GOP Senate leader McConnell says he will filibuster any and all amendments about Iraq. Media spins story for GOP.

The true colors of the Republican party come through. Nothing can be done about Iraq – NOTHING – or they will filibuster it. We’re staying in Iraq forever, all thanks to the Republicans. From Roll Call (subscription only):

Reid’s tack on Tuesday appeared to be a dual attempt to press Republicans on the political question of Iraq and to challenge the need for 60 votes for passage of any measure — one of Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) chief tactical tools this year.

In fact, Reid and McConnell traded barbs on the floor over the process for debating the bill, with Reid saying McConnell’s insistence on pre-setting 60-vote thresholds for all Iraq-related amendments amounted to a defacto filibuster. Sixty votes are required to cut off a filibuster.

McConnell argued “every Iraq amendment we’ve voted on this year … as most things in the Senate that are remotely controversial, has required 60 votes.” McConnell added that his suggestion to only adopt amendments that receive 60 or more votes was “the rational response to the nature of the Senate in this era.”

Reid fired back that “rationality is in the eye of the beholder. That’s just some recent rule that’s come up in the minds of the minority.”

It’s Reid’s claim that this is a filibuster? It IS a filibsuter. The only thing you need 60 votes to break is a filibuster, period. Once again we have the media playing these cute games of repeating Republican talking points rather than simply reporting the truth. Roll Call knows how the Hill works, they know that the 60 votes are needed to stop a filibuster, yet they insist on reporting this he-said-she-said, making it sound like Harry Reid is calling this a filibuster but you know he’s just saying that. No, Roll Call shouldn’t need a quote from Harry Reid at all. Anyone who has spent any time on the Hill knows what 60 votes are about – it’s to invoke cloture in order to stop a filibuster.

Oh, but Roll Call isnt’ alone in following GOP talking points. Check out the front page of today’s Washington Post:

But the GOP leadership’s use of a parliamentary tactic requiring at least 60 votes to pass any war legislation only encouraged the growing number of Republican dissenters to rally and seek new ways to force President Bush’s hand.

That obscure parliamentary tactic that requires 60 votes to move forward is called a freaking “filibuster.” What is it with these people? If it’s not a filibuster unless you’re sitting on the Senate floor reading a phone book into the congressional record, then we haven’t had a filibuster in years, if not decades. So why did the media dutifully report the Republicans’ previous accusations that Dems were filibustering too much when all the Dems were doing is the same thing the Repubs are doing now – requiring 60 votes on some nominations? So it’s a filibuster when we’re accused of doing it (and we only did it a few times), and it’s not a filibuster when they actually do it to EVERY SINGLE PIECE OF LEGISLATION. I get it.

Also, note what McConnell is now saying. Anything and everything that is even vaguely controversial will meet a Republican filibuster. Short of National Ice Cream Day, that means everything the Senate does. Since when has that been standard practice?


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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