After the election of 2008, Senate Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said that his number one objective was to make President Obama a one-term occupant of the Oval Office. It was a stunning claim given all the challenges the nation faced.
Now, McConnell's intransigence has become farcical. Yesterday morning, McConnell proposed a measure that would essentially permit the President to raise the debt ceiling on his own authority. McConnell had proposed this in the past. The idea is that the President could move to raise the debt ceiling and Congress would need to veto the President's decision, or it would take effect. This way, Republicans could say they voted against raising the debt ceiling, without all the ugly consequences of an actual government default. I will say this for McConnell - the idea was bold, inverting the way the Constitution provides for a veto to work. But, perceiving that the GOP might be blamed for a new government default, and worried that GOP members of Congress and perhaps he himself would be criticized by the very anti-tax zealots they have been cultivating if those members do the right thing and raise the debt ceiling, McConnell resurrected the idea again. This time, however, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid called McConnell's bluff and agreed to schedule a vote on the proposal and announced his support for it. So, what did McConnell do? He threatened to filibuster his own proposal. HuffPost has the details here.
And these clowns wonder why their approval rating is lower than that of a communicable disease?