Obstruction-obsessed McConnell to Democrats: If you “think its bad now, wait till next year”

The 111th Congress witnessed a record amount of Republican obstruction. Wielding an unprecedented number of filibusters, the GOP waged war against the Democratic agenda to defeat Obama, apparently viewing unemployed workers, judicial nominees, service members, and even 9/11 rescue workers as collateral damage.

Think Progress has the story of the Senate majority leader’s plans to amp up GOP obstructionism in the next Congress.

As Congress entered the lame-duck session, Senate Republicans threw ‘operation obstruction’ into overdrive. In a rare moment of honesty, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) openly admitted that the GOP stalling tactics on publiclysupported legislation were nothing more than an attempt “to run out the clock.” And even as the lame duck lurches to a close, “angst-ridden” Democrats better gird their sanity for another round because, according to a chuckling Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), “if they think it’s bad now, wait till next year“:

“There’s much for them to be angst-ridden about,” McConnell said with a chuckle. “If they think it’s bad now, wait till next year.”

Emboldened by Democrats’ decision to scrap an omnibus funding bill and extend the Bush-era tax cuts for two years, McConnell is ready to deploy his larger Republican minority next year, insisting that Democratic leaders will need to bend to his party’s will “” particularly on spending issues.

Indeed, McConnell is signaling that the White House should be prepared in the new Congress to support Republican policies “” not the other way around.

“If the president is willing to do things that we believe in, I don’t think we’re going to say, ‘No, Mr. President, we’re not going to do this any longer because you’re now with us,'” McConnell told POLITICO in his ornate office across from the old Senate chamber. “Any time the president is willing to do what we think is in the best interest of the American people, we have something to talk about.”

McConnell readily admits that his number one goal in the Senate is to bring about the defeat of President Obama in 2012, no matter what the price. It’s “not a shocking revelation,” he said. “We’re going to do business if we can for the next two years, and then we’re going to go out there and butt heads and see if we can’t win in ’12.” And with 46 GOP troops on the ground in 2011, McConnell certainly has the numbers to execute his game plan.

15 Responses to Obstruction-obsessed McConnell to Democrats: If you “think its bad now, wait till next year”

  1. Peter M says:

    Mitch is a fool

    perhaps he should read from the west coast

    the LA Times this morning

    Major flooding in Laguna Beach, mudslides in canyons as storm bears downtown L.A.

  2. Jeff Huggins says:


    I must admit, my mind has tried (and is trying) hard to forget much of this political year, and especially the details. But I’d like to ask — and hopefully get clear answers to — these questions:

    1. Did Senate Democrats force the Repubs to actually filibuster, AT LENGTH, ON TV, to avoid voting on the best possible climate bill that the most climate-concerned Democrats in the Senate, the most climate-concerned Democrats in the House, President Obama, and Secretary Chu could have put together? In other words, did the Repubs actually have to IMPLEMENT a long and drawn-out, and embarrassing, stalling of the government and of genuinely excellent climate change and energy legislation? If my memory is right, the answer is no.

    2. Did the most climate-concerned Senate Democrats (the best 50, so to speak), President Obama, and Secretary Chu put together a CLEAR, COHERENT, COMPELLING piece of legislation — one that they could communicate clearly and understandably to the public, against which (or on which) the Repubs would have had to actually implement a filibuster at length?

    3. Did the President and key Senators explain — CLEARLY and WELL and REPEATEDLY — the piece of legislation to the people? Did the President use his bully pulpit — and every other venue and tactic under the sun — to do so?

    4. Did the Democrats get key corporate leaders on board (those who should be welcoming a cleaner-energy future) to speak loudly and publicly in favor of excellent climate change and energy legislation? Did Democrats do that well? Did President Obama do it, and do it well? Did they all do it effectively and sufficiently?

    5. Did the Democrats get public figures — entertainers, thought-leaders, responsible spiritual leaders, writers, responsible sports stars, and etc. — to speak out in favor of climate and energy legislation? Did the Democrats make sure that the legislation was understandable, and could be explained, and did they make sure that these public figures understood it well and could explain it IN THEIR OWN HUMAN TERMS to the public?

    6. And did the Democrats do — or even attempt to do — the ten other key things that would have been necessary to either make climate change legislation an effective success or, instead, to at least force the Repubs to make asses of themselves in order to block it?

    Can someone remind me of the answers to these questions, please. Because even though we all know that these Repubs are a central problem, it does limited good to keep blaming the opponent — an opponent who is giving every sign that he will not change without being kicked out of office (by the next election) or being forced by effective tactics on our side to vote more responsibly. President Obama loves basketball: How is it, then, that he (and we) are such terribly ineffective strategists and tacticians??

    I am hoping to write a short series of guest posts that make compelling “can-do” arguments and appeals to key segments of society with which I have experience, if Joe and CP are interested. If we (the movement) stick only or mainly with our present approaches in the New Year, we’ll only have ourselves to blame, again, one year from now, when we are disappointed once more.

    Be Well,


  3. John McCormick says:

    Does one have to pay annual dues to the big green groups to influence their strategies on where to go from here re: climate change; or, even learn that any of them have a clue? Have they all decided to camp out in Cancun for the holidays?

    Maybe they don’t want to disclose their secret plan.

    John McCormick

  4. Gary says:

    #3…..the big green groups have been there for the environment long
    before you were born!

