Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. Mitch McConnell, the Corker Bill, and the Secret to Trump’s Success — Revealed

 

McConnell, flanked by Corker, Barrasso and Thune, holds a news conference after the weekly Senate Republican policy luncheon at the U.S. Capitol in WashingtonAce of Spades points out a GOP pattern: They construct a compromise with the White House that gives Obama all the power he requests and then pretend to vote against it, so that “they can then they go home to their districts and states and say ‘we did everything we could to stop him, but by jiminy, we just couldn’t manage it.'”

Do you remember how Mitch McConnell schemed to increase the debt limit, while suckering conservatives with a claim that conservatives voted against it?

The scheme worked like this: Congress authorized the president to increase the debt limit on his authority. (Actually, we’re already at the stage of falsehood, because he wouldn’t be raising the debt limit on his own authority, but with the authority Congress had just voted him.)

Now, the deal also granted, supposedly, Congress the power to block the raising of the debt limit, by voting a “resolution of disapproval.”

But here’s the thing: The president can veto that.

Which is what he did, of course.

So the debt limit was raised in this way:

1. Republicans voted to give Obama the power to raise the debt limit. They didn’t take responsibility for this themselves; they just said Obama could do so, if he wanted.

2. But Republicans retain the right to “block” it, supposedly, with a vote of disapproval.

3. But which Obama can veto — which every Republican knows he will do.

4. McConnell, Corker, and all the other other con artists now get to claim they didn’t raise the debt limit. Heck, they even voted a Resolution of Disapproval against it.

What they don’t tell you is that this had been designed from the start to pass the debt limit increase, with a fake Resolution of Disapproval voted on and vetoed, which had been planned from the start, so that they could lie and say they “voted against” the increase in the debt limit.

As Ace points out, Andrew McCarthy describes the same feckless abdication of responsibility in Congress’s Corker Bill strategy:

A nuclear Iran would be a threat that is similarly transformative. To know that, we need only listen to the White House tut-tutting about how “unrealistic” it would be to expect the mullahs to renounce their support for terrorism in exchange for sanctions relief. …

So Beltway Republicans are ready to put up a fight, right? About as much of a fight, it seems, as they were ready to make against mounting debt. Cravenly elevating their own political interest over the national interest, many on the GOP side of the political class calculate that it is more important to avoid blame for frustrating Obama — this time, on his delusional Iran deal — than to succeed in actually frustrating Obama.

But alas, that annoying Constitution is again an obstacle to shirking accountability. It does not empower the president to make binding agreements with foreign countries all on his own — on the theory that the American people should not take on enforceable international obligations or see their sovereignty compromised absent approval by the elected representatives most directly accountable to them.

Thus, the Constitution mandates that no international agreement can be binding unless it achieves either of two forms of congressional endorsement: a) super-majority approval by two-thirds of the Senate (i.e., 67 aye votes), or b) enactment through the normal legislative process, meaning passage by both chambers under their burdensome rules, then signature by the president.

The Corker bill is a ploy to circumvent this constitutional roadblock. That is why our post-sovereign, post-constitutional president has warmed to it. Because it would require the president to submit any Iran deal to Congress, it is drawing plaudits for toughness. But like McConnell’s debt legerdemain, it’s a con job. Once the deal is submitted, Congress would have 60 days (or perhaps as few as 30 days) to act. If within that period both houses of Congress failed to enact a resolution of disapproval, the agreement would be deemed legally binding — meaning that the sanctions the Iranian regime is chafing under would be lifted. …

To summarize, the Constitution puts the onus on the president to find 67 Senate votes to approve an international agreement, making it virtually impossible to ratify an ill-advised deal. The Corker bill puts the onus on Congress to muster 67 votes to block an agreement.

Under the Constitution, Obama’s Iran deal would not have a prayer. Under the Corker bill, it would sail through. And once again, it would be Republicans first ensuring that self-destruction is imposed on us, then striking the pose of dogged opponents by casting futile nay votes.

This is not how our system works. Congress is supposed to make the laws we live under. … That a lawless president would undertake to eviscerate these constraints is to be expected. But is he really much worse than an entrenched political class that anxiously forfeits its powers to stop him?

Or, as Jack Nicholson once said about the Ruling Class:

There are 103 comments.

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  1. Austin Murrey Inactive

    Well I obviously think so, but I’m in a minority around here it seems.

    • #1
    • August 20, 2015, at 2:13 PM PDT
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  2. Lash LaRoche Inactive

    I think so, too.

