After Years of Faux Outrage Mitch McConnell Shows Us What Ram Though Looks Like
So I’m reading Mitch McConnell’s autobiography that was published in 2016. It’s called The Long Game. It does show that McConnell is unfortunately very good at what he does.
“What is clear is that Mitch McConnell has very little margin for error. That’s the good news. The bad news is that McConnell is a truly shameful partisan hack-who is very good at this. I don’t know if he is able to push this monstrosity over the goal lines-truly the worst bill since the Poor Laws. But if anyone can, it’s him as he knows how to whip up votes and pass bills.”
“We can only wish Donald Trump was the one trying to whip up Senate votes for it with his hamhanded tactics. McConnell knows how to deal with members and make sure they feel their concerns are heard.”
He’s despicable and shameful, but he knows what he’s doing-unlike Herr Trump. He has Trump’s same authoritarian tendencies-note that the Senate GOP has also been cracking down on the press during Trumpcare just like the WH.
But unlike Trump he and his staff are very disciplined in terms of both when to talk to the press and what to say.
While McConnell’s own book is called ‘The Long Game’ the book that really gets him right is Alex MacGillis
Consider all McConnell’s pious invective over the process that got us Obamacare.
“No better example exists of this than the story behind the passage of Obamacare. When Democrats in the Senate couldn’t convince even one Republican that this bill was worth supporting as written, they decided to do it on their own and pass it on a party line vote. And now we’re seeing the result. The chaos this law has visited on our country isn’t just deeply tragic, it was entirely predictable. That will always be the case if you approach legislation without regard for the views of the other side. Without some meaningful buy-in, you guarantee a food fight. You guarantee instability and strife.”
Yes, we can see how hard McConnell has labored to take into account the views of the other side and how important Democratic buy in has been for him. The fact that no Democrats are interested in Trumpcare has lead McConnell to rethink it and consider tabling it. Oh wait.
It may very well have been the case that on Obamacare, the will of the country was not to pass the bill at all. That’s what I would have concluded if Republicans couldn’t get a single Democratic vote for legislation of this magnitude. But Democrats plowed forward anyway. They didn’t want to hear it and the results are clear. It’s a mess.”
That’s what I would have concluded if Republicans can’t get a single Democratic vote for legislation of this magnitude.
Talk about a mindfuck. Talk about gaslighting. Talk about rank hypocrisy. Thy name is Mitch McConnell.
As we prepared to take up the vote, President Obama said, “I think it’s important for every single member of the Senate to take a careful look at what’s in the bill.” This was a ridiculous and misleading statement, because there was no bill to read. The version we would consider was not the one that we would vote on—because the final bill was still being worked on in private, behind closed doors. Even Senator Dick Durbin, the assistant majority leader on the Democratic side, admitted he hadn’t seen the details of this bill. The only thing we knew for sure about it was that it would raise taxes, raise premiums, and slash Medicare by $700 billion to pay for a vast expansion of government into health care that an overwhelming majority of Americans opposed. The only argument Democrats were left with was a call to history. Well, history was going to be made either way. And this much was clear:
passing this bill in the way Obama, Reid, and the others were trying to pass it—ramming it down the throats of not just Republicans, but all Americans—would be a historic mistake that those who supported it would come to regret.”
The final bill was being worked on in private, behind closed doors. Meanwhile, even Republican Senators are telling us they haven’t seen Senate Trumpcare. And McConnell wants to reveal the actual bill at the very last moment-giving Senators one hour before they actually have to vote.
As it happens, the Democratic Senate had more days of hearings than the number of hours McConnell is allowing for debate-not more than 10.
“If I had been the guy in charge of all this, I might have paused at this moment to consider what this meant. I might even have taken a look at the vote tallies of some of the most far-reaching legislation of the past century. Medicare and Medicaid were both approved with the support of about half the members of the minority. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 passed with the votes of thirty out of thirty-two members of the Republican minority—all but two. Only six senators voted against the Social Security Act. And only eight voted against the Americans with Disabilities Act. In no case had those votes happened by throwing these bills together in a back room and dropping them on the floor with a stopwatch running. It happened through a laborious process of legislating, persuasion, and coalition-building. It took time and patience and hard work, and it guaranteed that every one of these laws had stability. So maybe we needed to rethink what the future was going to hold for a bill of this magnitude to be enacted with literally no support whatsoever from the minority party. The mess to come was inevitable. Anyone with a sense of the long term could see that. But Democrats plowed forward anyway.”
