Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell came prepared to deal with Harry Reid’s attempt to detonate the nuclear option on the filibuster with perhaps the most effective weapon — ridicule. McConnell blasted the Majority Leader for using a fight over appointments to distract attention from the meltdown of ObamaCare, and noted that just four months ago, Reid pledged to keep from breaking the rules of the Senate to impose a rule change on cloture and filibusters. He tied all of this together in a single zinger, which brought guffaws from the Senate floor by saying of Reid, “He might just as well have said, ‘if you like the rules of the Senate, you can keep them!'”
McConnell previously laid out the case for the filibuster by using ObamaCare as the model of the kind of fiasco that the minority prevents through its use. “I’d be looking to change the subject,” McConnell said. “If I were the Senator from Oregon, for example, which hasn’t enrolled a single person — a single person — through the ObamaCare exchange, I’d probably want to talk about something else, too.” It won’t distract anyone from ObamaCare, McConnell warns, because it’s the same debate. “It only reinforces the narrative,” McConnell said, “of a party that is willing to do and say just about anything to get its way.”
This might not keep Reid from getting 51 votes, but it’s a great opportunity for Republicans to highlight the hypocrisy and deceit employed by Democrats in the effort and tie it back to the millstone of the Affordable Care Act.