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Tuesday, October 13, 2015

It isn't just the House, folks

by digby

I wrote about the latest event in the conservative crack-up for Salon today. Let's just say the wingnuts are feeling their oats:
Yesterday the right began to seriously flex its muscle on the “Paul Ryan: Boy Savior” question, and it’s not looking great:
In 2012 when Mitt Romney picked Mr. Ryan, Republican of Wisconsin, as his running mate, the concern among some in their party was that Mr. Ryan was too conservative, particularly when it came to overhauling social programs like Medicare and Medicaid.
Now, as he agonizes over whether to answer the appeal of his colleagues to become their next speaker, the far right is trotting out a fresh concern: Mr. Ryan is too far left.
That pretty much says it all.  The man who just two years ago was known as a hard-core Ayn Rand-worshipping conservative is now considered a liberal squish.
But we knew Ryan was suspect when conservative thought leader Laura Ingraham immediately tweeted “three young guns and you’re out “ as the beltway turned it’s lonely eyes to him last week. Only total loyalty to the Freedom Caucus will suffice, and not even the one true Scotsman could deliver on that promise. It’s possible Ryan could eke out a vote, but it won’t change the current congressional dynamic in which a rump group of fanatics hold the institution hostage to their delusions of grandeur.  It’s hard to imagine what would. The sickness that pervades the House Republican caucus will not be cured by any medicine currently available.
And now it appears that the disease has metastasized to the Senate. On Monday, MSNBC’s Luke Russert tweeted out a “citizen censure” from the right wing PAC The Madison Project against Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell. Why, you ask? Well, it seems he too has deviated from the program:
For years, establishment Republicans in Washington have gotten away with giving lip service to our principles while supporting policies that betrayed those same principles. NEVER AGAIN! Since the Republicans took the majority in the Senate, Mitch McConnell has cut deal after deal with the Democrats. His record of betraying conservatives before the election has only increased after the election.
Consider that, in this year alone, he:
Forcefully defeated the valiant efforts of Senators Mike Lee and Ted Cruz to defund Obamacare.
Failed to support Senator Mike Lee’s effort to defund Planned Parenthood in the wake of their body parts trafficking scandal.
Helped Harry Reid block a vote on an amendment offered by Ted Cruz that would have prevented lifting sanctions on Iran unless and until Iran recognizes Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state and unless and until Iran releases American hostages.
Allowed Senator Harry Reid and the Democrats to pass an amendment that reauthorized the Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im) – as a reward the lobbyists on K Street and undeniable corporate welfare. This action was so egregious that Ted Cruz boldly took to the Senate floor and called out Senator McConnell for lying.
Was referred to by George Stephanopoulos as President Obama’s “point man” in the Senate; and
Received a hand-written note of thanks from Barack Obama for his role in the confirmation of Attorney General Loretta Lynch – the number one cheerleader for unbridled Presidential power.
We MUST let Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell know that his scheming and backhanded tactics will NOT go unchecked.
They are working themselves into quite a frenzy. Now, the Senate is a different animal than the House and there are fewer opportunities for the kind of mischief we see from the Freedom Caucus. But the outside groups have their sights set on Mitch McConnell and they’re going to make their presence known. And he’s responding:
McConnell has appointed a special task force to explore changes to the filibuster rule and other procedural hurdles — including whether to eliminate filibusters on motions to proceed to legislation. That’s a tactic the minority often uses to shut down a bill before amendments can be considered…

And lookie here: