GREGG COMPLETES THE TRANSITION TO BUFFOON…. It was just five years ago that Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) was so anxious to let oil companies drill the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, he tried to use the budget reconciliation process to do it. “If you have 51 votes for your position, you win,” he said at the time, adding, “Is there something wrong with majority rules? I don’t think so.”

This week, Gregg not only said there’s something wrong with majority rules, he manufactured a bizarre history of the Senate that exists only in his imagination.

[U]nder the Senate rules, anything that comes across the floor of the Senate requires 60 votes to pass. It’s called the filibuster. That’s the way the Senate was structured. […]

The Founding Fathers realized when they structured this they wanted checks and balances. They didn’t want things rushed through. They saw the parliamentary system. They knew it didn’t work… That’s why we have the 60-vote situation over here in the Senate to require that things get full consideration.

That guy named Judd Gregg who said, “If you have 51 votes for your position, you win”? Yeah, he’s gone missing, and has been replaced with this shameless hack.

It’s hard to overstate how truly ridiculous Gregg’s analysis is. It simply has no foundation in reality. The Senate wasn’t “structured” to require supermajorities on literally every bill, nomination, and resolution — that’s the exact opposite of the truth. This isn’t a subjective question open to interpretation; Gregg is just lying.

And when Gregg says the framers of the Constitution “saw the parliamentary system” and rejected it, he’s just making things up. Matt Yglesias, who refers to Gregg as “an idiot,” explained, “There were no countries operating on a modern parliamentary system when the constitution was written. And why doesn’t it work? It seems to work in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Hungary, India, Japan, Korea, etc.”

Keep in mind, Gregg spent years nurturing a reputation as something of a high-minded moderate. Indeed, the New Hampshire Republican briefly agreed to join President Obama’s cabinet last year, before abruptly changing his mind. Now that he’s retiring from Congress, the senator can finally be himself. Released from the burdens of satisfying donors or impressing voters, Gregg can be as honest and as honorable as his conscience dictates.

And this is what we’re left with — an embarrassing buffoon.

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.