In the five days since the Democrats took 51-50 de facto control of the Senate, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has been using every procedural trick in the book to try to delay the Democrats’ inevitable majority rule.
McConnell’s main goal is to trick liberal activists into mistakenly believing that Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is caving to him, when that is in fact not at all what’s happening. McConnell has even gone so far as to leak phony stories to the media about Schumer sharing power with him, specifically to try to weaken Schumer in the eyes of the left.
But Chuck Schumer is savvier than that. He sat down with Rachel Maddow tonight for a lengthy on-air interview and spelled out that he’s simply not going to give an inch to McConnell, no matter what brinksmanship McConnell resorts to. Schumer also confirmed that he has a counter strategy up his sleeve for whatever McConnell is planning – but of course he refused to reveal it, because you never give away the element of surprise. Instead Schumer merely laughed out loud at what he’s got planned for McConnell.
This interview is precisely what Schumer needed to do. He’s spelling out how things actually work in the Senate, why McConnell’s stall tactics aren’t going to magically work, and that he’s not going to give an inch to McConnell. Sure enough, even as Schumer’s interview was airing, McConnell caved and agreed to the traditional rules for a 51-50 Senate majority. Schumer has won the battle. McConnell surely isn’t done screwing around, but he just gave away a big chunk of what he was holding hostage. We told you Schumer is good at this.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report