THE PROSPECT OF A FILIBUSTER…. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ken.) recently said his Republican caucus would not filibuster an economic stimulus package. McConnell, alas, appears to have it backwards.

U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Tuscaloosa, said he is prepared to filibuster the proposed economic stimulus bill, but fears enough Republicans will side with Senate Democrats to override any attempt to block the bill’s passage.

Shelby’s remarks came during a county meeting Monday morning at the Wiregrass Rehabilitation Center in Dothan.

The Senate is expected to debate a proposed $900 billion stimulus bill this week. A similar measure passed the House last week. Shelby said the plan will not provide the quick boost the economy needs.

“Are we prepared to filibuster? Hope so,” Shelby said. “But I’m afraid we may have two or three (Republicans) that might jump ship.”

It’s not just Shelby. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) told NPR the other day that he expects a Republican filibuster on the stimulus package; Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) said he sees a filibuster as “possible”; and Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), asked if he would support a filibuster, said, “I would be a part of it.”

So, Senate Republicans not only want to oppose a rescue package in the midst of a serious recession, they want to prevent the chamber from even voting on it. This is their strtegy, despite the severity of the crisis, despite the tax cuts in the plan, despite the calls from Republican governors, despite Obama’s outreach, despite the endorsements from economists and the business community, and despite the fact that so much is at stake.

Got it.

Update: Looks like Elana Schor had the Shelby story first.

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.