frankly ought to fold up the tent, go home, and leave [mc_name name=’Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’C001098′ ] in town to just filibuster everything [mc_name name=’Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’R000146′ ] wants to do. The result could not possibly be worse than what we have in store for us over the next two years.