Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is making it clearer by the day that he fully expects Donald Trump to lose his bid for a second term in office, so he’s decided to try and mitigate expected GOP losses in the Senate while preparing to hamstring Joe Biden the minute he takes office.
How can we tell that McConnell has folded up his tent and is now walking away from the president? As Paul Waldman notes in an excellent piece he wrote for The Washington Post, McConnell doesn’t show any interest in passing legislation to avoid a complete economic meltdown in the months ahead:
“What does McConnell want? He’s supposed to deliver a stimulus bill next week, and his highest priority is limiting people’s ability to sue businesses, hospitals, or schools if they contract covid-19.
“According to other reports, McConnell hasn’t spoken to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) about it either. Which suggests he’s just going to drop something he knows Democrats will reject out of hand, and which will therefore go nowhere.”
McConnell is just going through the motions, much the way a person does when they know they’ve lost the contest and just want to play out the string or wait for time to expire. Since all is lost, why bother to exert any effort?
Even more telling, Waldman adds, is that McConnell gives every indication that he’s written off Trump, meaning he wants no part of the Titanic-like collision that’s about to happen as millions of Americans are unable to pay their rent or mortgage, which could leave tens of millions homeless and wandering the streets, like something out of The Grapes of Wrath:
“He has already given up on the idea of Trump being reelected, and he’s planning for the future.
“McConnell knows what’s happening. He has surely looked around and realized that with the pandemic surging, there is simply no way the economy is going to come roaring back before November. He’s seen the polls showing Trump trailing presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden by 10 points or more. He knows that the political environment grows less favorable to the GOP by the day. He understands that the odds his party will retain control of the Senate are probably 50-50 at best.”
It’d be nice to think that McConnell has enough statesman in him to give a damn about the pain being felt by so many Americans right now as they shelter in place, bury the dead, and watch their dreams go up in smoke. But he doesn’t, and he never will.
In the best of all worlds, Donald Trump would be defeated in a landslide and McConnell would also lose his Senate seat. Maybe then we could start to exorcise the fetid stench of Republican hegemony, hatred, and selfishness from the nation’s capital.