November 7, 2014

Rules are rules

Harry Reid has sewn some terrible rules for the Senate minority.  The Republicans have had to live by them for the last several years.  Mitch McConnell has talked about rolling them back, and he should - as soon as it becomes apparent that the GOP might lose control of the senate.  That time is not today.  In fact the earliest that might be is late 2016.

Why not govern and force the senate Democrats, now the minority, to live under the same yoke that they forced Republicans to live under?  There is ZERO upside to being more pariamentarian than senator Reid.  Yes it's the right way to govern, but (1) they shoved a lot of garbage down the throat of Americans by bending these rules.  That needs to be corrected, and making it more difficult for yourself to do so is foolish. That makes ZERO sense. (2) The GOP will get ZERO media credit for fixing things.  That means there will be little to no public perception benefit for the GOP espousing fairness. It means no extra votes in 2016. ZERO. (3) The GOP may control the Congress and Senate, but they need as much muscle as they can muster to confront president Obama, who shows no signs of being willing to compromise on his progressive agenda.  Making it more difficult for yourself to contain a lame duck president who wants to instead govern as a king makes ZERO sense.

Mitch McConnell has benefitted from an unhappy conservative base, who have bit their lip and voted for the establishment Republicans in many cases.  The Tea Party have taken one for the team.  They've enabled the Republicans to be able to fight a radical progressive agenda.  They've done so not because they love the GOP, but because they realize that's the only way they'll have skin in the game.  Having taken a pass on Romney in 2012, there's not much else in terms of options.

But that does not give the GOP a pass to govern the senate as if they were still the go-along-to-get-along minority.  To do so will spell a truly bad split within the party base.  Conservative voters want action and the GOP in the senate had better be prepared to deliver or they will truly realize a backlash in 2016.  On the other hand, they are set up perfectly to take action.  Bold action.  There is a difference between bold and reckless and Mitch McConnell would do well to recognize that.  The choices facing the GOP are note solely recklessness and unilateral disarmament.

Use the tools yoe've been given to the fullest possible advantage.  That seems like a no-brainer.  Yes those tools dismantle the reasoning for the senate in the first place and they should be gone.  But the Republicans can now control when that happens. So get it right Mitch.

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