ChrisWeigant.com

Bipartisanship Rejected By Mitch McConnell

[ Posted Thursday, May 20th, 2021 – 16:20 UTC ]

Bipartisanship has been achieved! You would think that this news would make Republicans happy, since they've been whining so incessantly about President Joe Biden somehow not being sufficiently interested in bipartisanship in Congress, but you would (of course) be wrong about that. Instead of celebrating the milestone, Senate Republicans from their leadership on down are now desperately trying to create more partisanship, to kill the bill. There's an object lesson here, for people like Joe Manchin, but it remains to be seen whether this lesson will be taken to heart or not.

The House of Representatives voted yesterday to approve a commission to investigate the attempted insurrection on the sixth of January. This commission is set up almost identically to the 9/11 commission, and was a compromise negotiated by a House Republican assigned to the task by Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. Again, you'd think McCarthy would have been happy, since the negotiator got Democrats to back down on almost all their demands. As a result, the commission itself simply cannot be called "partisan" in any way -- it will have an equal number of commissioners appointed by Democrats and Republicans. The Republicans on the commission, should they so choose, will be able to block subpoenas from being issued. All of the GOP complaints about the initial Democratic proposal were adopted, with the sole exception of the insane demand that a "1/6 commission" investigate all sorts of things completely unrelated to January the sixth. That one was left by the wayside, since it was such a ridiculous thing to ask for in the first place.

An astonishing 35 House Republicans voted for the bill. Think about that for a moment -- in this day and age, one-sixth of the Republicans voted with the Democrats. That's about as bipartisan as it gets on a contentious issue, at least these days. And these 35 members did so even though McCarthy and other prominent Republicans argued strenuously against voting for it. Donald Trump also firmly opposes the bill, which is understandable since his culpability will be a big subject of the investigation. But astonishingly, Trump's iron grip on Republicans slipped in a big way on this bill.

Now it heads over to the Senate, where Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has already come out against the bill. His reasoning is completely spurious -- he says it is no more than the "House Democrats' slanted and unbalanced proposal," despite being co-written by a Republican. Senate Republicans are desperately trying to pretend this is all some sort of partisan exercise, all facts to the contrary. This is a bipartisan bill through and through -- Republicans had input, they helped write it, they agreed to it, and then they co-sponsored it. There was no stage in this process where Democrats moved unilaterally, period. It was all with Republican input, and in the end, Republican approval.

Senator John Thune at least admitted the real reason Republicans are opposed to the idea: "A lot of our members, and I think this is true of a lot of House Republicans, want to be moving forward and not looking backward. Anything that gets us rehashing the 2020 elections, I think, is a day lost on being able to draw a contrast between us and the Democrats' very radical left-wing agenda." In other words: "We've simply got to put politics ahead of country." I mean, this is just laughable. Somehow it is Democrats who want to look backward and not move forward. An enterprising journalist might want to ask Thune about the partisan "audit" of the 2020 ballots that is currently taking place in Maricopa County, Arizona. Is that "moving forward and not looking backwards?" How?

Or perhaps Thune should be asked about Donald Trump himself, the de facto leader of the Republican Party, who insists that his Big Lie that the election was stolen must become the central focus point for the party from this point on. Indeed, Trump just can't shut up about the election. He brings it up at the drop of a hat, constantly. And yet we're supposed to believe it is somehow the Democrats who want to look backward.

With almost three dozen House Republicans supporting the bill, it might actually have a chance to garner the 10 GOP votes necessary to also pass the Senate. If that number had been far lower -- in the single digits, maybe -- then Senate Republicans could get away with "it's not really all that bipartisan," but 35 is not a number that can be so easily brushed aside.

Republicans are scared of a true and honest accounting of the insurrection for one reason and one reason only: it will almost certainly make Donald Trump look bad. Funny how the GOP was just fine with running partisan investigations -- many of them -- into Benghazi, while people like Kevin McCarthy fully admitted that the entire point was to score partisan points against Hillary Clinton. Now, however, they've changed their tune.

There is only really one thing which could save this effort, at this point, and that is to make Senate Republicans fearful of paying a steep political price for opposing the commission. Fortunately, this is almost pathetically easy to do, as Representative Tim Ryan showed -- in less than a minute -- in his amazing and emotional House floor speech supporting the bill. Here is what Democrats should be loudly saying, every chance they get, over the next few days:

"You know what? Other than the 35 House Republicans who voted for the commission, I don't want to hear any Republican ever again try to say they 'support law enforcement,' or 'support law and order,' or hear them talk about how 'blue lives matter' so very, very much to them. Because when the chips are down, they just do not support cops. They don't even support the cops who keep them safe in the Capitol, for Pete's sake. The Capitol Police begged them to vote for the 1/6 commission, and five out of six of them ignored this plea. So just spare me all their 'we stand with cops' nonsense, please. Because that's all it is -- just political posturing that means nothing when it comes time to vote. Republicans have been making political hay over how they're supposedly the 'law and order party' for more than fifty years now, but this has all now been exposed as a cruel lie. They put fealty to one man -- Donald Trump -- above supporting law and order, above supporting cops, and above defending the Constitution. That is what the GOP has sadly become. That is precisely how low they have now sunk. So, just, please -- any Republican who did not vote for the commission, spare us all the faux sanctimonious lies about how much you support law enforcement officers for the rest of time, OK?"

