Mitch McConnell Needs Better Threats

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid , D-NV, recovering from a fall during a morning run last week, arrives with Sen. Tom Udall D-NM for a meeting with Mexico's Felipe Calderon at the US Capitol on May 11, 2011 in Washington, DC. Calderon will meet with senators Reid, Mitch McConnell, R-KY, Diane Feinstein ,D-CA, and other Congressional leaders to discuss US/Mexico relations. AFP PHOTO/Karen BLEIER (Photo credit should read KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)
Having Harry Reid beaten to within an inch of his life -- now there is a good threat. Photo: KAREN BLEIER/2011 AFP

The filibuster's massive rise from a rarely used expression of strong dissent to a routine supermajority requirement has prompted Harry Reid to promise to reform the rules at the start of the next term. Today Mitch McConnell angrily threatened that if Reid wants to do that, he might as well change the rules himself and go ahead and repeal the Affordable Care Act with a majority vote:

“Let’s assume we have a new president, and I’m the majority leader next time and we’re operating at 51,” McConnell said, “I wonder how comforting that is to my friends on the other side. How does it make you feel about the security of Obamacare, for example?”

Ooh, repealing Obamacare with a majority vote — scary! Except that McConnell has already threatened to do this anyway through budget reconciliation rules, which don't require a supermajority. That's not really much of a deterrent.