    • #2
    • August 20, 2015, at 2:41 PM PDT
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  3. Matt Bartle Member
    Matt BartleJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Sounds like the Iran deal process, too.

    • #3
    • August 20, 2015, at 2:43 PM PDT
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  4. Jackal Inactive

    No no, it’s all nonsense, you can’t expect McConnell &c to be able to do anything without a Republican president!

    • #4
    • August 20, 2015, at 3:00 PM PDT
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  5. Ball Diamond Ball Inactive

    On that and a host of things. This is their m.o. in general. This is what they do between lectures to the base about what can and cannot be accomplished.

    • #5
    • August 20, 2015, at 3:02 PM PDT
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  6. James Gawron Thatcher
    James GawronJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Pseud & All,

    Yes, of course, it’s Failure Theater. I can’t lose with the voters because I’ve got the perfect alibi. I voted against it but there was nothing more I could do.

    I am still hoping that this piece of pure cynicism back fires on the whole gang. Sometimes even master criminals make mistakes. Either it gets so bad that the 2/3 vote to override comes through or this time the opposition is so on top of them that everybody knows what’s what and they all go down with the Obama death ship at the polls.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #6
    • August 20, 2015, at 3:03 PM PDT
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  7. Mendel Member
    MendelJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Both the Corker bill and the debt limit extension were absolute kabuki.

    Another, less obvious sleight-of-hand is the filibuster, which has been used by Republican leadership several times to play the “we tried our best to do XXYY, but we just couldn’t!” game. Even though the filibuster supposedly protects the minority party, it actually makes a great smokescreen for the majority.

    But: if the problem is kabuki, why is the protest movement rallying behind someone who is even more kabuki?

    • #7
    • August 20, 2015, at 3:13 PM PDT
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  8. Mendel Member
    MendelJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    More importantly, let’s drop the first-order thinking and really examine the question: why do Republican leaders constantly feel the need to dupe their base while quietly lending support to liberal policies?

    After all, Congressional leadership is still selected by the individual members of Congress, and Boehner and McConnell have been continually re-elected even after the Tea Party surge of 2010. So the majority of individual representatives apparently endorses their leaderships’ manipulative capitulation shell games.

    But why? There’s one obvious but uncomfortable answer here: their electorates. For every hardcore Republican voter willing to shut the government down, there’s a squishy one who just wants to keep the money rolling.

    We live in a democracy (even if that was not the original intent). Until we start placing the blame where it rightly belongs in a democracy – namely, on the voters – we will never see meaningful changes at the top.

    • #8
    • August 20, 2015, at 3:14 PM PDT
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  9. Ball Diamond Ball Inactive

    Yup. Two-party mutual aid society. Every once in a while somebody falls from grace, and the ritual of supposedly partisan expulsion begins.

    • #9
    • August 20, 2015, at 3:15 PM PDT
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  10. Bob Thompson Member

    Austin Murrey:Well I obviously think so, but I’m in a minority around here it seems.

    Be informative to get a ricochet-wide vote on this to see if you are really a minority.

    • #10
    • August 20, 2015, at 3:21 PM PDT
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  11. Austin Murrey Inactive

    Bob Thompson: Be informative to get a ricochet-wide vote on this to see if you are really a minority.

    But how would you word it?

    Option A: “Do you think the Republican Congress are doing as well as possible considering the actions of the Obama Administration?”

    Option B: “Do you think the Republican Congress’s repeated failures have anything to do with their stated goals of doing nothing against the Obama Administration that could be used against them in the media and jeopardize their standing in the polls?”

    • #11
    • August 20, 2015, at 3:54 PM PDT
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  12. Ball Diamond Ball Inactive

    Mendel:But: if the problem is kabuki, why is the protest movement rallying behind someone who is even more kabuki?

    Because we no longer feel that honest effort will accomlish anything. We will destroy their nonsense with an even larger heap of nonsense. There is going to be a fight one way or another. So long as we keep agreeing to play by their arbitrary and shifting rules, we will continue to lose. Obvious, I know. So then the question is “why did we try for so long to win through “productive” means? Loyalty. We wanted things to work the way they are supposed to. We remain conservatives, but we are now tactical radicals, willing to accept a lot of heterodoxy on the way to smashing an abusive and tyrannical government. Since the GOP has chosen to defend the government from a Constitutional people, the GOP is the logical first target. We cannot beat the democrats with the GOP supporting them on the sly, their esteemed colleagues.

