Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Three Cheers for Mitch McConnell

Today Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell brought the U.S. Senate - and its debate on the ill-advised global warming bill - to a screeching halt.  He used a Senate rule to require the chamber's clerk to read the entire bill, all 491 pages, word for word.  (Link to Washington Times story.)  Because it took forever to do that, the Senate was prevented from moving forward on the debate and from conducting any other business.

I'm not a big fan of time wasting (my own lunch "hour" is the exception that proves the rule) but McConnell's tactics today served two laudable purposes.  First, grinding the Senate to a halt slowed down global warming bill itself.  It doesn't seem likely to pass this session but any delay on it is welcome news.

Second, McConnell fulfilled his promise to retaliate against Senate Democrats for their failure to confirm - or even vote on - many of President Bush's judicial nominees.  With a lame duck president, Democrats in the Senate are sitting on those nominees, waiting for Bush to leave office.  McConnell seems to have determined that if the Democrats want to play games, he'll play too.

So here's to Mitch McConnell . . . hip, hip . . . 

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