I have tweeted, posted and given speeches on what a bad leader Mitch McConnell is. But what if I am wrong? What if Senator McConnell is, in actuality, a very canny and able leader? “How can that be?” you ask? He couldn’t even get the required votes to repeal even part of Obama Care. Suppose, just suppose, he didn’t want to get those votes but did want to get close? Why and how would he do that?
McConnell is 75 turning 76 in February 2018. He was first elected to the Senate 22 years ago. He has been around politics for a while and knows the ropes as well as anyone. He can play the game with the best of them. Think about the O’Care vote for a minute. Suppose he sat down and thought about it from this perspective. I don’t want to win this vote, but on the other hand, I don’t want anyone to know that I am going back on my word and I definitely want to keep the ear of the President. What can I do to accomplish both? I can see to it that the vote is only one or two short of success while appearing to fight for passage.
Let us look at how he could do that. As the Majority leader of the Senate, he is expected to meet with members of his caucus on a daily basis. He does the easy part first by getting those he can count on to vote in favor of at least a partial repeal to commit to that vote and finding 46 or 47 to do exactly that is not hard. Next, he has to convince the rest of his caucus to vote no. Not quite so easy. What about convincing some of those senators that have voted consistently for repeal under the Obama administration? Slightly tougher, but not impossible. He starts working on a few of those that won’t be facing re-election for at least two more years, like Shelly Moore Capito of West Virginia. Why them? Because of the perceived short memory of the electorate. They can be caught in a blatant lie and her constituents will have forgotten by the time her reelection comes around. Especially if she brings some bacon home to her state in the meantime. It is called job security. It has little to do with concern for her constituents. He could simply have his Whip take a count of the yeas and nays while he does some talking with his caucus and, after an appropriate delay, just refuse to call a vote ‘because we don’t have the votes to pass it’.
Why would he come out in public and say that he would unseat a duly elected senator if Judge Moore had won his election? Because that would cost Moore votes. If it cost him enough votes he would never have to face that public rejection which would more than likely cost him his job and maybe his cash cow that his Senate seat has become. He like so many on the public dole is a multi-millionaire. And as such he is greedy.
I have come to believe that Mitch McConnell is this type leader. Now I want him out even more than before.