Some day I’m going to find an expert to explain to me why the Democrats seem to be so much better at this stuff than us. Oh, Mitch, Mitch, Mitch

Republicans will raise the government’s borrowing limit without threatening a default, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell guaranteed Sunday, placating the markets but potentially surrendering the party’s leverage as Congress gears up for another debt showdown.

The current debt-ceiling holiday, to which Congress agreed a year ago, expires Sunday, starting the clock on debate and sending the Treasury Department scrambling to tap into its “extraordinary measures” to keep from breaching the limit.

Mr. McConnell, Kentucky Republican, said on the CBS program “Face the Nation” on Sunday that Republicans may try to attach some of their priorities to the debate but won’t force another shutdown showdown as it has in the past.

“I made it very clear after the November election that we’re certainly not going to shut down the government or default on the national debt. We will figure some way to handle that. And, hopefully, it might carry some other important legislation that we can agree on in connection with it,” he said.

If there’s one thing worse than telegraphing your punches, it’s letting your opponent know in advance that you have no intention of punching at all. What was particularly interesting about the Senate Majority Leader’s comments was the suggestion that he might try attaching some “priorities” to the debate. But don’t worry, Harry Reid… we’re not serious. If you threaten to filibuster the priorities of the newly elected majority which the voters sent to Washington, we’ll turn around and remove them, quietly sending the debt well above its current level of more than $18T.

I’m old enough to remember when the majority in the Senate could put forward a spending bill or a proposal to raise the debt ceiling and when the minority filibustered it they were blamed for “shutting down the government.” I wonder what ever happened to those rules? The media certainly had no trouble explaining it to everyone. If the Democrats issued a bill making the required funding available and the Republicans failed to allow it to come to a vote, everyone knew who was turning out the lights. But something changed in recent weeks, and now the people who allocate the funds or set up the debt limit increase are somehow the ones with their hands on the light switch if the minority won’t agree to their terms. If Spock were still alive I’d expect him to show up with a goatee.

Wasn’t this why we supposedly wanted to take back the majority? And if this is what we’re going to do with it, why did we bother?