McConnell: 2013 in the Senate: "A Good Year."
In the wake of the capitulation of a faction of the Republican Conference Tuesday, Senate Leadership held a gaggle outside their weekly lunch where they did their best to polish the turd of a deal they'd just cut with Senate Majority Leader Reid. I understand the need to put a happy face on the deal, but Senator McConnell - betraying his true feelings - heaped praise on the way the Senate has operated this year.
The comments are shocking and troubling because they show very clearly that Senator McConnell's is a minority Senate leader who is more interested in getting crumbs from the majority than he is in using his position as Leader to block bad legislation.
During his comments, Senator McConnell waxed nostalgic for the days before Senator Reid threatened the nuclear option in the Senate pointing out that "previous to this we've had a pretty good year from the Senate point of view. We've followed regular order on three major bills. Members have been able of offer multiple amendments ... and at the end of the day three major bills, WRDA, the Farm Bill and immigration - a very controversial measure - ended up passing the Senate. " Leader McConnell then went on to opine about how he hoped the Senate could continue to operate in this fashion. Click here for the full clip.
This is a supreme triumph of process over policy. Senator McConnell makes clear in this clip that his real concern in the Senate is being able to have a process that he thinks is fair, but ultimately serves to pass legislation no matter how bad.
Making the sausage is what is important - whether or not the diner get ptomaine poisoning is secondary.
The three bills he highlighted represent the worse of Senate lawmaking. The bills were huge budget busters, the immigration bill granted amnesty to millions, and they were all in open conflict to conservative values. While McConnell may vote against him, by openly praising the passing of legislation that does violence to principles of limited government, he's surrendered any pretense he may have had of being a champion for conservative values.
To add insult to injury, by acquiescing to the deal with Reid, he's just made it easier for Reid to process liberal policies through the Senate and made it harder for true conservatives to do McConnell's job of blocking bad legislation.