On Tuesday, March 5, Senate Republican Leader, Mitch McConnell, offered some remarks on the Senate floor that were largely, if not completely, ignored by the mainstream media. They were a stark warning about a dysfunctional government led by a President who is already in full campaign mode for the 2014 midterm elections.
“Back in November,” said McConnell, “the American people sent a divided government to Washington. I know this is not the outcome President Obama had hoped for. I know he wanted complete control of Washington, just like he had the first two years of his presidency.”
Citing the President’s goal of a Democrat controlled House, in addition to the Senate in 2014, McConnell cited the rebooting of his political organization, the provoking of “manufactured crisis with Congress, engineering show votes in the Senate, and traveling around the country to campaign relentlessly against his opponents.” That’s a nice way of saying that the President and the Democrat Party have embarked on the deliberate demonization of Republicans.
McConnell cited the implementation of the Sequester as opposed to any response to the nation’s financial crisis, noting that Republicans and all Americans “find ourselves in a situation where more than 1,400 days have passed since Senate Democrats have passed a budget” and the fact that “House Republicans have passed budgets that seriously address the transcendent challenge of our time, putting runaway Washington spending and debt on a sustainable path so we can create jobs and grow the economy.”
Families have to have a budget, but as far as the Obama administration is concerned, the nation does not. McConnell pointed out that “The President has been late submitting his own budget outline nearly every single year. He’s already missed this year’s deadline by more than a month.”
“The budget blueprint he sent us last year,” said McConnell, “”was so roundly ridiculed for its fiscal gimmickry and its massive tax hikes that, when it come to a vote in the Senate, his own party joined Republicans in voting it down 99 to O.”
“The President has to figure out how to govern with the situation he’s got, not the one he wishes had. That’s what being President is all about.”
McConnell went on to urge the President and the Senate to join in “actually solving problems” by legislating the way “we’re supposed to around here, with transparency, with public input, and with sufficient time to develop sound policy.”
“I know Washington Democrats’ most important priority right now is getting Nancy Pelosi her old job back in 2014. But that’s not what Americans want—and that’s why Washington has become so dysfunctional.”
McConnell speaks with the authority of his position in the Senate, but he also speaks in a low-key, often bland way, about the serious problems facing the nation. In the House his counterpart, John Boehner, the Speaker, has reached a point of such frustration that he speaks publicly in short angry bursts. Neither command either the media’s nor the public’s attention.
“The public,” said McConnell, expects the Congress and the White House “to address the most serious challenges facing our country. The public is tired of the manufactured crisis, the poll-tested gimmicks, and the endless campaigning—they expect and deserve better.”
I would not swap jobs with McConnell.