McConnell Needs to Go in 2014

“The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.” –Senator Mitch McConnell, 23 October 2010

With this statement, Senator McConnell rewrote his own job description from that of a United States Senator representing the people of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, to a hard-nosed ideologue intent on a solitary goal of ending another man’s political career.

Two years and hundreds of filibusters later, the President wins his bid for reelection, by a landslide.

What does Senator “one-term” McConnell have to say about that?

“The American people did two things: they gave President Obama a second chance to fix the problems that even he admits he failed to solve during his first four years in office, and they preserved Republican control of the House of Representatives,” McConnell said in a statement. “The voters have not endorsed the failures or excesses of the President’s first term, they have simply given him more time to finish the job they asked him to do together with a Congress that restored balance to Washington after two years of one-party control.” –Senator McConnell

You see what he did there? Senator McConnell is pretending that the record number of filibusters he and his party orchestrated, even on legislation that they agreed with, is a personal failure of President Barack Obama.

The lack of productivity in the Senate for the past four years is a failure of Mitch McConnell and the Republican Party, not President Barack Obama.

Take a look at this handy chart, that lays out exactly who has filibustered in the Senate the most, by number and by percentage. At the top of the chart? Republican after Republican, after Republican. If your Senators are on the top half of this list, you should be angry. Very angry.

Filibustering is refusing to debate. It is refusing to vote. It is refusing to allow anyone to debate or vote–per Senate rules, sixty Senators must vote to overrule a single, anonymous Senator who may filibuster a bill, then waltz out of the Chamber, off into the city. A filibuster, under current rules, does not require a Senator to hold the floor. It does not require that one, single Senator to even be in the building.

If one or both of your Senators are on the top half of this list, your hired representatives are refusing to do their jobs.

Just think a second: what would happen if you decided you left an anonymous note on your boss’ desk saying that you didn’t feel like working that day, then walked out? I’d be written up, docked points, and fired.

There hasn’t been balance in Congress since President Obama was elected in 2008, and that’s because the vast majority of the Republican Party has been refusing to do their jobs.

Mitch McConnell is the orchestrator of this collective tantrum, and as a resident of Kentucky, I am angry. Rand Paul, my other Senator, has refused to work over eighty percent of his short time in the Capital. I am very angry. My state has no voice in the Senate. None. Kentucky’s representatives in the Senate anonymously protest, then run off into the city to do whatever it is old white men do in Washington D.C.

Kentucky, we have two more years until Mitch McConnell is up for reelection. And you know what? I’m angry enough that I’d consider running against him myself–but I don’t meet the minimum age requirement, and I won’t meet it in two years, either. So to anyone considering running against Mitch in 2014? Consider this as my letter of interest.


Senate Debating Filibuster Reform Now.

Right now, the Senate is debating on the filibuster reform. The debate is being aired on C-Span 2. This article, posted on the New York Times late last night, summarizes the current situation.

On C-Span, the Republicans are framing this as a tactic to suppress the rights of the minority. This is not so. I have linked again and again to the proposal being debated. It does nothing to suppress the minority, whoever they may be, in the Senate. The proposal requires 10 Senators to filibuster, their names to be public, and objecting Senators to remain on the floor. When no one is on the floor, the filibuster ends, and the chamber is allowed to proceed. It eliminates the ability for a Senator to filibuster a motion to proceed–which means that under current rules, a single, anonymous Senator may object to debate. It also suggests an expedited process for nomination, and ends the segregation by party in the chamber.

Read it for yourself. This does not, by any means, suppress the rights of the minority. It simply requires accountability. It eliminates the ability of a single, anonymous Senator to prevent debate on legislation. It requires more than one, single, anonymous Senator to filibuster a bill. It allows those Senators to filibuster as long as they wish–so long as they can hold the floor. If they no longer wish to speak to the body, the filibuster ends, so Senators cannot object, then traipse home for a holiday. It requires effort on the part of objecting Senators, and that is what Republicans are objecting to.