    So Trump it is. We’ll wield him like a battering ram and scatter the GOP guards from the doors of power, leaving nothing but splinters that reek of hairspray.

    You don’t like it: too bad. You don’t think it will work: too bad. You think it will blow up in our faces: too bad. As if we have enjoyed any better results under the Uncle Tom GOP.

    • #12
    • August 20, 2015, at 4:38 PM PDT
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  13. Salvatore Padula Inactive

    Ball: “We will destroy their nonsense with an even larger heap of nonsense.”

    You made me think of this:

    • #13
    • August 20, 2015, at 4:42 PM PDT
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  14. Bob Thompson Member

    Austin Murrey:

    Bob Thompson: Be informative to get a ricochet-wide vote on this to see if you are really a minority.

    But how would you word it?

    Option A: “Do you think the Republican Congress are doing as well as possible considering the actions of the Obama Administration?”

    Option B: “Do you think the Republican Congress’s repeated failures have anything to do with their stated goals of doing nothing against the Obama Administration that could be used against them in the media and jeopardize their standing in the polls?”

    “Do you think the Republican Congress passes bills that give authority to the President to take important actions on matters such as increasing the debt limit and reaching agreements with Iran on nuclear weapon capability so they can then propose legislation to stop Presidential action knowing it will be vetoed without being capable of being overridden by Congress. This way they can say they voted against the Presidential action when they campaign and ask for money.”

    • #14
    • August 20, 2015, at 4:45 PM PDT
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  15. Valiuth Inactive
    ValiuthJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I think the Debt limit thing can be easily explained in the following manner. No one in congress actually wanted us to hit the debt limit. But they could not afford to stand up to their base. So they convoluted the system.

    My analysis is this. The Republican House and Senate Leadership are a bunch of spineless lobsters. They are incapable of fighting Obama or standing up to their base. They seem to lack all conviction.

    • #15
    • August 20, 2015, at 5:18 PM PDT
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  16. Ball Diamond Ball Inactive

    Valiuth:I think the Debt limit thing can be easily explained in the following manner. No one in congress actually wanted us to hit the debt limit. But they could not afford to stand up to their base. So they convoluted the system.

    My analysis is this. The Republican House and Senate Leadership are a bunch of spineless lobsters. They are incapable of fighting Obama or standing up to their base. They seem to lack all conviction.

    And they’re not even the best.

    • #16
    • August 20, 2015, at 5:21 PM PDT
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  17. Martel Inactive

    Jackal:No no, it’s all nonsense, you can’t expect McConnell &c to be able to do anything without a Republican president!

    and 60 Republican Senators. Don’t forget that.

    After all, it’s the reason government grew exponentially from 2005-7, because even though we controlled the Presidency and both houses of Congress, without those 60 votes we were still utterly powerless.

    But you can be sure that if we had those 60 votes, we’d implement a consistently conservative agenda in two shakes of a lamb’s tail.

    Well, maybe somebody out there actually believes that.

    • #17
    • August 20, 2015, at 6:06 PM PDT
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  18. Biden Pure Demagogue Inactive
    Biden Pure DemagogueJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    • #18
    • August 20, 2015, at 7:14 PM PDT
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  19. Percival Thatcher
    PercivalJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Thanks for posting this, Pseud. These jokers aren’t fooling any but the lowest of the low information voters.

    • #19
    • August 20, 2015, at 8:11 PM PDT
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  20. Ralphie Member

    Mendel:We live in a democracy (even if that was not the original intent). Until we start placing the blame where it rightly belongs in a democracy – namely, on the voters – we will never see meaningful changes at the top.

    I have a conservative relative and a conservative freind who both receive government retirements that have both made the statement “they promised me x amount” and they want x amount and the fringes that go with it. The last time I had that conversation with my conservative friend, I replied that no one promised me anything, and I didn’t promise them anything either. It was a politician who did the promising and arranging of handouts. My conservative friend has not brought that up again.

    • #20
    • August 21, 2015, at 5:23 AM PDT
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  21. Ball Diamond Ball Inactive

    Ralphie:

    Mendel:We live in a democracy (even if that was not the original intent). Until we start placing the blame where it rightly belongs in a democracy – namely, on the voters – we will never see meaningful changes at the top.

    I have a conservative relative and a conservative freind who both receive government retirements that have both made the statement “they promised me x amount” and they want x amount and the fringes that go with it. The last time I had that conversation with my conservative friend, I replied that no one promised me anything, and I didn’t promise them anything either. It was a politician who did the promising and arranging of handouts. My conservative friend has not brought that up again.

