Mitch McConnell is a door mat. He sat by idly while Obama and company walked all over him and the Constitution, because he’d rather not protect the interests of the American people than be thought of as racist. He is a career politician, grabbing both money and power along the way to secure his present and future needs, and has demonstrated on multiple occasions a willingness to change his position to suit his needs. But what about the needs of his constituents and the American people, you might ask? Sadly, he sold out to special interest and lobbyist long, long ago. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, in his 2014 bid for reelection, Mitch McConnell received over $281,000 from lobbyists plus an additional $50,000 from lobbyist family members, making him the record recipient of lobbyist donations in Congress. During his tenure in the Senate, he has consistently raised campaign funds at a level equal to twice that of the average member of the Senate. Ninety percent of his campaign contributions come from large individual donors and Political Action Committees.
If McConnell had any leadership ability, he would have the Republican majority lined up and voting on the same page—the side of conservatism and what is right for the American people, and what is demanded by the Trump agenda. But that is not happening, not with McConnell in charge. Instead, that energy will be used in seeing to it that these “young whippersnappers” who have recently been elected to their Republican seats are of the right mindset—that of the Washington RINO community. For that, his energy will be boundless. It is pathetic that McConnell cannot expend the same enthusiasm on leading the charge on healthcare and tax reform. Instead, he had rather hang back, check the political winds and then make sure he is in position to take care of his political self as opposed to serving the people. Some might call that cowardly and they just might be correct in that analysis.
Meanwhile, things in the Senate are in about the same mess as back when Dirty Harry (Reid) was running the place and pigeon-holing legislation right and left. Apparently McConnell is happy to do that and blame it all on a lack of votes but that look on his face says “I ate the canary.” You have to figure that he is in his current position for one reason—seniority rather than any leadership skill, and that is sad but certainly understandable in our federal government.
We are well on our way toward the mid-term elections of 2018. Right up through the presidential election of 2016, we heard McConnell and the Republicans state over and over that they could not move the ball to the conservative side unless they had a congressional majority and also held the office of the president in their grasp. The American people handed them both in the past two elections and what do we see? McConnell continue to make excuses that he cannot muster the votes to accomplish anything of substance. The question that arises in my mind is “why don’t you just step aside and let someone lead in a time when reasoning and motivation would go a long way toward accomplishment. Of course that will not happen as McConnell knows that as long as he can steer the ship things stay in his control.
Recently, Democrat Senator, Joe Manchin of West Virginia responded to claims by the Trump Administration that Senate Democrats were holding up the appointment of Trump staff personnel. Senator Manchin pointed out that those appointments require only a simple majority of 51 votes to pass; currently, the Republicans hold 52 votes in the Senate. Manchin lays the blame squarely at the feet of Mitch McConnell and I tend to think he has a point. Once again, it appears that McConnell is using his power to hurt rather than help President Trump in pulling his administration together and moving forward.
While President Trump struggles to fulfill his campaign promises, the Republican controlled House and Senate appear to have no sense of urgency with respect to making noteworthy gains that can be leveraged in the 2018 mid-terms. The president recognizes that fact and he also recognizes that the inaction is directly related to the poor leadership of Speaker Ryan and Senate Majority Leader McConnell. But why should this surprise anyone? Speaker Ryan withheld his endorsement of Trump until the very end and then crowed when Trump won; McConnell, on the other hand, endorsed Trump quickly, but was just as quick to criticize Trump’s missteps. Now we need both men to step up to the plate and do the heavy lifting. The question is, will they? So far, the answer seems to be no.
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