Yesterday on Fox News Sunday, Weekly Standard editor Fred Barnes excitedly discussed how new Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) may block the new congressional leadership from pursuing its objectives. “There was really an important thing that Mitch McConnell said,” Barnes explained, which was that “the minority can guarantee not much is done.”
Barnes claimed that he has “talked to [McConnell] many times, and he’s the great master of the filibuster, among other things.” Barnes also said that President Bush “has great tools” like “the veto, executive orders, recess appointments and so on” to block congressional efforts.
What a difference new leadership makes. During the last Congress, when Barnes’ conservative allies were in power, tools like the filibuster were described as legislative “rage,” a sign of “ruthless” politics. Here’s Barnes on 2/7/05:
Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle…was plainly obsessed with obstructing Bush at every turn. … The real lesson, of course, is that blatant obstructionism is a failed strategy. It’s what caused Daschle to lose his seat. [...]
Stronger countermeasures will be needed, including an unequivocal White House response to obstructionism, curbs on filibusters, and a clear delineation of what’s permissible and what’s out of bounds in dissent on Iraq.
Full transcript: Read more