On the Senate floor this morning, McConnell, in discussing the Democrats' move towards reforming the filibuster, hissed "Let me say this very clearly for all 99 of my colleagues: Nobody serving in this chamber can even begin, can even begin, to imagine what a completely scorched-earth Senate would look like." Like a coiled rattlesnake, he was warning that in a chamber that functions on a day-to-day basis by consent, meaning all senators sign off on an action, "I want our colleagues to imagine a world where every single task, every one of them, requires a physical quorum... So this is not a trade-off between trampling etiquette but then getting to quickly transform the country. That’s a false choice. Even the most basic aspects of our colleagues’ agenda, the most mundane task of the Biden presidency, would actually be harder not easier."
Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), one of the strongest and most committed advocates of filibuster reform responded that "He has already done that. He’s proven he can do it, and he will do it again."
It's hard to understand why McConnell went so crazy over this today. Conservative Democrats Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema-- to name just two Democrats-- adamantly oppose filibuster reform... every bit as as much as conservative Republicans do.
A team of Politico writers called it "one of his most scathing warnings yet" as he "promised his colleagues a world of hurt should they go through with it. Republicans, he vowed, would throw up their own procedural hurdles-- so many that 'everything that Democrat[s] … did to Presidents Bush and Trump, everything the Republican Senate did to President Obama, would be child’s play."
"McConnell," they wrote, "knows the ins and outs of Senate rules better than anyone. In an institution that operates by unanimous consent for everything-- from turning on the lights, to allowing senators to give floor speeches or speed through the customary reading of lengthy legislative text-- McConnell can slow down everything with one simple demand: Require quorums for everything. And he signaled he will. It's particularly problematic in a 50-50 Senate, where VP Kamala Harris is not allowed to to break procedural ties. 'This chaos would not open up an express lane to liberal change,' McConnell said. 'It would not open up an express lane for the Biden presidency to speed into the history books. The Senate would be more like a 100-car pileup, nothing moving.' McConnell also sought to appeal to Democrats’ pragmatic side: If they go nuclear, Republicans will utilize the new chamber rules when they return to power-- and that’s just a matter of time, folks. Abortion legislation. Defunding sanctuary cities. Concealed-carry permits nationwide. Right to work. Energy drilling. Southern border lockdowns. 'The pendulum, Mr. President, would swing both ways. And it would swing hard,' McConnell promised."
Really? Harder than what he did to prevent the confirmation of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court? That was pretty hard and he hasn't had his head handed to him for that yet. Passing the John Lewis Voting Rights Act-- after taking the filibuster out of the realm of bills to protect voting rights-- would be the exactly appropriate response.
And remember, if the Democrats try to end the use of the filibuster on something as specific as voting rights, it was McConnell who ended the use of the filibuster against Supreme Court nominations, which is how 2 of the least qualified people to ever serve on the Court, Amy Coney Barrett and Brett Kavanaugh, managed to be confirmed. So, in short... FUCK McConnell.