Mitch McConnell clearly did not have a speech ready for this moment. McConnell was carrying only the “happy” envelope as Republicans called Mike Pence down to the Senate fully expecting that they had the votes they needed to pass the “skinny repeal.”
And in the aftermath of the vote, McConnell was forced to admit that he was out of ideas. Out of options. And that, worst of all, the only option remaining to Republicans was to … work with the Democrats.
McConnell stumbled though a mumbled, downbeat speech in which he said he’d “like to hear their ideas, I really would.” And now, he will.
Finally, McConnell delivered a line that clearly cost him dearly … “No more votes tonight.”
More than just the defeat of an awful bill, this was a massive slap in the face to McConnell’s unprecedented short-circuiting of Senate process.
Let me say this sincerely: Good for you, John McCain. And an extra helping of admiration for Lisa Murkowski, who held her ground under tremendous pressure.