Senate minority leader McConnell has no control over his own caucus? Gosh, there's a shocker. And it seems like nobody's happy with it.
Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., got so frustrated with McConnell’s presentation of events, that he called “bullshit” loud enough for the room to hear, nearly a half-dozen sources said. The heated exchange underscored the “buyer’s remorse” among some Republicans, especially leaders, one senior Republican said on background.
As CQ Roll Call reported Tuesday, Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, for example, felt like his effort to reform the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau were undercut by the deal forged by McCain and others. Portman and others had been holding up the nomination of Richard Cordray to head the CFPB in an attempt to get concessions from the Obama administration. When asked whether McCain or Corker were in the position to defend their deal in front of the rest of the caucus, Graham did not choose to characterize it quite that way.
“I don’t know that it was defending the deal. You know, they spoke up as to why we needed the deal. Quite frankly, I feel good about what happened. And senators are not bound by anything I did,” Graham said. “I think that for many of us, that was like — we probably went too far on Cordray. [And] you can’t just not have a National Labor Relations Board. But the president went too far and nominated somebody in December and then made a recess appointment and not allow the Senate to act.
“I really haven’t heard any concerns other than suggestions we could have done better,” Graham continued.
So let's take stock here. Mitch has basically lost the respect of his team, the way Orange Julius long ago lost his. They're openly angry at him, and they should be: he's walking away from the deal he's responsible for agreeing to, after it became clear that the Tea Party wing considers this deal to be garbage.
McConnell really wasn't facing a primary challenge before. I'm betting that changes, and soon.