[caption id="attachment_240147" align="aligncenter" width="622"]Senate Majority Leader [mc_name name='Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY)' chamber='senate' mcid='M000355' ] talks to reporters after the Senate Republican weekly policy luncheon at the Capitol in Washington, July 8, 2015. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque Senate Majority Leader [mc_name name='Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY)' chamber='senate' mcid='M000355' ] talks to reporters after the Senate Republican weekly policy luncheon at the Capitol in Washington, July 8, 2015. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque[/caption][mc_name name='Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY)' chamber='senate' mcid='M000355' ] has announced that they do not have the votes to defund Planned Parenthood. I guess that cute little bill he gave [mc_name name='Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)' chamber='senate' mcid='P000603' ] to sponsor was just more fakery.

"We just don't have the votes to get the outcome that we'd like," McConnell said in an interview taped Monday with WYMT-TV, which serves eastern Kentucky. "I would remind all of your viewers, the way you make a law in this country, the Congress has to pass it, and the president has to sign it. The president's made it very clear he's not going to sign any bill that includes defunding of Planned Parenthood so that's another issue that awaits a new president hopefully with a different point of view."

I agree with Ace. This is not even Failure Theater. "He's giving us a show, but a sloppy, completely-unrehearsed one, and he's phoning in his performance." 

Ben Domenech, in The Transom, offered this observation:

For the time being, Capitol Hill Republican leaders are on the same page as the national pro-life groups – a shutdown strategy is not their preference, because it makes it more likely Democrats will win in 2016, and that means you miss probably your best opportunity in a generation to get rid of Roe v. Wade. Capitol Hill Republicans are looking to the pro-life groups to provide them cover by not scoring a Planned Parenthood-funding continuing resolution, and most of the big groups are expected to go along with this strategy.

As we've discussed over and over there is no evidence that shutting down the federal government hurts the GOP. In 1996, the GOP gained two Senate seats AND defeated Tom Daschle after the 1995 shutdown. The 2013 government shutdown was followed by a GOP romp in 2014. This is the nexus of bad policy, bad politics, and utterly myopic strategic thinking. And, as Domenech goes on to say, this cuts both ways:

Republican leadership is in a bind. The presidential candidates who want to seem moderate in temperament are in a bind. The pro-life groups are in a bind. But the worst bind of all is actually the one group I haven’t mentioned yet: the media. The media loves to engage in shutdown watches – they think it reveals Republican anti-government nihilism at its worst, and they are typically gleeful about the possibilities of such fights. Except oddly enough, they aren’t talking much about this atom bomb that everyone sees tick tick ticking away on September 30th.

Why is that? Isn’t it obvious? For the media to play up this shutdown fight, as is their nature, they first have to explain what the controversy is all about. And that is the last thing they want to do. An explanation means giving pro-lifers a huge platform to message on Planned Parenthood. “Republicans consider shutting down government for some reason we have no idea why, maybe see paragraph 12 for a possible explanation” is the tone that most coverage of this issue has had thus far. In an actual shutdown scenario, that would have to change. Heaven forbid that Pope Francis mention it in a sentence that also talks about gays.

The media has managed to ignore the videos by Center for Medical Progress but they will not be able to ignore them if the government is shut down because of funding Planned Parenthood.

The biggest reason for this fiasco is [mc_name name='Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY)' chamber='senate' mcid='M000355' ]. McConnell has hundreds of tools he can use to bring the Obama administration to its knees but he refuses to do so because he is a loser and he likes to lose. He's willing to toss away about a MILLION babies each year, children ripped from the womb, torn apart and sold for lab specimens. But when it comes to real stuff, like funding the Ex-Im Bank, he's there on the front lines: manipulating, lying to colleagues, and wallowing in crony cash.

Let me offer McConnell a few suggestions to fix this problem. Does Obama intend to appoint any more judges over the next year and a half? If so, why would you agree to hold hearings and votes on them? Does he plan to appoint any more federal officials? Why would you go along with that? How about military promotions? Every commissioned officer in the military requires Senate confirmation, why not refuse to proceed? How about passing multiple spending bills? I know it is harder to hide graft and corruption in a small bill but most of the government doesn't give money to Planned Parenthood, why let the whole government be held hostage when you could hammer just HHS? Those re-programming requests agencies submit to change money from one spending category to another? How about saying no? The list goes on and on. Obama might prevail, and given McConnell's lack of balls that is highly possible, but it would be a Pyrrhic victory of the first order.

As [mc_name name='Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)' chamber='senate' mcid='C001098' ] so aptly pointed out, McConnell is a liar and a man devoid of even a modicum of integrity. He thinks his job is to lead the Vichy wing of the Republican party and give Barack Obama whatever he wants. Quite honestly, we would be better off as a party of Kentucky conservatives had revolted and elected Alison Grimes to the Senate. She would be a one-term senator and we could get a fresh face in six years and stop the damage McConnell is doing to us every day.