Mitch McConnell: I will prevent the Senate from doing anything if you try to stop me from stopping the Senate from doing anythingComments
What can you even say at this point?
We’re going to halt the business of the Senate if you don’t let us halt the business of the Senate. https://t.co/Hx4WXUqy4e— Bethany Albertson (@AlbertsonB2) January 26, 2021
The sheer terror McConnell has of the idea of the Senate having a democratic voting rule for priorities other than Mitch McConnell’s really should be an object lesson to Democratic holdouts; whether they will figure it out in time, who knows.
It would also help if the media would point out what when McConnell claims that the filibuster “helps the minority craft legislation,” what he actually wants to do is to stop the Senate from doing anything, knowing that the president will be blamed for failing to create bipartisanship out of thin air:
McConnell is employing a simple but deceptive scam that has hoodwinked a lot of people for a long time. The central ruse is that McConnell piously holds up the filibuster as a tool for securing bipartisan cooperation.
In reality, however, McConnell himself uses the filibuster in precisely the opposite way: to facilitate the partisan withholding of cooperation to an extraordinary extent, for largely instrumental ends.
In McConnell’s wielding, then, the filibuster facilitated the prevention of outbreaks of bipartisanship. It isn’t just that in many cases it blocked Senate Democrats from governing despite having the majority. It also set up standoffs in which refusing to reach compromises with a Democratic president fulfilled the instrumental goal of casting him as a failed leader.
There is very little doubt that McConnell intends to do the same to Biden wherever possible. In fact, as Brian Beutler suggests, by holding Senate action hostage right now — all to leverage Democrats into unilateral disarmament in the face of future filibustering — McConnell is already doing this.
The idea of a Republican minority being able to stop the Democratic majority from passing a popular legislative agenda should be as ridiculous as the idea of Mitch McConnell allowing a Supreme Court vacancy to remain open for 4 years under a Republican president, but partisan asymmetry makes it a genuinely open question, one of the many pernicious anti-democratic feedback loops of American constitutionalism.