That is the case to be made. That is how Republican hypocrisy needs to be exposed. That is the political attack that might just make a few GOP senators think long and hard about what they are about to do. Democrats should signal loud and clear that they will indeed be using this as a campaign issue against each and every Republican who votes against this bill. Because fear for their own political self-preservation is what motivated 35 House Republicans to vote for this bipartisan effort, and the same thing might just work on 10 Senate Republicans as well. It is certainly worth a try, and such public shaming is really the only thing that could make a difference, at this point. Mitch McConnell -- who gave a heartfelt speech about how Donald Trump was responsible for the insurrection, right after it happened -- just does not care about it now, and he definitely does not care about bipartisanship.

I just hope Senator Manchin is taking notes, that's all.

-- Chris Weigant

 

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

13 Comments on “Bipartisanship Rejected By Mitch McConnell”

  1. [1] 
    John M from Ct. wrote:

    Regarding the proposal that threatening to point out their hypocrisy on law enforcement may convince ten Republican Senators to vote for the Jan. 6 Commission bill:

    1. "...fear for their own political self-preservation is what motivated 35 House Republicans to vote for this bipartisan effort."

    and

    2. "It is certainly worth a try, and such public shaming is really the only thing that could make a difference, at this point."

    These sound smart and strategic and all, but they kind of go against a heck of a lot of messaging I've been getting from Democratic-leaning commentators (cough, cough) for four or eight years now. That messaging was:

    1. The Republicans in Congress support Trump and will never vote against him, out of - wait for it - fear for their own political self-preservation.

    2. The Republican senators are utterly immune to - again, wait for it - shame, having followed Leader McConnell in every hypocritical backflip he's put them through without almost a single defection.

  2. [2] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @JMCt,

    that's generally been true of the house GOP too, yet they mustered a solid percentage of their caucus.

    JL

  3. [3] 
    goode trickle wrote:

    To some extent the current posturing on not just the commission but the audit and the overall legitimacy of the election really drives home the point that they are doing this strictly for the right wing media consumer.

    One moment they are middle of the road and whishy washy on conventional media, but the moment they hit the right wing bubble they are very much focused and have conviction against whatever the rage inducing bete noire of the moment is and they do it comfortable in the knowledge that none in the bubble will call out the contradiction of earlier poses, especially when one considers that the bubble will not broadcast the disquieting earlier statements.

    At the end of the day the real question is going to be how many independents will buy into this behavior.

  4. [4] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    It used to be that if you wanted to know what a party claimed to stand for — what their values were — all you had to do was look at their party platform. These platforms laid out in detail the things that they wanted you to know mattered to them. Granted, sometimes it seems like those values were not as deeply held as they might have hinted at, but they cared enough to list them at least.

    In 2016, Trump showed very little interest in influencing the values of the GOP and chose only to have input on a single item in their platform; and that single item actually made little sense at first glance — mainly because it was not obvious how Trump personally benefitted from it (and face it, Trump only does things that benefit him!). His sole input changed the GOP’s longstanding backing of Ukraine against Russian aggression to state that they would no longer provide resources to Ukraine if Russia invaded them. This was long before we witnessed Trump’s complete submission to Vlad Putin in Helsinki, but it still was enough to make some of us beg for a counterintelligence investigation of this potential traitor.

    In 2018, Trump cared so little about the platform that they just reused the 2016 platform — word for word.

    Then in 2020, the GOP shocked the world with their most honest platform ever when they simply stated that the party fully supported any policy or position held by Donald J Trump. It was like a scene from Coming to America:

    Eddie Murphy : “What is your favorite color?”

    Arranged marriage princess : “Whatever your favorite color is, my Prince!”

    Now if only Trump would order his base to hop on one leg while barking... that would be perfect!

    When I first heard of the GOP’s 2020 Platform, I laughed that even the Republicans did not know what — if anything — Trump valued...because that could change at any given moment depending on his mood! But now I realize that I was wrong in that assessment. Trump had stated exactly what it is that he values — others doing his will when he tells them to.

    The Republican Party Platform is an open admission that the GOP is a cult!

  5. [5] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    It's like deja vu all over again.

    Republikillers saying they support police and then not voting to support the police is just like the Deathocrats supporting a 15 dollar minimum wage and then not voting for it.

