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Thursday, April 11, 2013

Recent days demonstrate that Senate bottleneck is McConnell’s fault

I know this is starting to look like “Mitch McConnell Day,” but this observation from Politico’s David Rogers was too good to pass up.

Thursday’s Senate vote to move ahead with gun control legislation marked the fifth time in just two months that Democrats have won a procedural showdown by peeling off Republicans at the expense of Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)

The 68—31 roll call was more than enough to meet the 60-vote requirement to invoke cloture, with 16 Republicans providing the winning margin. This fits a pattern seen increasingly since mid-February: McConnell steadfast in opposition even as his rank-and-file cross the aisle, raising fragile hopes of a bipartisan revival.

The GOP leader remains powerful and smart. But by taking himself out of the legislative game, he is also ceding power to a new set of Republicans wanting to fill the vacuum.
In other words, while Mitch’s is off playing “cover your butt” against Tea Partiers with their eyes on nutcase purity and the Kentucky GOP primary, the Senate has actually managed to get some work done. Remove Mitch McConnell from the equation and the Senate actually works — it’s not firing on all cylinders by any means, but it’s limping along much better than it does when the Senate minority leader’s running the show.

There may not be just one person to blame for gridlock in DC, but there is one man who’s name is stenciled on obstructionism in the Senate: Mitch McConnell.

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