We all know that Sen. Mitch McConnell is quite fond of the filibuster. Sure, he used to be for reforming and weakening it, but that was before he was in the minority and used it like an Uzi, spreading over 380 filibusters all over the Senate chamber in recent years.
But today, McConnell broke yet another milestone in the history of the filibuster, and did so in spectacular fashion.
With Republicans now threatening to play a repeat of last summer, when they held the economy hostage by threatening not to raise the debt ceiling, today McConnell attempted a stunt by offering up the Democratic debt ceiling plan for a vote. Yes, this happened to be the exact same plan that McConnell himself came up with last year (and wasn’t used), where it would take a 2/3 majority to override the president’s ability to lift the ceiling.
But Harry Reid then called McConnell’s bluff, and allowed the vote to proceed.
That’s when comedy ensued, and history was made:
McConnell brought up the legislation Thursday morning. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) initially objected, seemingly proving the Republican leader’s point that it cannot pass the Senate. But then Reid ran it by his members and, in the afternoon, agreed to hold that same vote. This time it was McConnell who objected.
“The Republican leader objects to his own idea,” Reid declared on the floor. “So I guess we have a filibuster of his own bill.”
Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) scoffed at that notion that a senator would ask for a vote on a bill in good faith while requiring that it be “filibuster-proof.”
“This may be a moment in Senate history, when a senator made a proposal that, when given an opportunity for a vote on that proposal, filibustered his own proposal,” he said. “I don’t think this has ever happened before.”
Yes, McConnell loves filibusters so much that he’s taken the unprecedented step of filibustering his own bill, which includes his own idea that he now thinks is outlandish tyranny.
Or perhaps the filibuster Frankenstein that McConnell created has become self-aware? I think I saw a movie about this kind of thing once…
UPDATE: For your viewing pleasure: