Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, also known as the obstructionist of Capitol Hill during the Obama administration, has managed to make some questionable decisions during his tenure as the Senator of Kentucky over the last 30 years.
But more recently, McConnell has been playing dirty politics and ruffling some DC feathers as a result. Back in early 2016 while acting as the Senate’s head honcho, he refused to hold hearings for Obama’s Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland following the death of Justice Anton Scalia. The nomination request sat there for 294 days; McConnell decided that a replacement justice will be nominated under the new administration. It didn’t take long for the senator to use the nuclear option by using a simple majority vote to confirm Trump’s appointee, Neil Gorsuch, to serve on the highest court in the land.
Most everyone in Washington DC knew that McConnell was up to his old dirty tricks, but that’s what happens when the GOP holds a majority in all branches of the government, which leads us to the president’s decision to fire FBI Director James Comey during the middle of an investigation into the Trump-Russia fiasco. This could very well be the advent of Senator McConnell falling on his sword by standing with Donald Trump on this matter. This decision may be the biggest political mistake of his career, allying himself with a man whose hubris, schoolyard bullying and bashing his opponents happen to be his most notable qualities.
The proof is in the pudding. On Wednesday morning around 7:00 AM, Trump went on another one of his Twitter tirades, chiding the Democrats for “playing so sad” over Comey’s termination. About an hour after that, Trump decided to attack Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, calling him “Richie” and referred to a misleading statement he made back in 2008 about serving in Vietnam. Although Blumenthal had apologized for that statement long ago, Trump said that the Connecticut senator was “caught,” and that he “cried like a baby.”
The question still remains about McConnell’s alliances, and if he’ll continue to be willing to stand by a man who attempts to trample anyone who gets in his way.
Contrarily, quite a few of McConnell’s Republican colleagues aren’t as willing to jump on the Trump train. Arizona Senator Jeff Blake said that he spent a considerable amount of time finding a good reason for the timing of Comey’s firing: “I just can’t do it,” he said. Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska also seemed confused about the timing of Comey’s firing by say that it is “very troubling.” Richard Burr, the Senate Intelligence Committee Chair from North Carolina said, “I’m troubled by the timing and reasoning of Director Comey’s termination.”
While the Comey firing continues to float around the airwaves, McConnell has indicated that there will be no special prosecutor for the Trump-Russia investigations, and that the two partisan probes may be impeded by a third, yet independent inquiry. One of the most troubling things about these inquests is that Trump wants to have all of them shut down completely. If he’s got nothing to hide, then he shouldn’t have a problem letting an independent investigation pan out and put an end to all of the madness, unless of course the president knows about something that could be self-incriminating.
In McConnell’s case, he seems to be riding the wave of power while it lasts. He could’ve stood up for a fair and just democracy, but instead he chose to side with a presidency that may end up crashing and burning as a number of unprecedented events continue to unfold. His term serving as the Senator of Kentucky ends in January of 2021; a lot can happen between now and then.