    C-span just said there were Deathocrats that voted against it.

    You call it bipartisanship when all it really is is part of the BUY-partisanship poop-show.

    What we need is BYE-partisanship as in saying goodbye to the big money performers in both sides of the one big money party that is re-running the same old pretend opposition to each other while they both work for the big money interests.

    That is the only thing that stands a chance of making Republikiller and Deathocrat politicians stop putting the show. As long as the only other choice is the otehr half of the big money party neither half really cares whether citizens vote for the other side because they know that when the other side let's people down (AGAIN) they will get the voters back.

    Such a public shunning in the voting booth of big money politicians and THE Big Lie that there are only two choices and people should just accept that is the ONLY thing that could make a difference at this point and is certainly worth a try.

    Instead we get articles like this where you point out how Republikillers got almost everything they wanted when Deathocrats are in control and still complain about it and Deathocrats should try to use that as a reason to vote for Deathocrats in the next election.

    You should vote for us because we had power and caved to the Republikillers and they complained about it.

    That is so much better than we used our power to do what we promised during the campaigns that put us in office now or actually did what needs to be done.

    Wake up. Wise up. Rise up.

    Your Lie's up.

    Get Real.

    Get Credible.

  6. [6] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    The bottom line is when you say bipartisanship you really mean LIE-partisanship.

    Shame on you.

  7. [7] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    i support PIE partisanship. without it, all you got is cake.

  8. [8] 
    Kick wrote:

    CW: The House of Representatives voted yesterday to approve a commission to investigate the attempted insurrection on the sixth of January.

    Well, okay, but I take issue with your use of the word "attempted" to modify the "insurrection." Attempted coup? Yes, sir... but there was definitely an insurrection. :)

  9. [9] 
    Kick wrote:

    CW: All of the GOP complaints about the initial Democratic proposal were adopted, with the sole exception of the insane demand that a "1/6 commission" investigate all sorts of things completely unrelated to January the sixth.

    But, but, but... "What about all our whataboutism?" whined the GOP. Idiots.

  10. [10] 
    Kick wrote:

    CW: Donald Trump also firmly opposes the bill, which is understandable since his culpability will be a big subject of the investigation.

    But, but, but... whatever happened to remembering that day forever and love and peace?

    Go home with love & in peace. Remember this day forever!

    ~ Donald Trump, January 6, 2021

    *
    But astonishingly, Trump's iron grip on Republicans slipped in a big way on this bill.

    You don't think that might have something to do with that announcement by the NY AG's office that they're working with the DA in New York, New York, do you? ;)

  11. [11] 
    Kick wrote:

    iListenWhenYouHear
    4

    This... all of it! I like the way you think, Russ.

    When I first heard of the GOP’s 2020 Platform, I laughed that even the Republicans did not know what — if anything — Trump valued...because that could change at any given moment depending on his mood!

    Yep. Just like Trump's net worth changes depending on his mood... at least that's what he swore under oath regarding how he values his assets... depending how he feels.

    https://www.newsweek.com/how-much-trump-worth-depends-how-he-feels-384720

    When it's tax time, he feels like those properties aren't worth a damn dime, but Donald is always in a good mood when he's fraudulently applying for a loan because the value of those same properties goes up exponentially. Applying for loans fills Donald with abundant joy and downright giddiness... a weed-like high, apparently, but I digress.

    The GOP will let you know what they believe when Donald tells them what it is. Be prepared for whiplash.

    But now I realize that I was wrong in that assessment.

    Nope... you are dead-on-accurate in that assessment.

    Trump had stated exactly what it is that he values — others doing his will when he tells them to.

    Oh, you mean Trump's loyalty that only goes one way? Well, of course. It's both... all of the above. :)

  12. [12] 
    Kick wrote:

    Don Harris
    5

    Republikillers saying they support police and then not voting to support the police is just like the Deathocrats supporting a 15 dollar minimum wage and then not voting for it.

    Voting against something in an actual bill isn't equivalent to not being able to vote for something because it's not included in a bill.

    On April 27, 2021, President Biden issued an Executive Order, effective Jan. 30, 2022, requiring certain federal contractors to pay a $15 minimum wage to workers who work on federal contracts and to adjust the wage annually according to the consumer price index to reflect changes in the cost of living.

    *
    Your repetitive false equivalency and perpetual pathetic ignorance are again duly noted.

    C-span just said there were Deathocrats that voted against it.

    Nope! Because C-Span absolutely and unequivocally has not adopted the ignorant rhetoric of Dipshit Don Harris Still Living in Momma's House. :)

    Not reading any further. Same repetitive shit, different day.

  13. [13] 
    Kick wrote:

    nypoet22
    7

    i support PIE partisanship. without it, all you got is cake.

    That certainly explains Boston Cream Pie. :)

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