If Biden wins, he'll have to get around Senator Mitch McConnell

Defeating McConnell has been the Democrats’ second-highest priority.

US President Donald Trump listens to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) speak about legislation for additional coronavirus aid in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, July 20, 2020 (photo credit: LEAH MILLIS/REUTERS)
US President Donald Trump listens to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) speak about legislation for additional coronavirus aid in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, July 20, 2020
(photo credit: LEAH MILLIS/REUTERS)
President Donald Trump has repeatedly declared he has done more for African-Americans than any president since Abraham Lincoln, produced “the best economy in the history of the world,” saved “hundreds of thousands” of American lives, possibly “billions” with his quick and decisive response to the coronavirus pandemic, and given this country “the world’s cleanest and safest air and water.”
None of these are true, but that hasn’t stopped his endless boasting. Here are some record breakers that actually are factual, but he doesn’t like to talk about.
He gave us the largest deficits in history – $3.7 trillion this year – lost the 2016 popular vote, made more than 20,000 documented false or misleading statements, and was more concerned about Dow Jones numbers than the 200,000-plus Americans who have died thus far in large part because of his bungled handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
His incompetence, ineptitude and corruption have produced an unprecedented number of crossover endorsements by prominent members of Trump’s own party and his administration, even White House staff, who are backing his opponent, Joe Biden, for president.
There’s nothing new about cross-party endorsements. There were Democrats for Nixon every time he ran, and Republicans for JFK and LBJ. Four years ago, there were Republicans for Hillary Clinton (former officials of both Bush presidencies) and Democrats for Trump (Gen. Mike Flynn, who became Trump’s national security advisor and is now a convicted felon for lying under oath).
One name not on any list is Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Trump’s top congressional sycophant and water carrier on Capitol Hill, but in reality a Trump loss could prove a boost for the embattled Kentucky lawmaker.
The five-term senator, 78, must first fend off a challenge by Democrat Amy McGrath, 45, a former Marine fighter pilot.
His highest priority is holding on to his job and to power, even if it means being the minority leader. He knows that with Trump gone, he will be the highest ranking and most powerful Republican in Washington.
Defeating McConnell has been the Democrats’ second-highest priority, and it just intensified in the wake of his plans to ram through the Senate any Trump nominee to succeed the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died on the eve of Rosh Hashanah.
McConnell waited barely 78 minutes after learning of her passing before announcing his plans to fill her still warm seat, evidence the senator is “a man without a shred of decency and seemingly without a soul,” wrote columnist Dana Milbank.
Trump has said his highest criterion for a nominee is a commitment to repeal Rowe v. Wade and outlaw abortion. He plans to announce his decision by the end of the week, and McConnell said he will bring the nomination to a vote by the end of the year.
The president’s short list of candidates represent the philosophical opposite of everything the first Jewish woman on the high court believed in and worked for to her dying day.
Calling McConnell a hypocrite for reversing his own rule against bringing up Supreme Court nominees during an election year doesn’t faze him. Nor does it seem to bother most of his GOP colleagues, particularly Sen. Lindsey Graham who took the same pledge four years ago.
Graham, who in 2016 called Trump “a race-baiting, xenophobic, religious bigot,” has since become another Trump sycophant and will be in charge of getting Trump’s nominee confirmed as chairman of the Judiciary Committee.
Former Democratic senator Claire McCaskill said on MSNBC, “Mitch doesn’t care about anything. Mitch only wants to hold on to power.”
That power could actually grow with Trump out of the way. For the past four years McConnell had to do Trump’s bidding, happily ramming through the Senate Trump’s agenda, particularly more than 200 conservative nominees for the federal bench, including two on the Supreme Court.
It is no secret on Capitol Hill that McConnell is no admirer of Trump and has been unhappy being pushed around by a president and arrogant White House aides with little understanding of the legislative process.
Democrats remember him most for his declaration that as Senate Republican leader his primary mission was to make sure the nation’s first African-American president was a one-term failure.
When the issue of reparations for the descendants of slaves was raised, McConnell dismissed it, saying the country had paid for “our original sin of slavery” by passing civil rights legislation and having “elected an African-American president.” The debt is paid.
He takes pride in being an obstructionist, calling himself the Senate’s “Grim Reaper” for killing off virtually everything the Democrats propose. Most legislation passed by the Democratic-controlled House goes to the Senate to die at his hands.
McConnell has shown no interest in a comprehensive national strategy to fight the pandemic, providing aid for the victims of the resultant health and economic crises, dealing with racial unrest or confronting the threat of Russian election interference.
If Biden becomes president and focuses on a national strategy for dealing with the pandemic, tries to repair the healthcare system, rebuild the long-neglected national infrastructure, restore the economy and create jobs, look for McConnell and Republicans who enthusiastically cut taxes for their wealthy contributors and sent the deficits soaring to suddenly return to the party of “No” in the name of fiscal responsibility.
McConnell will use his power to play Grim Reaper for a Democratic president and fulfill the prophecy of Fred Wertheimer, a longtime government reform leader. “When McConnell leaves the Senate, this will be his legacy: Senator McConnell turned “the world’s greatest deliberative body” into a “dysfunctional, undemocratic and feckless institution.”