Democrats and Republicans in the Senate are still at war over the oncoming "fiscal cliff" — a term used to describe the combination of tax increases and spending cuts set to go into effect on Jan. 1 — because they are children. Neither side wants to see the American economy fly off the so-called "cliff," and something is going to be done about it before the end of the year so that we don't get kicked into another recession (which is exactly the situation that played itself out with the debt ceiling). Of course, the Senate can't work on a gravely crucial agreement without self-important grandstanding and petty political posturing. Which brings us to Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell, the esteemed elderly turtle from Kentucky.
Today, McConnell proposed a vote to majority leader Harry Reid on a bill that would allow President Barack Obama to lift the debt ceiling and avoid the fiscal cliff unless two-thirds of Congress voted to stop him. McConnell — who last year called a similar proposal a "last-choice option" — was trying to prove that the Democrats wouldn't agree to a vote on a bill to give the President that power because they can't muster enough votes for it to pass, thus weakening the President's stance on the fiscal cliff. Unfortunately for McConnell, Reid was like, "uh, okay," and called for an up-or-down vote on the Senate floor.
McConnell, of course, had no intention of taking a vote, which is why he called for it in the first place. This led to the stunning sight of McConnell, one of the most powerful Republicans in Washington (nominally, anyway), filibustering his own bill and, in turn, himself. This is what Reid had to say on the Senate floor after all this nonsense went down.
"What we have here is a case of the Republicans here in the Senate once again not taking yes for an answer," Reid said. "This morning the Republican leader asked consent to have a vote on his proposal. Just now I told everyone we're willing to have that vote, an up-or-down vote, and now the Republican leader objects to his own idea, so I guess we have a filibuser of his own bill."
Here is video of the exchange between the two via TPM, with Reid incredulously objecting to McConnell's cowering original objection, and McConnell objecting back, because the Senate is just really stupid.
Unfortunately, for Mitch McConnell, he isn't actually a turtle, he just plays on one TV. If he was, he could've stuck his head back into his shell, rolled over and played dead. Unfortunately for you and me — people that would actually be severely affected by a major tax increase and cuts to social programs — this is the kind of shit that happens in Washington when it's time for things to actually get done.
[via Huffington Post, image via Getty]