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Graham Accuses McConnell of Folding Like a Cheap Suit, What Really Happened?

On Thursday, at McConnell's urging, the Senate voted 61-38 to end debate on a bill to increase the debt ceiling.
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Folding Like a Cheap Suit 

Following the vote to temporarily increase the debt ceiling, Lindsey Graham Ripped Mitch McConnell for 'Folding Like a Cheap Suit'

'We folded like a cheap suit here in the 11th hour,' Graham said Thursday night, after 11 Republicans led by McConnell joined Democrats on the motion, advancing a bill to put off a potential default date until early December.

Hannity cast the move as a partisan capitulation. 'Why did Mitch McConnell do this and then twist the arms of ... the 11 Republicans that caved?' Hannity asked him.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who led a filibuster of legislation to raise the statutory debt limit, fumed: 'Our leadership got cold feet, they got weak-kneed because they were afraid that Manchin and [Kyrsten] Sinema would agree to nuke the filibuster, which is what has been threatened over and over and over again.'

Who Caved?

I had a completely different take in Debt Ceiling Crisis Postponed as Democrats Agree to a Temporary Deal

For now, Democrats still resist hiking the debt ceiling through a reconciliation process. But as expected, they caved in somewhere.

That somewhere was agreeing to a Temporary Deal, something the Democrat leadership also said they would not do. 

If you insist, both sides did something they said they would not do. The alternative may have been default as the reconciliation process is not necessarily a smooth one.

Cruz and Graham could easily have thrown up debate delay roadblocks even if the outcome was a given. 

No, Mitch McConnell Didn’t ‘Cave’ on the Debt Ceiling

New York Magazine has the correct take: No, Mitch McConnell Didn’t ‘Cave’ on the Debt Ceiling

  • First and foremost, he gets what he wanted most from the whole debt-limit fight: all 50 Democratic senators voting for a specific-dollar debt-limit increase with a lot of zeroes on it. The actual number of zeroes is irrelevant for purposes of 2022 attack ads, which can simply charge vulnerable Democrats with voting to “add hundreds of billions ($480 billion to be exact) to the national debt” in their socialistic zeal to tax and spend and borrow. 
  • McConnell gets to replay the whole demagogic exercise whenever the new debt limit is breached, most likely in December.
  • In the meantime, he can quietly tell his friends on Wall Street that he did them the inestimable favor of heading off a financial calamity. If he also did indeed reduce the already low odds of Senate Democrats blowing up the filibuster, that’s an added bonus.

Manchin Blasts Schumer

Also consider Joe Manchin Blasts Chuck Schumer’s Partisan Barbs

After several Senate Republicans voted Thursday to join Democrats in temporarily raising the federal debt ceiling, averting a financial crisis, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer took to the floor to insult the opposition that had just saved him.

“Senate Republicans finally realized that their obstruction was not going to work,” Schumer huffed.

Manchin was seen behind Schumer shaking his head and then burying his face in his hands, plainly embarrassed by his leader. He eventually got up from his seat to leave the chamber before Schumer even finished.

Afterward, Manchin said of Schumer’s comments, “I didn’t think it was appropriate at this time,” and “I’m sure Chuck’s frustration was built up, but that was not a way to take it out. We just disagree, and I would have done it differently.”

Trumpian Downside 

The downside is Trump Making Waves

"Looks like Mitch McConnell is folding to the Democrats, again," Trump said in a statement through his leadership PAC, Save America. "He's got all of the cards with the debt ceiling, it's time to play the hand. Don't let them destroy our Country!"

Trump, the self-proclaimed king deal maker did not make a single deal of substance in 4 years. Nor did he leave Afghanistan as promised. 

Trump's Phase One Deal with China was pathetically lacking in delivery as noted in Biden to Continue Trump's Chaotic Policy on China, Just More Politely.

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McConnell Notifies Biden

McConnell's offer threw threw the ball back into the Democrat's ballpark. Not only that, but Democrats will have no excuses in December. 

On October 8, McConnell Notified Biden of the setup. 

“Dear President Biden:

“Last night, Republicans filled the leadership vacuum that has troubled the Senate since January. I write to inform you that I will not provide such assistance again if your all-Democrat government drifts into another avoidable crisis.

“Remarkably, even as Republicans saved Americans from his crisis, Senator Schumer kept compounding his failures. Last night, in a bizarre spectacle, Senator Schumer exploded in a rant that was so partisan, angry, and corrosive that even Democratic Senators were visibly embarrassed by him and for him. This tantrum encapsulated and escalated a pattern of angry incompetence from Senator Schumer. It was reminiscent of last year when he joined a protest on the steps of the Supreme Court and shouted threats at individual Justices by name.

“I am writing to make it clear that in light of Senator Schumer’s hysterics and my grave concerns about the ways that another vast, reckless, partisan spending bill would hurt Americans and help China, I will not be a party to any future effort to mitigate the consequences of Democratic mismanagement. Your lieutenants on Capitol Hill now have the time they claimed they lacked to address the debt ceiling through standalone reconciliation, and all the tools to do it. They cannot invent another crisis and ask for my help.”

Manchin Demands Progressives Prioritize

Before allegedly "caving" McConnell met Senator Joe Manchin.

What did McConnell get for agreeing to resolve the debt ceiling? How about this possibility?

A day after meeting McConnell (perhaps coincidence) Manchin Demands Progressives Prioritize

Manchin is telling colleagues that progressives need to pick just one of Biden’s three signature policies for helping working families and discard the other two,

Clear Win

  1. Republicans avoid blame for default.
  2. Ceiling debate postponed not eliminated.
  3. Manchin feuds with Schumer.
  4. Manchin demands Democrats prioritize.
  5. McConnell gives clear notice to Biden that in December the debt ceiling must be via reconciliation 

Senator Schumer’s hysterics after the vote tells you what you need to know: Trump, Cruz, Graham, and Hannity can't think clearly.

Meanwhile it's the Democrats not the Republicans who have splintered. For discussion, please see Senator Kyrsten Sinema Harassed In Bathroom, Biden Says "Part of the Process"

This debt ceiling postponement to December, especially in light of everything that followed, was a huge win for the Republicans.

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