  5. John McCormick says:

    Gary, I’m older than you know!

    John McCormick

  6. What?? Is this a contest? A race to the bottom? McConnell wins.

    It is time to play the weather card. It is a mistake to completely separate weather and climate. Time to explain that both ordinary and extraordinary weather events are all expressions of climate.

    Any weather is an expression of, and is consistent with climate changes. There will be huge changes to climate and it will be expressed as weather.

    Climate is the odds in the craps game, weather is the roll of the dice.

  7. Sasparilla says:

    The amazing thing about this obstructionist play book (I believe Limbaugh was urging this the moment Obama was elected with all the vitriol and hatred he exudes) the GOP has been using, is how well it has worked. It’s succeeded brilliantly.

    The mainstream press doesn’t call them on it at all. The white house didn’t get it (not sure they even get it now) and neither did the Senate / House Democrats (since it was a time of financial crisis they figured the GOP would pull with them like they did with the GOP after 9/11, not so..).

    And last but not least the public isn’t even thinking the GOP and their policies are the reason we had a financial crisis and are in this massive recession, they just put a bunch of more radical GOP’ers in with the last election – totally took that financial crisis cause thing off the radar for the press and general public.

    There’s no reason for the GOP to stop now, I’d expect them to double down on this strategy. Total warfare on the other party works for them, however morally corrupt it is and when it comes to the GOP, the ends seem to always justify the means. Since they only have the house and can still blame everything on the Democrats for the next two years, look for more of this. Sad to say.

  8. Mike Roddy says:

    As I said in a recent Alternet piece, Mitch McConnell makes Richard Nixon look like Abraham Lincoln.

  9. BillD says:

    I agree with some of the comments above about the need to show some resolve. The way that the democrats have been pushed around this year, it’s no wonder that McConnell thinks it will be easier next year. Put together some reasonable bills and let the republicans filabuster, it that’s their plan. Why back down from just the threat of a filabuster? I think that the American public want the government to accomplish something and that there will be an adverse reaction against the republicans if they just filabuster.

    On the other hand, Obama had better be ready to veto any bills that strip power from the US EPA.

  10. John McCormick says:

    RE # 4

    Gary, I’ll get right to the point because I don’t know how much longer I’ll live on this planet.

    How about the big green groups investing as much as their Cancun budget into a 112th Congress battle royale’ to eliminate all energy subsidies (I repeat, all). Let the fruitcake repugs choke on that for the next two years. We give up renewable tax credits, and particularly the $6 billion going to Archer Daniel Midland for its corn sweetener kin, ethanol, in return for fossils losing theirs. Level playing field.

    Oh. Wait! That sounds like the Clinton gasoline tax increase fight. May be too tough. Well, how about the big greens give it a shot anyway. It will give the repugs something to rail against while they gut EPA.

    John McCormick

  11. Berbalang says:

    McConnell would make a statement like that while there is major flooding going on in California. “If you think it’s was bad now, wait until next year!” Those words ought to be brought up every time there is a climate disaster next year.

    There is an old saying, “That which I can destroy, I control.” The GOP has taken this saying to heart. They think it is a great idea because it will not end well for anyone, so it will not end well for the Democrats. They cannot see the flaw in their so-called logic.

  12. monkey says:

    I am not sure that congress will be less productive. Obama with a strong majority in both houses always had to pander to the Liberal votes who helped elect him much as Clinton did between 1992 to 1994. After the 1994 midterms, Clinton moved towards the centre and achieved much through bipartisanship and ultimately regained much of the moderate and independent voters he lost in the midterms thus winning handily in 1996. Based on Obama’s approach to the tax cuts, I suspect he will take the same approach, since this is what he needs to do to win in 2012. It is moderates and independents, not your latte sipping liberals or socialist who determine who wins just as the religious right, staunch liberatarians, and right wing ideologues don’t either determine who wins. Adopting the ideas advocated on this blog might work in Manhattan and San Francisco but would be suicidal in suburban America, smaller cities, and swing states like Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, and Virginia. Obama wants to be re-elected in 2012 and likewise the Republicans want to take the White House in 2012 so if either side is too obstructionist and too ideological they will lose come 2012.

  13. fj3 says:

    Maybe it’s about time to start denying the deniers what ever that means.

    This stuff would be hilarious except that inaction is having such terrible consequences.

    In any case, McConnell definitely looks like that fiendishly funny movie character Chucky.

  14. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    This makes me think of two things. First how infinitely superior the Chinese system is in getting things done, absent the moronic, vicious,petulant and self-destructive antics of deranged opportunists. To have a purely meritocratic system absent the open corruption of business interests brazenly buying the whole political system, is clearly working better. And mass democracy gives an equal vote to the greatest dullard, the biggest ignoramus and the most credulous clown-a sure recipe for moronocracy, which, I’m afraid, you have perfected, although we’re not far behind. And secondly, when alien archeologists sift through the detritus of our civilization, and wonder how it happened, one look at Mr McConnell’s photo will answer all their questions. We get the face we deserve.

    [JR: Uhh, China’s totalitarian system leaves much do be desired and is, so far, equally self-destructive as ours.]

  15. Windsong says:

    Darn, I wish I’d voted for Hillary! She has more (well… I won’t say in public!) but basically, she has more guts than Obama. We need a REAL leader!