CALLING OUT MCCONNELL’S WILLFUL IGNORANCE…. Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) isn’t especially partisan or ideological. He’s not known for angry rhetoric or picking fights.

So when he calls out Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) for being a deceptive hack, it carries some weight.

Warner personally helped shape the provisions in the financial-regulation bill on responding to the threats posed by too-big-to-fail firms. So, when McConnell, parroting a baseless strategy memo written by a GOP pollster, said the legislation would mean “endless taxpayer-funded bailouts for big Wall Street banks,” Warner took it kind of personally.

The centrist Virginian told Ezra Klein that it “appears” that McConnell “either doesn’t understand or chooses not to understand the basic underlying premise of what this bill puts in place.”

“Resolution [authority],” Warner continued, “will be so painful for any company. No rational management team would ever choose resolution. It means shareholders wiped out. Management wiped out. Your firm is going away. At least in bankruptcy, there was some chance that some of your equity would’ve been retained and you could come out in some form on the other side of the process. The resolution that Corker and I have tried to create means the death of the company. The institution is gone.” […]

“And here’s the hypocrisy of the Republican leader’s comments,” continues Warner. “I can guarantee you that if there had not been some pre-funding, the critique would’ve been: ‘Look at these guys! They’ve left the taxpayers exposed! What’s going to keep the lights on for these few days? It’s going to be Treasury funds or Federal Reserve funds. The taxpayer will be exposed!’”

“If you haven’t spent time with these issues,” Warner concluded, “it’s easy to pop off with sound-bite solutions that don’t work.”

The ongoing debate can continue over whether senators like McConnell are embarrassingly ignorant or shameless hacks, but given what we’ve seen of late, it’s not unreasonable for the political world to consider the notion that the Senate Minority Leader doesn’t have the foggiest idea what’s going in public policy.

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.