    Sounds like Plan C.

    • #21
    • August 21, 2015, at 5:31 AM PDT
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  22. She Reagan
    SheJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Winston Churchill on the Republican leadership Prime Minister Ramsey MacDonald:

    I remember when I was a child, being taken to the celebrated Barnum’s Circus, which contained an exhibition of freaks and monstrosities, but the exhibit on the programme which I most desired to see was the one described as “The Boneless Wonder”. My parents judged that the spectacle would be too demoralising and revolting for my youthful eye and I have waited fifty years, to see the The Boneless Wonder sitting on the Treasury Bench.

    • #22
    • August 21, 2015, at 6:19 AM PDT
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  23. Mister Magic Inactive

    How would this be different with a President Trump?

    • #23
    • August 21, 2015, at 6:24 AM PDT
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  24. I Walton Member

    I always thought that a narrow governing elite was a third world thing where I saw it in every country in which I served. It gradually became clear that we’re the same just not family based. Some instances drew the picture sharply. Listening to two senior staffers serving diametrically opposite Senators, Dodd, his staffer a rabid marxist, and Jesse Helms, his staffer a deep knowledgable conservative banter about issues they fought publicly as if to the death. It was clear that they were members of the same class of which none of us were members. Similarly, I watched and sat in on meetings between a powerful former key Democrat senator as Republican and Democrat CEO’s of giant corporations, law firms and think tanks paid homage as if he were the god father. I never saw them kiss his ring. So what do we do? This tight little governing class won’t change on it’s own, won’t go away and won’t risk any of its power ever. They are an establishment, they know who they are and they honor their obligations to each other and punish anyone who seems to pose a threat to them.

    • #24
    • August 21, 2015, at 6:29 AM PDT
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  25. I Walton Member

    Mister Magic:How would this be different with a President Trump?

    He’d replace some of them with his people, he’d gather still more power into his own hands and he’d make the trains run on time. Then new more enduring rot would set in. You don’t fix an economy by expanding government and you don’t fix government dysfunction by gathering still more power into government hands. But we do need to toss these bums out of committee leadership positions and appoint conservatives dedicated to cutting with a chain saw and a blow torch.

    • #25
    • August 21, 2015, at 6:34 AM PDT
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  26. Songwriter Inactive
    SongwriterJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Mendel:More importantly, let’s drop the first-order thinking and really examine the question: why do Republican leaders constantly feel the need to dupe their base while quietly lending support to liberal policies?

    After all, Congressional leadership is still selected by the individual members of Congress, and Boehner and McConnell have been continually re-elected even after the Tea Party surge of 2010. So the majority of individual representatives apparently endorses their leaderships’ manipulative capitulation shell games.

    But why? There’s one obvious but uncomfortable answer here: their electorates. For every hardcore Republican voter willing to shut the government down, there’s a squishy one who just wants to keep the money rolling.

    We live in a democracy (even if that was not the original intent). Until we start placing the blame where it rightly belongs in a democracy – namely, on the voters – we will never see meaningful changes at the top.

    This so depressing. And so very true.

    • #26
    • August 21, 2015, at 6:40 AM PDT
    • Like
  27. Jager Coolidge
    JagerJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Mendel: But: if the problem is kabuki, why is the protest movement rallying behind someone who is even more kabuki?

    All the people involved in the original “kabuki” dislike Trump. All the Republican media and commentators who support/supported the Republicans in their “kabuki” dislike Trump.

    Maybe there is no greater protest vote than to support someone the existing “political class” dislikes.

    • #27
    • August 21, 2015, at 6:49 AM PDT
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  28. Doctor Bass Monkey Inactive

    Burn it to the ground and piss on the ashes.

    • #28
    • August 21, 2015, at 6:49 AM PDT
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  29. Ball Diamond Ball Inactive

    Whiskey Sam:Burn it to the ground and piss on the ashes.

    Actually laughed there, which is bad, because this is open bay and everybody’s asleep. Or “asleep”.

    • #29
    • August 21, 2015, at 6:54 AM PDT
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  30. Mister Magic Inactive

    John Penfold,

    I’m just trying to see what the content of the post had anything to do with he latter part of the title; since a President Trump couldn’t do anything about this, I don’t see how this could be labeled as the “secret to Trump’s success”.

    • #30
    • August 21, 2015, at 7:19 AM PDT
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