Trump’s McConnell Was Fun While He Lasted
Cocaine Mitch, we hardly knew ye.
There has been a seemingly endless supply of speculation, prognostication, and prevarication about the post-Trump Republican party. A lot of that is still up in the air but we do know one thing for certain now: conservatives have lost Mitch McConnell to the soft side.
Here is an excerpt from McConnell’s Saturday floor remarks regarding the impeachment trial:
The speech was lengthy and it just gets worse from there. I want to focus on two things that he hit right at the top. Those will be more than enough to illustrate my point.
Let me begin with the second thing first: “They did this because they had been fed wild falsehoods by the most powerful man on Earth — because he was angry he’d lost an election.” With one sentence, the man formerly known as “Cocaine Mitch” has signaled that he’s decided to throw every devoted Trump supporter who still has questions about the myriad irregularities in last year’s election under the bus.
It’s perfectly acceptable to question some of Trump’s post-election rhetoric but the broad brush stroke McConnell uses here paints every one of us who is legitimately concerned about our election processes going forward as a kook. Worse yet, it’s rhetoric that is straight out of the Democratic National Committee’s Sacred Book of Talking Points. Just like that, the highest ranking Republican in the United States Senate told almost 75 million members of his own party to go straight to hell.
The “terrorism” line is what’s really disturbing there.
Many of us on the right have a growing — and valid — sense of unease about all of the domestic terrorism talk from the Democrats since January 6th. It’s obvious that they would like to continue using the riot at the Capitol as an excuse to crack down on anyone who supports Trump. They’re in full “never let a crisis go to waste” mode and they are very good at it. I’m not being absurd at all when I say that the Democrats would have no qualms whatsoever about labeling people in conservative media as potential domestic terror threats. All of us. In a heartbeat.
Now McConnell is stoking that fire with his Swamp rat faux righteous indignation.
We’ve all seen this Mitch McConnell before, of course. We were just hoping that we would never see him again. Throughout Trump’s presidency, conservatives like me marveled at the transformation that McConnell had undergone. The consummate D.C. insider, pre-Trump McConnell had always exhibited nothing but contempt for conservatives beyond the Beltway. We were quick to respond in kind. I searched for things I’d written about McConnell in the past and found a column I’d written (for a site that shall remain nameless) in late 2013 that I led off by saying that anyone working for McConnell wasn’t going to like it.
I was even willing to give him the benefit of the doubt as recently as a couple of weeks ago. When rumors first began surfacing that he was eager to purge all things Trump from the GOP I remained skeptical because they were coming from anonymous sources and — to the surprise of no one — I’m not a big fan of the anonymously sourced crap after the last four years. I also didn’t want to believe that McConnell had gone full jellyfish again so soon after Trump was gone.
Alas, it would appear that the spine McConnell had from 2017-20 was merely on loan from Trump.
This is an ongoing, decades old problem for conservative Americans. We spend as much time fighting back against squish Beltway Republicans as we do battling Dems because we’re constantly under attack from both sides.
The third party talk has been heating up again. I’ve never been a big fan of that idea, nor have most of my close conservative friends and colleagues. The voices advocating for one are going to be difficult to ignore going forward, however. In fact, McConnell’s 180 is only going to make them louder. Heck, even I’m not fundamentally opposed to the idea anymore.
We can, of course, be forever grateful for all McConnell did to help President Trump transform the judiciary. The fact that he was so faithful while doing that but is now turning on Trump really has nothing to do with the events of January 6th and everything to with the fact that he’s a D.C. Republican establishment animal through and through. His interest isn’t in doing what’s best for the people of America. Rather it’s in doing what will earn him the most political capital with whomever is in power in Washington at the time.
I keep coming back to something my friend and colleague Kira Davis has been saying a lot lately: the 74+ million Trump voters aren’t simply going to go away, so dismissing and ignoring us is futile. The Democrats haven’t gotten that at all since the election. They’re perpetually obtuse, so that’s understandable.
It’s a shame that McConnell doesn’t get it. He spent a few years giving us a glimpse of what he could be but, sadly, he is who we always thought he was.