This is as close as you may get to seeing Mitch McConnell give his race-baiting colleagues a taste of their own rhetorical medicine. Following yesterday's disgraceful, hypocritical display on the Senate floor, South Carolina's Tim Scott gave a powerful speech that you should go back and watch. Today, the GOP leader delivered compact, excellent remarks on what happened. Before I get to his choice words for his Democratic counterpart, here are a few more worthwhile excerpts from McConnell's comments:
Recently, the country was informed by hysterical journalists that a rational policy essay from Senator Cotton was too inflammatory to publish. But the Speaker of the House can say Senator Tim Scott and his 48 co-sponsors are “trying to get away with… the murder of George Floyd” and Democrats just cheer her on...Our Democratic colleagues tried to say with straight faces that they want the Senate to discuss police reform — while they blocked the Senate from discussing police reform. They declared that Senator Scott’s bill, which contains many bipartisan components, which literally contains entire bills written by Democrats, was beyond the pale. Senator Scott offered a wide-open bipartisan amendment process, and they walked away. But over in the House, when Democrats shoot down every Republican amendment in committee and allow zero amendments on the floor, you can bet it’ll be anointed a big success.
Sure enough, House Democrats quelled all GOP amendments on the lower chamber's police reform bill just last evening in committee, guaranteeing that no amendments can be offered on the floor at all:
Oh, look at that! When not busy sliming GOP Senators as murder accomplices, Pelosi has complained that @SenatorTimScott’s police reform bill is too partisan. He’s offered the opposing party multiple amendment votes, which Pelosi’s committee just shut down on their own bill. https://t.co/4MtgSap5uE— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) June 24, 2020
Scott's bill is laden with provisions that enjoy broad bipartisan support, including several specific Democrat-backed measures that were deliberately included to encourage consensus. Scott also offered a robust amendment process, which would allow up-or-down votes on alterations to the legislation. Democrats stiff-armed all of this, pretending as if the proposal was an insulting non-starter, blocking the debate and amendments process with a filibuster. Ill-informed partisans and hacks have defended this mindless obstruction by citing certain problems some Democrats had with the substance of the bill, but none of those criticisms justify the preemptive filibuster:
Why would Senate Democrats block the police reform vote today?— Brian Riedl ?? (@Brian_Riedl) June 24, 2020
1) The vote is merely to open up a debate on police reform.
2) Dems have been offered virtually unlimited amendments to shape the bill.
3) Dems retain the ability to filibuster the bill if they dislike the final bill. https://t.co/ndERDovVFO
They could have opened the debate, offered amendments (perhaps like this one, co-sponsored by a liberal Democrat) to improve the bill as they saw fit, then determined whether the final product was worthy of a vote. They chose to do none of this, shutting down a process they've been loudly demanding, with Schumer apparently walking away from his previous July 4th deadline as if it never existed. Speaking of Schumer, McConnell went out of his way to draw attention to the minority leader's rhetoric blasting the JUSTICE Act, which effectively erased Scott's leading role in crafting it:
wowww this is some serious chin music from McConnell re: Schumer ignoring Tim Scott pic.twitter.com/Tw3LK3o6Rg— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) June 25, 2020
Here's the full speech:
I'll leave you with this: In his fired-up remarks yesterday, Scott lamented that media bias would likely shield Democrats from the consequences of their cynical, shameless political gamesmanship on an issue they profess to care about very deeply. "Unfortunately, without the kind of objectivity in the media that’s necessary to share the message of what’s actually happening, no one will ever know" what Senate Democrats are doing, he warned. And voila:
Wait did none of the national network news programs address the police reform debate? I don't think I saw it on Nightly, definitely not on ABC, and I am not sure CBS. But we covered the protests...not the reform efforts on the Hill?— Kellie Meyer (@KellieMeyerNews) June 24, 2020
It's easiest to understand political coverage by simply beginning with the assumption that the large majority of journalists prefer Democrats to Republicans, and engage in journalism accordingly.
UPDATE - Pelosi pulls out her eraser, too. Tim Scott? Never heard of him. Let's get back to talking about the white guy we'd prefer to attack:
Pelosi interview yesterday:— Doug Andres (@DougAndres) June 25, 2020
Q: "Is Tim Scott working in good faith? Is this a good starting point?"
Pelosi: "I'm talking about Mitch McConnell. I'm talking about Mitch McConnell." https://t.co/IumP9ulIUy
Maybe this really is how they view their African-American colleague after all:
Dick Durbin — the second ranking Senate Democrat — just referred to @SenatorTimScott’s bill as a “token” approach, in a floor speech.— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) June 17, 2020