This is pretty much the apex of failure theater. Having failed for years to accomplish literally anything in the majority – not even the glory of forcing a lame duck President to veto a bill – [mc_name name=’Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’M000355′ ] has now apparently decided that he is going to examine changes to the filibuster – of course, now that the Senate has already actually caved on everything of value and is heading into an election year that seems highly likely to hand control of the Senate back to the Democrats. Somehow [mc_name name=’Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’M000355′ ] is the only person raised in Kentucky who’s never heard that it’s a bad idea to lock the barn door after the horse is gone.
I’m reminded of this famous scene from the revenge flick Man on Fire, in which Denzel Washington plays ex-CIA agent John Creasy, who attempts to exact revenge on Mexican kidnappers who he believes have killed a little girl he was hired to protect. In this scene, one of the few honest cops in Mexico tries to determine whether he should stop Creasy or allow him to complete his deadly mission:
A man can be an artist at anything – food, whatever – it depends on how good he is at it. Creasy’s art is death. He’s about to paint his masterpiece.
McConnell and his crack Senate team have now elevated failure theater to an absolute art form. If McConnell had wanted to, he could have done this before discouraging the GOP voting base with failure after failure, before pre-emptively surrendering his only other bargaining chip (the shutdown) by promising that it would never happen, and before it became clear to everyone who is paying attention that [mc_name name=’Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’M000355′ ] does not wish to be Senate Majority Leader because he wishes to accomplish things; rather he wishes to be Senate Majority Leader so that he can ask you to donate more money to send him more spineless Republicans who will grovel at his feet.
In exchange for a minor tactical advantage that he can’t even use to his benefit right now (since the President is a Democrat), McConnell plans to throw away the brake Republicans might actually need one day in the near future if they lose the majority in 2016 and/or a Democrat is re-elected to the White House. It would be one thing if Republicans could use this advantage to actually pass meaningful legislation; but as McConnell constantly reminds us, they cannot.
Republicans cannot pass anything past Obama that he doesn’t like; they can only refuse to pass bills that he wants. Amazingly, McConnell refuses to utilize the second tactic and wants to permanently hamper minority party in the Senate because he fails to understand that the former is useless.
Enjoy what you are watching unfold in the Senate, ladies and Gentlemen, for it is nothing less than art.