Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans have hatched a plan for revenge on Harry Reid that is toxic that it could cost the Kentucky senator his seat in November.
According to the Washington Examiner,
Senate Republicans still smarting from a Democratic rules change that diminished their power to block President Obama’s appointees are vowing retribution against the majority when lawmakers return to work in January.
Republicans blame Democrats for new tensions created by the rules change — especially the manner in which Reid pushed it through. Unlike other issues, where senators might dance around intentions to exact political retribution, Republicans are candid about their plans to retaliate over the filibuster.
“If [Reid] decides that because he broke the rules he now wants to use the new rules to jam through a bunch of nominees and try and run over Republicans, obviously we’re not going to lay down for that,” said Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., chairman of the Republican conference.
Sen. Thune’s attempt to paint Senate Republicans as the victims of a Democratic power grab ignored the critical fact that for years, Democrats laid down and let Republicans abuse the rules and obstruct the Senate at will.
Mitch McConnell and his caucus are throwing a prolonged temper tantrum over the loss of their ability to prevent President Obama from staffing up a functional Executive Branch.
Republicans have couched their beef in the lofty language of the rights of the minority, but the cold hard political reality is that egos have been bruised, and as a consequence they are going to sacrifice the good of the country for some misguided personal retribution.
What McConnell and his band of Emily Thorne wannabes don’t understand is that their plan for revenge could have grave consequences for their reelection campaigns. For example, if Republicans decide make the 1.3 million Americans who just lost their unemployment benefits suffer because they are mad at Harry Reid, an embattled candidate for reelection like McConnell will be handing his Democratic opponent a club to beat him over the head with in the fall. This same dynamic could play out to an even bigger degree on the bill to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, and on many other issues during 2014.
Mitch McConnell vowed revenge when Harry Reid changed the filibuster rules, and this scheme has the Kentucky minority leader’s fingerprints all over it. The arrogant attempt to teach Democrats a lesson is bound to fail, and it could very well cost Republicans their chance to take control of the Senate, and Mitch McConnell his own Senate seat.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association