QUOTE OF THE DAY…. The debate over Wall Street reform hasn’t exactly been a good one for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). After a behind-closed-doors chat with some hedge fund managers and bankers, he launched an effort to kill the bill with a brazen lie, which no one could defend.
And yet, in about a half-hour, it appears McConnell will nevertheless lead his united Republican caucus in unanimous opposition to even starting a debate on this popular legislation. Faiz Shakir reports this afternoon on McConnell’s explanation on why the Senate shouldn’t even be allowed to vote on the motion to proceed.
“A vote for cloture is a vote that says, ‘We’re done listening to the American people on this issue.’ … A vote against ending this debate tonight is a vote that says it’s no longer enough to tell our constituents to trust us. It’s a vote that says this time, we’ll prove it.”
Ever get the feeling McConnell just doesn’t care anymore? It’s as if he assumes — probably correctly — that there are no consequences for adopting an almost pathological approach to the truth, so he’ll just be as shameless as he can be.
Before anyone thinks McConnell may be more ignorant than mendacious, don’t buy it. He’s been in the Senate for a quarter of a century. He knows what a motion to proceed is. He knows getting an up-or-down vote to begin a floor debate isn’t the end of the discussion; it’s the start. McConnell knows this but lies anyway, because he can.
I am curious about something, though, and hoping some enterprising young reporter can pester McConnell about this. Last month, the Minority Leader was one of many Senate Republicans who insisted that lawmakers do what polls tell them to do. Senators must respect the will of the voters, McConnell and others said, or our democracy suffers.
Well, Americans overwhelmingly back the Wall Street reform effort — the one Republicans are apparently afraid to even debate on the Senate floor. What happened the GOP notion that policymakers have a responsibility to do what the polls tell them to do?