Mitch McConnell Threatened A ‘Scorched Earth’ Response If The Democrats Killed The Filibuster, And People Reminded Him He No Longer Has Real Power

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Ever since the Democrats took all three branches of government, their constituents have been begging to do something should have been done a long time ago: limit or destroy the filibuster. Once immortalized as a noble, if exhausting, procedure in the likes of Frank Capra’s Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, it has in recent decades been used as a mere tool for obstruction, often wielded by Republicans. And as talk has ramped up in the last months about eradicating it completely, there’s been one person who’s emerged as its biggest cheerleader: Senate norms lover Mitch McConnell.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell launched a preemptive strike against Democrats, warning that doing away with the chamber’s filibuster rule would lead to a ‘completely scorched earth’ Senate https://t.co/gijWXQ5mx7 pic.twitter.com/LI96I6Zy4r
— Reuters (@Reuters) March 17, 2021

On Tuesday, the former Senate Majority Leader ramped up his filibuster defense a notch or two. He took to the floor of the chamber to issue a thinly-veiled threat. “Everything that Democratic Senates did to Presidents Bush and Trump, everything the Republican Senate did to President Obama, would be child’s play compared to the disaster that Democrats would create for their own priorities if — if — they break the Senate.”
McConnell wasn’t done. “Let me say this very clearly for all 99 of my colleagues,” he added. “Nobody serving in this chamber can even begin — can even begin — to imagine what a completely scorched earth Senate would look like — none. None of us have served one minute in a Senate that was completely drained of comity, and this is an institution that requires unanimous consent to turn the lights on before noon.”
It remains to be seen if Senate and House Democrats will heed his warning — or if they’ll listen to much of social media, who called McConnell’s bluff and then some.
Some reminded them that McConnell and Senate Republicans lost power.

Dear @LeaderMcConnell
Your group lost The House, The Senate and The White House.
You are 0-3.
You do not control a single body of the government.
America voted. America decided.
That is a MANDATE for the Democrats.
— Don Winslow (@donwinslow) March 16, 2021

Others told them not to be scared.

Don’t. Let. Mitch. McConnell. Make. The. Rules. Dems.
— John Pavlovitz (@johnpavlovitz) March 16, 2021

And that the filibuster is the last bit of real power he has left.

This is no surprise. The filibuster rule enables McConnell’s obstructionist tactics BLOCKING voting rights bills, universal background checks for gun purchases, immigration reform, and much more.
Time to support the will of the people.
End the filibuster. https://t.co/oqeLu2juwN
— Senator Chris Van Hollen (@ChrisVanHollen) March 16, 2021

In fact, he’s right to be scared.

HR1 would thwart virtually every single GOP voter suppression tactic. This is why Mitch McConnell so terrified of it https://t.co/cnTHkSJg4X pic.twitter.com/2eesvHKUBE
— Ari Berman (@AriBerman) March 16, 2021

Mitch McConnell is very afraid.
— Michelangelo Signorile (@MSignorile) March 16, 2021

McConnell is no longer Senate Majority Leader. But he still holds the power to block legislation at will. Abolish the filibuster, and McConnell’s power vanishes. pic.twitter.com/dEyDl2smHx
— Robert Reich (@RBReich) March 16, 2021

Besides, some said, McConnell will screw them over anyway.

McConnell bluntly warned what Republicans will do if the Democrats weaken or eliminate the filibuster, which they will also do if the Democrats do nothing to the filibuster, and also in any other hypothetical you care to suggest. https://t.co/3HYQZ5xhei
— Daniel Summers, MD (@WFKARS) March 16, 2021

Some pointed out McConnell’s twisted logic.

Mitch McConnell is threatening to hold up Senate Democrats’ legislative agenda if they try to stop him from holding up their legislative agenda.
— Middle Age Riot (@middleageriot) March 16, 2021

Others pointed out that McConnell has temporarily killed the filibuster before.

In 2013, Senate Dem used the nuclear option on the filibuster because the GOP refused to advance judicial and cabinet appointments. In 2017 McConnell nuked the filibuster to get three conservative Supreme Court judges.
The Senate is already scorched earth. Kill the filibuster.
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) March 16, 2021

Mitch McConnell summarily used the Senate’s powers to remove President Obama’s right to appoint Judges including a Supreme Court justice while jamming a mid-election nominee with no record on the court and he’s accusing Democrats of “scorched earth” now that he’s in the minority?
— Grant Stern (@grantstern) March 16, 2021

The earth has already been scorched, McConnell.
Your torched it with Brett Kavanaugh, Amy Barrett, your $1.9 trillion tax cut for billionaires, and a thousand other fires
— Lindy Li (@lindyli) March 16, 2021

McConnell froze the U.S. Supreme Court at just 8 members for 14 months by blocking any action on Garland, but his big threat now… is to bring the Senate down to a standstill.
— Taniel (@Taniel) March 16, 2021

Others pointed out that the place is already gridlocked anyway.

“If you don’t allow my gridlock, there will be gridlock” is not really the threat you think it is, Mitch McConnell.
— The Rude Pundit (@rudepundit) March 16, 2021

.@LeaderMcConnell YOU CREATED THE “Scorched Earth Senate”! The AMERICAN PEOPLE are not dumb. They know how you operate and how little LEGISLATING FOR THE PEOPLE you do.
You are THE ARSONIST AS WELL AS the self named Grim Reaper.
SIT DOWN. https://t.co/Z0OaIZdwC4
— Debra Messing (@DebraMessing) March 16, 2021

And some are just tired of Mitch.

As a Democrat am tired of the threats and attempts of dominance from Mitch McConnell. Period.
— Sher & Chai. WEAR A MASK (@SharesTruth) March 16, 2021

(Via The New York Times)