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. 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 publicly-supported 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.