In an unprecedented display of legislative maneuvering, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) invoked the arcane political tactic of almost touching Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s face during senate confirmation proceedings yesterday. While initially unfazed by the tactic, the record shows that at 9:15AM the Majority Leader broke from his motion to proceed and exclaimed, “dude, get your hand away from my effing face!” McConnell responded by posing the question, “What’s the big deal? I’m not even touching you, I’m n-o-t t-o-u-c-h-i-n-g you.” The Majority Leader immediately requested that the record reflect how McConnell had been wiggling his fingers uncomfortably close to the Majority Leader’s nose, mouth, and eye area while using a voice that was at least one octave higher than usual. A short recess was thereafter requested.
Some critics of the move have referenced the continued decline of public confidence in the legislative process. Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) spoke out by saying, “Once again we are seeing the Republican Party undermine the wishes of the American people, the political process isn’t fully broken, but they (the Republicans) are trying their best to break it. I’m sure that the average American doesn’t fully understand how almost touching someone’s face while chanting I’m not touching you undermines the political process, but they do understand that a jobs bill is needed to help out Main Street, and people really love Main Street.”
Others have faulted Democratic lawmakers for not employing more aggressive methods. Arianna Huffington stated publicly “…if you have the people watching you, and the president behind you, you need to make the sausage quickly and put dinner on the table, not draw the process out. It is time to show political fortitude, I don’t care how many fingers are being waved in your face.” This statement was in reference to her support for a proposed Democratic counter measure that includes a quick knee tap to McConnell’s balls, followed by quickly telling President Obama that McConnell is just faking injury to get Democrats in trouble.
Harry Reid was visibly frustrated yesterday evening, and he let his feelings be known to the press. “See, this is what I’m talking about. The Republicans are so immature! I can’t read anything when I have fingers wiggling in my face. The worst part is, he’s not technically touching me, so what can I really do? I can’t ask him to not not touch my face. If I asked him to not not touch my face, I bet he would be like OK, and then start touching my face all over. And that my friends, would be exponentially worse.”