Last night, Senator Mitch McConnell and ten other Senate Republicans bailed out Senators Chuck Schumer, Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, and the rest of the Democrats. They didn't have to do it. They could have refused to support yet another increase in the debt ceiling threshold like Joe Biden did almost two decades ago when he was in the Senate.
"My vote against the debt limit increase cannot change the fact that we have incurred this debt already and will no doubt incur more," Biden said after he voted "nay" in 2006. "It is a statement that I refuse to be associated with the policies that brought us to this point."
Some say McConnell caved on the debt ceiling because he was sensitive to the notion that Republicans were obstructionists who couldn't be trusted with a majority in Congress. Some think it was a brilliant move to take the looming crisis off the front burner so Republican gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin wouldn't be hampered by angry federal employees facing layoffs right before next month's election in Virginia. Some think it was just McConnell being the swamp creature he's always been.
Frankly, it doesn't matter why he did it. What matters is that he and his fellow ten Republicans refuse to learn the most basic lesson that neophyte Donald Trump figured out before he was even sworn into office: Democrats hate Republicans and have no interest in being our friends, let alone working with you on anything that doesn't serve their craven political and ideological agenda.
After McConnell threw Schumer the lifeline, the Democrat from New York took to the Senate floor and delivered a speech that sounded as though McConnell, Romney, and the rest had just put on a bison headdress and tried to burn the building down.
"Republicans played a dangerous and risky partisan game, and I am glad that their brinksmanship did not work," Schumer said. "Leader McConnell and Senate Republicans insisted they wanted a solution to the debt ceiling — but said Democrats must raise it alone by going through a drawn-out, convoluted, and risky reconciliation process."
Even Democrat Joe Manchin sees what a nasty piece of work Schumer is. Check him out as he's caught on camera behind his leader burying his hands in his face and eventually walking out:
Manchin was not digging Schumer's victory lap. Gets up and leaves. pic.twitter.com/Yd3z4zUC11— SCUBA MIKE?? (@mescubamike) October 8, 2021
"I didn't think it was appropriate at this time," Manchin said after his walkout.
"I just think that basically what we've got to do is find a pathway forward, to make sure that we de-weaponize. We have to de-weaponize. You can't be playing politics. None of us can—on both sides. I'm just saying ... civility is gone, OK? And I'm not going to be part of getting rid of that, but I'm gonna try to bring it back," Manchin added.
The lie is that civility was ever in this town in the first place. Oh sure... We're told that back in the good old days, Tip O'Neil would share a glass of whiskey with Ronald Reagan after a volatile day of harsh political wrangling and rhetoric. Maybe. But, one suspects that Tip would have a glass of whiskey with a hobo or a communist if he weren't paying.
But since the character assassination of Robert Bork (led by "Mr. Unity" Joe Biden), DC politics has been nothing but a series of back-stabbing, ruthless and relentless attacks from the Left.
And, for some reason, establishment Republicans are still shocked when Schumer, Pelosi and Biden continue to do exactly what they've done for the past several decades.
This dangerous naivete is perfectly exemplified by the remarks of Sen. Mitt Romney after Schumer's diatribe.
Romney approached Schumer in the well of the Senate and is reported to have told him, "There's a time to be graceful and there's a time to be combative. That was a time for grace and common ground."
Romney went up to Schumer after his speech to express his displeasure. Schumer hammered Republicans during his speech— Burgess Everett (@burgessev) October 8, 2021
Romney explained it this way: “there’s a time to be graceful and there’s a time to be combative. That was a time for grace and common ground”
Cute, isn't it? Romney, the guy who was likened to a slave-holder by Joe "time for healing" Biden in 2012. Romney, the guy who Obama accused of murdering an employee's wife because he shut down a factory. Romney, the guy who was attacked by an Obama/Biden surrogate for using the word "marvelous."
If Romney doesn't get it now, he never will.
They hate you, Mitt. And they only pay you lip service when they need you. This goes for you, too, Mitch.
As of now, they don't need you anymore. You gave them what they wanted. And the moment the vote was over, they trashed you and dragged you into a pit to desecrate your corpse because they could.
"Harumph" all you want and decry the lack of civility and grace. They don't care. After he attacked Republicans for giving him exactly what he wanted, Schumer said:
So now that Republican brinkmanship has relented, senate Democrats will focus on passing build back better agenda so we can finally build up ladders of opportunity for people to climb up to the middle class, to help people already in the middle class stay there, to fight climate change and create the good-paying jobs of tomorrow and rekindle that sunny American optimism that has long been the core of our national identity.
In other words, now that he doesn't need your pesky little votes, Mitch and Mitt, he can now go forward wrangling his party to jam through the most expensive and expansive power grab by the federal government in American history. Thanks a lot, suckers!
Learn the damn lesson, Republicans: They hate you. They always have hated you. If they are ever nice to you, it's because they need to use you for their agenda. And they'll slime you the second they don't need you anymore.