Some sort of criminal justice reform is going to get done. It is just going to take some muscle at the right moment.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said as much, telling reporters he would bring a reform bill to the floor if he can guarantee a supermajority and only after the election. “Criminal justice has been much discussed,” McConnell said on Wednesday. “What we’ll do after the election is take a whip count, and if there are more than 60 senators who want to go forward on that bill, we’ll find time to address it.”

Looking in from the outside and pushing with a grassroots coalition to get something done, former South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint explains why moving in the lame duck is the best chance for reformers to actually get something done. They have the votes. They just need the right opportunity.

First, flexibility and political cover come after the election.

“We’ve got the votes to do it,” DeMint said during a recent meeting of the Washington Examiner’s editorial board, “and the normal characters who sometimes Mitch McConnell has to protect from taking a tough vote would, I think, be very comfortable with it.”

Second, Democrats aren’t about to let Republicans get a win before November. That changes in that rare window after the election, but before the next Congress, when lawmakers are temporarily free from partisan responsibility.

“There are some Democrats who just don’t want Trump to win at anything,” DeMint explained before adding that “after the election, I think, a lot of that pressure is off.”

It has been the Trump administration, specifically presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner, which has made long-hoped-for reform a possibility. But there are still obstacles in the Senate: Republicans like Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas and Democrats like Sens. Kamala Harris of California and Cory Booker of New Jersey.

The fear is that they might try to increase the scope to include sentencing reform or drug legalization, a possibility that DeMint predicted would kill criminal justice reform. How to keep that from happening? Jam it through.

“So, the only way for it to get through the Senate,” DeMint predicted, “is if they do what they are prone to do over there — just get a good bill out of committee and McConnell will control the floor, fill up the tree, and let the Democrats offer a few amendments.”

DeMint is referring to a procedure by which the majority introduces so many amendments so that the minority cannot force a vote on potentially embarrassing issues, again say, sentencing reform or drug legalization. It is a parliamentary power play that the conservative Heritage Foundation once described as tyrannical. It also might be the only way to get anything done.