This is far from the first time McConnell broadcast his agenda for all to see—it’s not even the first time this year. He just said it a little over a month ago: “100% of my focus is on stopping this new administration … 100% of my focus is on standing up to this administration.” Does he need to tattoo it on his forehead? Does he need to tattoo it on Manchin’s and Sinema’s foreheads?
“What we have in the United States Senate is total unity from Susan Collins to Ted Cruz in opposition to what the new Biden administration is trying to do to this country,” McConnell added. Total unity. 100% in opposition to stopping the Biden administration. But the total charade of bipartisan negotiations on infrastructure continues, all because a few Democrats aren’t willing to be as ruthless as McConnell to save the nation from him and eliminate the filibuster.
More Democrats continue to be squeamish about reforming the courts and bringing balance back to the Supreme Court by expanding it. They’re buying into the bullshit narrative that that’s court packing. Adam Serwer gets this one exactly right:
Reserving Supreme Court seats for conservative ideologues is exactly what court packing is. Three Trump justices is court packing. It’s more than just “procedural radicalism,” it’s procedural terrorism. McConnell has absolutely no qualms about doing this. He will twist and pervert the Senate rules any way he can, and do it proudly and unapologetically.
Once he jammed the huge GOP tax scam through with just Republican votes using budget reconciliation—which he didn’t hesitate to do for one minute—McConnell would have happily nuked the filibuster on legislation it it had been to his benefit. He determined it wasn’t because 1) the only thing that mattered was getting judges through, and he did nuke the filibuster on Supreme Court appointments, and 2) he was protecting his members from having to vote on crazy shit coming from Trump and Republicans in those first two years they held the House.
Democrats have unilaterally disarmed by not immediately nuking the filibuster, and by not adding seats to the Supreme Court and district and appeals courts. Much of this is on Biden. He has dithered on Supreme Court reform, leaving it to a committee to talk about for six months without even necessarily having to come up with recommendations. He’s allowing this farce of “bipartisan negotiations” go on between Sinema and Manchin.
It’s sort of astounding then to have to go to former Democratic Sen. Ben Nelson from Nebraska, the ConservaDem who was so often a thorn in Obama’s and Harry Reid’s sides. NBC News got an advance copy of his new book, Death of the Senate. In it, he warns Biden not to trust McConnell, calling him a “dark knight who lives, breathes and eats to gain political advantage breakfast, lunch, dinner.”