Mitch McConnell is the minority leader of the US Senate, but you knew that. He and John Boehner are the defacto leaders of the Republican Party. Both are, for the most part, creatures of the Beltway by the simple fact of their tenure in office. They’ve been working in Washington longer than a plurality of Americans has been alive. They represent their constituencies, and the problem with that is that, over time, their constituents have become their beltway neighbors, not the folks who are called upon to vote them back into office next year who live in Kentucky and Ohio.
Note in the title of this post I’ve identified McConnell as (BP KY) not (R KY). The “BP” stands for Bi-Partisan.
I consider myself to be a “reasonable conservative”. There are places where a conservative will never, at least in the 50 or so years I’ve got left, get elected. Most of the northeast and anywhere on the left coast for starters. For instance, I’m not fond of Chris Christie as a presidential candidate, but I think he’s doing a good job as Governor of New Jersey. Ted Cruz wouldn’t get elected dog catcher in New Jersey, but I’d much rather see him run for President than Christie.
Please note that Kentucky is not among the places where I don’t think a conservative can be elected.
McConnell has a long history of working with the Democratic Leadership in the US Senate and Democratic presidents to move legislation. He’s a bipartisan man. He’s a legislator, he wants legislation passed and if making that happen means that you sell such conservative principles as you might have, well, so be it.
Roll Call documented an encounter with a constituent – a Kentucky resident – on NPR.
Responding to a constituent who criticized him for having a partisan agenda, McConnell said: “There have been three major deals with the Obama administration — I brokered every one of them.”
But he went even further: “In fact, I’m perfectly willing to deal with the administration when I think we have the possibility of getting an outcome that’s in the best interests of the country,” he says.
“In the best interests of the country…”
The problem with Senator McConnell is that I don’t believe he understands what the best interests of the country are any more. He’s a deal maker. He’s not a fighter.
He’s up for reelection next year and he’s trying to polish his street cred as a conservative this year so you can expect to hear lots of stuff from the right side of Mitch’s mouth over the next 12 months. And you’ll also see Mitch running from stuff like this.
Mitch McConnell isn’t going to have another government shutdown on his watch.
The Kentucky Republican stood up over the weekend and said he wanted to address the “elephant in the room” at a fundraising retreat in Sea Island, Ga. Speaking before roughly 300 K Streeters and big donors, McConnell said Republicans will not come close to defaulting on the nation’s debts or shutting down the government early next year when stop-gap government funding and the debt ceiling are slated to be voted on again.
His remarks echoed similar comments he made following the shutdown that it was “not conservative policy” and that he always believed “this strategy could not and would not work.”
The attendee said McConnell “said everything that needed to be said” to help tamp down growing concern among bundlers and donors over how the GOP continues to be paralyzed by anti-establishment members like Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Mike Lee (R-Utah). Neither lawmaker attended the event.
Mitch goes to the big money guys who want to see government continue to grow and says “don’t worry baby we’re going to get the fighters under control”.
You can also bet that is music to the ears of the US Chamber of Commerce who are openly going to supporting centrist Republicans who are facing primary challenges from the right. Oh yeah, that would include Mitch McConnell.
Mitch, I’m sure you’re a nice guy and good husband and a good neighbor. It’s just time for you to go back to Kentucky and retire. Do some fishing.
Start a business and figure out the nightmare that Washington’s “smarter than real folks” policy makers and regulation writers have created for businessmen. Small businessmen that is, because the big guys love restrictive policies and lots of invasive regulation, they can afford it and it puts the real competition from small business and start ups out of business.
Do anything but go back to the Senate. If you’re unwilling to retire like a real man, we’ll be happy to help Matt Bevin make it happen. I made a donation. You can be sure more of us will.