Even if you think each of these actions was defensible or excusable, the ease with which McConnell and the rest of the GOP conference rolled over and showed their bellies on these issues has to be deflating even to the biggest leadership booster.
And while there might be some folks who are resigned to the fact that a GOP-led Senate as the lesser of two evils, there’s almost no one I’ve talked to who is in any way excited about the prospect of what Republicans will do if they keep the majority – whether a Republican is elected President or not. Too many of us remember the bloating budgets and repeated failures of these same Senators under President Bush to have too much naive joy at the prospect of knocking on doors for Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) 27% or Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) 63%.
And given the electoral landscape, that presents a problem. It feels like the GOP is recycling the playbook from 2006, in which they tried to keep their heads down and “play defense” with a lot of money in the grim hope of holding just enough seats to keep their committee chairmanships. If the past is any indication, this tactic is a recipe for failure.