There's a not-so-old saying: "Give a man a piranha, and you get a fingerless man and a happy piranha. Teach a man to swim in the Amazon, and you get a whole happy school of piranhas."
The Senate Democratic piranhas are working to tear apart everything that Republicans care about, while the GOP seems determined to help them avoid losses in the 2018 Senate elections. And at the top of the list of senators being given a free ride in 2018 by congressional Republicans are Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar, and Kirsten Gillibrand.
Let's start with a series of wildly popular "bipartisan" Cornyn-Klobuchar bills -- heralded by Republicans on the eve of a Klobuchar reelection battle in a state which Clinton won by only two points. Against Donald Trump!!!
Headlines like "Cornyn, Klobuchar Introduce Legislation to Give Sinai-Stationed Troops Full Benefits" ---- or "Cornyn, Klobuchar Bill to Protect Seniors from Financial Exploitation Passes Committee" ----- or "Cornyn, Klobuchar Veterans' Recruitment Bill Unanimously Passes..."
So...have you watched the Senate on C-SPAN recently? People like Amy Klobuchar have ground the effort to restore America's economy to a screeching halt. To the extent they could, they have blocked all nominations and killed all major legislation.
In particular, H.R. 1181, which would restore the Second Amendment rights of 257,000 veterans stripped of those rights, with no due process, by way of a psychiatric diagnosis, may be only one vote away from the 60 necessary to break through a Schumer filibuster.
And, yet, come elections, you can bet that Klobuchar will run ads in which she is surrounded by beaming police and veterans -- eager, no doubt, to lose their constitutional rights by bureaucratic fiat.
The point is not that these bills lacked merit -- although you could probably question Cornyn-Klobuchar legislation to expand the federal government's role in the supervision of guardians and conservators. Rather, the point is that the GOP needs to demand a price before it guarantees the reelection of liberal Democrats in 2018. And perhaps the first price is the passage of Cornyn's own reciprocity bill, which is also now hovering around 59 votes.
Ditto, Elizabeth Warren.
Republicans have stuck her legislation to create FDA regulation of over-the-counter hearing aids onto a must-pass bill. Many claim that this would newly regulate over-the-counter hearing aids (PSAP's) currently being sold. The sponsors deny this and, admirably, have crafted language that protect hearing aids used in hunting.
But you can bet that, come election time in 2018 in a state where Warren's popularity is flagging, Warren will run an ad in which she is surrounded by happy employees from constituent Bose electronics. And she will brag that, "unlike extremist partisan Republicans," she was able to "cross the aisle to enact bipartisan legislation benefiting Massachusetts."
The same can be said for Grassley-Gillibrand legislation to "assist families of fallen officers." This, at a time when New York is threatening to arrest out-of-state police who exercise their rights under federal law to carry in New York.
And, last but not least, there is the McCain-Gillibrand bill to reinforce the narrative that the opioid epidemic is not due to "Adderall Kids" under the federal IDEA program -- or to pot-happy legislators -- but, rather is the result SOLELY of "incompetent" mis-prescribing doctors and "evil" pharmaceutical companies.
So, GOP, ask yourself: Did your bipartisan binge give you one moment of respite from the MSNBC narrative that you have achieved NOTHING? Because, as hard as it would be for Republicans to lose the House and/or Senate in 2018, we have confidence that, if anyone can do it, you can!