The Debt Ceiling, Again…

Of course Congress should raise the debt ceiling and avoid a default. And of course throughout history the parties have been absolutely hypocritical about when they will and when they will not vote to do so. The chief criteria are twofold: (1) what is the best way to embarrass the other side and (2) gain electoral advantage in the process?

Today we have (nominally) unified government under Democratic control. Naturally enough, the Republicans are refusing to cooperate in raising the debt ceiling on a bipartisan basis. Also naturally enough, the Democrats are pretending to be hopping mad about the Republicans’ bad faith in refusing to cooperate in what is normally a bipartisan effort.

Except that the Democrats’ claim about historic bipartisanship is simply not correct. As recently as 2006 when the federal government was controlled by Republicans, not a single Democratic Senator voted to increase the debt limit–led by among others — wait for it — then Senator Joe Biden.

Below, see the speech minority leader Mitch McConnell (R, KY) made today, quoting then Senator Biden, on the subject. It is fairly amusing. Especially since it is a given that in the not too distant future a Democratic Senator will be quoting Senator McConnell when the roles of the parties are reversed.


Senator Mitch McConnell Excoriates Donald Trump

In the aftermath of the Senate vote that acquitted former President Trump in his second impeachment trial, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell gave a speech on the Senate floor in which he explained his vote to acquit. His rationale was procedural; he argued that the Senate lacked jurisdiction to convict because Trump is a now a private citizen and no longer President. If the Senate has the power to impeach a private citizen, which would then allow the Senate to bar that private citizen from ever holding public office in the future, the impeachment power has no limits.

That, it seems to me, is both a close call and a perfectly reasonable position.

We should also note that McConnell pointed out that the matter does not stop here. Trump is still answerable for his actions in both the criminal and civil courts.

Most important is what McConnell said about the substance of the matter. He said what is obviously true, but needed to be said by the ranking elected Republican. In fact, it should have been repeated by all the Republicans. He said that there is no question that Trump provoked the mob into a foreseeable response. In addition, Trump was both practically and morally responsible for the result, which was the storming of the capitol building on January 6.

Senator McConnell’s speech is presented in its entirety in the YouTube video below.

Senate Minority Leader McConnell.