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McConnell Trolls Dems: The Last Time You Changed Senate Rules, You Got THIS

By  Hank Berrien
Mitch McConnell
Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

On Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell trolled Senate Democrats who are eager to get rid of the filibuster, tweeting, “The last time Democrats changed longstanding Senate rules for short-term partisan benefit, here is what it got them: Justice Neil Gorsuch. Justice Brett Kavanaugh. And 43 new lifetime circuit judges, the most ever at this point in a presidency.”

McConnell also published an op-ed in The New York Times warning the Democrats not to go down the path they are currently espousing. He started by quoting his prophetic statement from 2013, when the Democrats, led by Harry Reid, changed the procedure so that debate on most judicial nominations would require only a simple majority 60-vote supermajority vote required heretofore. McConnell noted at the time, “You’ll regret this, and you may regret this a lot sooner than you think.”

McConnell recalled, “I tried a practical argument. The political winds shift often, I reminded my Democratic friends. And I doubted they’d like their new rules when the shoe was on the other foot.” He wrote that many Democrats regret their 2013 decision, then added, “Nevertheless, the far left now wants Democrats to touch the hot stove yet again. This time, they want to erase the Senate’s 60-vote threshold to end debate on legislation.”

McConnell pointed out that when the GOP retaliated, the Democrats couldn’t handle it, and now, “The Senate has taken a step back toward its centuries-old norms on nominations: limited debate and a simple majority threshold.”

He warned, “On legislation, however, the Senate’s treasured tradition is not efficiency but deliberation. One of the body’s central purposes is making new laws earn broader support than what is required for a bare majority in the House.”

McConnell said bluntly, “Our country doesn’t need a second House of Representatives with fewer members and longer terms. America needs the Senate to be the Senate. I recognize it may seem odd that a Senate majority leader opposes a proposal to increase his own power. Certainly it is curious that liberals are choosing this moment, when Americans have elected Republican majorities three consecutive times and counting, to attack the minority’s powers. But my Republican colleagues and I have not and will not vandalize this core tradition for short-term gain. We recognize what everyone should recognize — there are no permanent victories in politics.”

McConnell cautioned, “No Republican has any trouble imagining the laundry list of socialist policies that 51 Senate Democrats would happily inflict on Middle America in a filibuster-free Senate … the Democratic Party is racing leftward, with presidential debates that make the 2008 exchanges between Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and John Edwards look downright conservative by comparison …”

He concluded, “I hope the saner voices among Democrats can help their compatriots see reason. Unless and until that happens, Americans must never let this radical movement gain enough power to vandalize the Senate. If future Democrats shortsightedly decide to reduce the Senate to majority rule, we’ll have lost a key safeguard of American government. And — stop me if you’ve heard this one — they’d regret it a lot sooner than they think.”

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