The night Mitch McConnell became the leader of the Republican Party... and Kennedy implodes
A remarkable thing happened in the United States Senate earlier this evening, and it occurred over a rather unremarkable piece of legislation that was being debated. Conservatives, frustrated at the lack of a genuine leader of their party, may have finally found one in Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell.
After Democratic leader Harry Reid’s MoveOn.org all-night session Tuesday night, a move that resulted only in helping unify the weak-kneed Republicans who were peeling away from continued support of the Petraeus surge in Iraq, McConnell, the Republican leader, served notice to anyone watching C-SPAN that he now runs the Senate.
The Senate spent much of the day discussing the merits, or demerits, of HR 2669, the Student Loans and Grants Act. Maybe it was the culmination of a long week already, or maybe it was the upper chamber being lulled off guard by the increasingly senile senior Senator from West Virginia, Robert Byrd, who spent 25 minutes decrying the plight of the helpless fight dog in response to the weird Michael Vick story in the news, but tonight, McConnell and the Republicans decided to take control of the Senate. The Republicans offered amendment after amendment to the bill, catching the Democrats flat-footed. In case you want to hear about the plight of the fight dog, here’s Robert Byrd’s Senate floor address [audio].
(Oh Lord, please let this man retire...soon!)
After a couple of Republican amendments failed, Mitch McConnell took to the floor and offered his own amendment, which was a Sense of the Senate that Guantanamo detainees not be allowed released or moved to U.S. soil. To conservatives, this obviously makes sense. To liberals, especially California’s Dianne Feinstein, one of the chief proponents of the effort to close the detention center at Gitmo and relocate these detainees into the American justice system, especially when tagged onto a student loan and grant bill, you’d think this measure would go down in flames. Except a funny thing happened. The bill was titled in a way that you had to vote yes to vote no, and no to vote yes. The final vote was 94-3, officially putting the Senate on record as saying terrorist detainees shouldn’t be moved to the U.S. Before the Democrats, who clearly hadn’t read the amendment, realized they screwed up, the vote was recorded.
Jim DeMint of South Carolina was the author of the next amendment in line, had just gotten the consent of Bernie Sanders, the presiding officer, to order the yeas and nays. Up stepped Massachusetts senior Senator Ted Kennedy, now obviously aware that he and his colleagues just got bamboozled, and went on a full-throated rant, with reckless disregard to obvious hypocrisy, and blasted DeMint and the Republicans for slowing down the works in the Senate. The rant is worth hearing, so here it is [audio].
(I repeat Lord, please also let this man retire...and soon!)
Thanks to the guys at Beyond the News for the videos, and Allah for the tips.
Billy Currington - Unofficial video for "Good Directions"