“The problem with the bill wasn’t simply the substance, but the arrogance with which it had been enacted. I was reminded of an experience I’d recently had, a chance encounter with LBJ’s daughter, Luci Baines Johnson, in the Capitol Rotunda, to celebrate the hundredth anniversary of LBJ’s birth. I had never met her, but I approached her that day. “Luci, I was there the day your dad signed the Voting Rights Act.” “I was there too,” she said. “I remember it so well. Daddy told me to come with him. He said it was an important day. On the way to the Capitol, he told me that Senator Everett Dirksen was joining him at the signing. I asked him why he was having a Republican there with him. ‘He had a lot to do with this getting passed,’ Daddy said. ‘And I think the country is going to be a lot more likely to accept this by knowing it was done in a broad bipartisan way.’” The lesson was clear: Americans believe that on issues of great importance, one party shouldn’t be allowed to force its will on everyone else. Yet that’s exactly what the Democrats did, and for his part in it, Obama squandered a great deal of political capital.”
Very impressive theatrics with all this faux outrage as it’s pretty clear McConnell didn’t mean a word of it.
— Adrianna McIntyre (@onceuponA) June 24, 2017
All McConnell’s talk about a transparent process was just that. Pure theatrics. As for this idea that the bill was bad just because it passed with only Democratic votes…
A partisan VOTE is not the same as a partisan PROCESS.
— Louise Norris (@LouiseNorris) June 24, 2017
As it turns out the Obamacare process was anything but a ram through:
Is what Senate Republicans have done anything at all like what Senate Democrats did to pass the Senate version of the Affordable Care Act? We wish.
“Why? Because a quick look at what happened on the Senate side of the 2009-2010 health reform battle reveals that Senate Democrats didn’t hide their bill in the shadows – and their legislation wasn’t “jammed down people’s throat,” as claimed by Trump spokesman Sean Spicer.”
“Thirty-five weeks of opportunities – hearings, summits, bipartisan roundtables, negotations – allowing Republicans to thoroughly review and offer their proposals and amendments before a Senate vote on Obamacare? That’s hardly ramming.”
As usual this is Republican projection. After years of inveighing against a ‘ram through’ McConnell and friends give us the real thing.
As for the notion that any bill that passes on a party line vote is illegitimate how does McConnell explain his defense for impeaching Bill Clinton-that he was intimately involved in-McConnell-of course-voted to impeach. Of course, as McConnell always does the partisan Republican thing in every situation.
Back to his autobiography:
“We Republicans had also clearly overplayed our hand. Over Democrats’ objections, the House Judiciary Committee had released Clinton’s videotaped grand jury testimony and more than three thousand pages of the so-called Starr Report, including sexually explicit details revealed in Monica Lewinsky’s testimony and photos of the infamously stained blue dress. Clinton’s testimony was broadcast on television, and rather than turn against him, the public—seeing him sweating through long questioning sessions, looking boxed in—began to feel sorry for the guy. While some of my Democratic colleagues, like Senator Robert Byrd, later said that removing Clinton wouldn’t have been good for the country, I disagree. I think what’s not good for the country is the message that the president of the United States can subvert the justice system by lying under oath.”
While he admits that the GOP overplayed its hand he continues to insist that Clinton should have been impeached even though it was a party line vote-and as McConnell also acknowledges, Clinton’s popularity just climbed and climbed through the entire Ken Starr-Monica Lewinsky caper.
So as far as party line votes are concerned:
1. He thought that delegitimized Obamacare because even though the process was open and long and the GOP got many amendments passed, the bill passed with Democratic votes alone.
2. But he was fine with a purely party line vote undoing an Presidential election vote
3. He doesn’t believe a strictly party line vote for Trumpcare-with a wholly secret and partisan process-delegitimizes Trumpcare.
What all this adds up to is: McConnell is an unprincipled Republican party hack who always votes the party line.
He is truly a Republican first and an American second.
P.S. So the Gravis poll against Peter King NY2 and it has good news-almost too good to believe.
In my March poll I trailed King by 11 and thought that was very good news. Now Gravis has me up by 10? Still, the moment of truth is next week when Gravis writes up the press release.
I can use any help I can get at this point-volunteers or supporters who live in NY 2. Donations whatever your zip code. These days we can’t just support a local Dem we need a Dem Congress. Which is why I’ve donated few hundred to Jon Ossoff.
Please donate to help me in my part of the effort to fight for a Dem House-$5 or $10 can do so much.
If you feel that you can’t I, of course, understand-who is rich these days? But please do me one favor: ask yourself privately, mentally, if you really can’t spare $5 dollars. If you can honestly say you can’t, no worries.
We can have a Dem Congress, we must have a Dem Cogress, and we will.
Thank you. We must have a Dem House. And so, we will.