Mitch has an itch. His itch is to be leader of the senate once again so he can force President Obama into a bad choice for America of signing bills that would disrupt policy or if not, shut down the government. Remember all that stuff you learned in grade school about Congress compromising and working for the best for its citizens? Throw it out the window, it is about to become the stuff of legend.
With his partner, Smokin’ John Boehner, the alcoholic Speaker of the House, McConnell plans on attaching amendments changing policy to spending bills. This will then force the President to sign bills that will change policies (I doubt for the better) or stop the government as the money will not have been appropriated to run the government.
Then McConnell and Boehner will claim that it is the President who has chosen to shut down the government by refusing to give in to Republican blackmail.
You may recognize this as a variation on the debt ceiling blackmail shutdown led by that great American, Ted Cruz (do I need to say sarcasm?) last fall. The Republicans promised not to hold the debt ceiling hostage for a while and they aren’t. They are holding Americans, both citizens and businesses, hostage this time. It will be Obama’s fault if he chooses not to pay the ransom.
And the bet that the Republicans are making is that Americans are too stupid to figure out what they are doing. No doubt, they plan on a captive and compliant press to sell this as Obama’s fault. They did so in their last phony crisis.
What role do Iowans play in this game? Well, we have one of those senate races that McConnell and his cohorts are counting on to put Republicans in charge of the senate. Remember, even if McConnell loses his senate seat, the next Republican leader will do exactly the same.
Iowa’s senate race is of course Bruce Braley vs. Joni Ernst. Anyone who has been paying attention so far can easily see a very distinct difference between Braley and Ernst.
– Braley has a proven track record of working for Iowans. In a short career, Braley is one of the most respected member of the House.
– Ernst has lined up with the most extreme elements of the right wing in the country. She cares little about Iowa or Iowans. Her focus is to undo all social policy from FDR forward. She has come out against Social Security and Medicare. She has come out in favor of impeaching President Obama for no specific reason. Make no doubt that McConnell’s scheme fits right in with Ernst’s plan. In short she will be little more than a an automatic vote for McConnell.
So if you want the government to stop, if you want confrontation that will probably once more kill the economy, if you are part of the 1% you have reason to vote for Ernst. If you want to end Medicare, Social Security (and Medicaid although that hasn’t been expressed) vote for Ernst.
But if you believe that government can be a force for good and you want a person to represent the state and not a ideological fringe, vote for Braley. The choice is pretty stark.
Oh and by the way, Boehner wouldn’t be speaker if he didn’t have a majority. We could really dent that majority by sending Loebsack, Murphy, Appel and Mowrer to the House.