Larry Pratt of Gun Owners for America is one of those savant types like Michael Barone. Where Barone can tell you everything about your neighborhood regardless of him ever having been there, Larry Pratt can quote you chapter and verse of legislation passed and the maneuverings to pass it.
Many of us have been pounding the drum for weeks and weeks that Mitch McConnell's "messaging strategy" to defeat the health care deform legislation was half-hearted and not going to work. May of you responded sympathetically to McConnell's plight, though I contend that any strategy premised on keeping Olympia Snowe strategy is doomed to failure. There was a better strategy all along. Judd Gregg outlined it in a memo weeks and weeks ago. It fell on deaf ears in the Minority Leader's office. I wrote my now heavily trafficked post Fight that suggested similar tactics. Finally the Senate GOP seemed to be responding, but by and large it was too little too late.
Out of frustration, Larry Pratt pulled forth from his database of Senate debacles Mitch McConnell's history of defeating big ticket, controversial items. Read below and you'll see that if the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over again expecting a different result, our fearless Minority Leader might be insane.
Senator Mitch McConnell has lost almost every major legislative battle he has managed.
In the early '90's, he managed opposition to the Motor Voter Bill, which encouraged groups like ACORN to register fraudulent voters. McConnell refused to filibuster the motion to take up the bill -- something that would have served as a key delaying tactic.
Moreover, Sen. McConnell sat by idly as sponsors of the bill played "let's make a deal" -- offering amendment after amendment to buy off opponents of the bill. A bill, which initially had more than enough votes to kill it, ended up passing because of McConnell's ill-advised strategy.
A decade later, McConnell managed the opposition to the Incumbent Protection Act a/k/a the Bipartisan Campaign Finance Reform Act to take away the free speech rights of Second Amendment groups during heated elections. McConnell threatened and cajoled to prevent Republican senators from offering "killer amendments" to the bill. McConnell explained that he would bring a lawsuit to overturn it in the courts.
Well, after the bill's passage, McConnell did bring a lawsuit. He lost.
Now, Senate Minority Leader McConnell could once again end up losing this historic battle against anti-gun ObamaCare legislation -- when we have it within our power to defeat it.
There is a substantial cadre of Senate Republicans who want to slow down this anti-gun abomination. The bill that lurked for six weeks behind closed doors in Harry Reid's office is now being pushed by Reid for Senate passage in no time at all.
But rather than delaying this legislation and allowing the American people the time to continue building opposition against socialized health care, Senator McConnell seems all-to-willing to speed the bill along.
Consider what one Republican Senator admitted on the Bill Bennett radio show two weeks ago. When asked what was the Republican strategy for defeating ObamaCare, Senator John Kyl responded: "Actually, I think we can be fairly upfront about it. Our strategy is not actually to delay [but] to have a lot of good amendments and highlight the problems in the bill. It is not our strategy to somehow slow things down."This is exactly what is happening before our eyes. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has done everything in his power to expedite this bill:
- Over and over again, he has gone along with agreements to limit debate time and limit the amendments that can be offered.
- Over and over again, he has gone along with agreements to automatically withdraw Republican amendments if they didn't get 60 votes, rather than the usual 51.
- Over and over again, he has negotiated agreements which allow the meaningful Republican amendments to be easily superseded by meaningless, Democratic, face-saving amendments.
We should also point out that under Mitch McConnell's leadership, the Senate GOP has gone from 55 Senators to 40.