Reid and McConnell were expected to resume negotiations today after conferring with lawmakers. With the tremendous national interest and media buildup to this week’s confrontation, it would be extraordinary if the two sides did not reach an agreement on ground rules.
What is “extraordinary” is the willingness of Harry Reid to lie about the use of the 60 vote rule repeatedly over the Bush years, and now for the company town newspaper to boldly airbrush history. A genuine news report would note how often the Democrats had invoked the 60 vote rule in the recent past –including inappropriately over judicial nominations– and then perhaps even quote Hillary from Friday when she lectured the DNC on the 60 vote rule in the Senate.
This hilarious bit of Orwellian rewrite of recent history with Minority Leader Harry Reid’s tactics sent down the memory hole is less shocking than the Post’s William Arkin’s application of the term mercenaries to U.S. troops, but all of a piece. The Mitch McConnell-led Senate GOP is getting a taste of what the next two years will be like, and it needs to get organized now for the almost daily assaults on its legislative rights led by Reid and supported by the Beltway-Manhattan media elite. If it holds together this week, it will hold together as necessary throughout the year, and the base will support its members who defend the principles of the party as aggressively as Reid’s Democrats did during the 2005-06 Congress. Forcing Senators Schumer and Durbin to be the face of the angry Democrats is a very good thing for the public to see, and defending the troops and their mission an even better example of why the GOP deserves the majority back.
The Republican senators caucus today. They should have a good laugh over the crocodile tears of the Democrats and start planning their approach to the continuing resolution debate. And they need to point out at every step that their tactics are the democrats’ tactics, except the democrats went much further and crossed into extra-Constitutional obstructionism by denying up-or-down votes on judicial nominees, a responsibility committed by the Constitution to the whole Senate. Using the current debate to begin to highlight the Leahy-led obstructionism of the Judiciary Committee would also be a fine idea, just as pumping out detailed examples of past Democratic obstructionism would be useful to the MSMers with little grasp of how silly their stories appear to anyone familiar with the past few years on the Hill.
There will no doubt be a few in the Republican caucus who would prefer to get back to business as usual, give the Democrats their club with which to beat the troops and the president.
But the senators must know that collapse on this issue will effectively debone their number for the next 20 months, discourage their supporters, and make nearly impossible the sort of campaign in 2008 that will be necessary to regaining the majority. Senator Jim DeMint sets a fine example with his op-ed in today’s Politco: full-throated and detailed defense of victory in the war.
Contact the key senators and urge them to act like the loyal opposition –loyal to the troops and opposed to Democratic defeatism:
Senator Lamar Alexander (TN): (202) 224-4944
Senator Norm Coleman (MN): (202) 224-5641
Senator Susan Collins (ME): (202) 224-2523
Senator Lisa Murkowski (AK): (202) 224-6665
Senator Gordon Smith (OR): (202) 224-3753
Senator John Sununu (NH): (202) 224-2841
Senator John Warner (VA): (202) 224-2023