Trump goes nuclear on Mitch McConnell
Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell is not a Donald Trump fan. He was happy to get Trump's endorsement when he ran for another Senate term last year, but, like Mitt Romney before him, once he got what he needed from Trump, he brutally kicked Trump to the curb. After Trump's second impeachment ended in an acquittal, McConnell announced that Trump was "practically and morally responsible" for events on January 6. It took two days before Trump responded, but his response, when it came, was epic.
I already wrote here about McConnell's conduct following the impeachment, so I won't rehash that. I felt then, and still feel, that McConnell's statement was reprehensible. I believe that the evidence failed to support his factual contentions and can conclude only that McConnell is anxious to return to the swamp's glory days.
Incidentally, conservatives whom I respect believe that McConnell is hoping to find room in the Republican party for conservatives who don't like Trump, but I can't cotton to that idea. Frankly, regarding Trump generally and January 6 specifically, there is no middle ground, and it's a foolish politician who thinks he can stitch together those who dislike Trump's style so much that they'll blame him for anything and those who believe that Trump was one of America's greatest presidents and should still be in the White House.
In any event, after McConnell blasted Trump, the former president, famously known as a counterpuncher, was silent for two days. On Tuesday, though, he let loose with a ferocious blast, insulting McConnell's leadership and fealty to the swamp, his failures in Georgia (deliberate?), his duplicity, his dual loyalties, and his deeply unpleasant public persona. It's a truly epic statement and, as I see it, well deserved.
Regarding McConnell's failed leadership, Trump said McConnell is "dedicated to business as usual" and "status quo policies"; that he lacks "political insight, wisdom, skill, and personality"; and that the Democrats and Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer "play McConnell like a fiddle."
Trump points out what no one can have missed, which is that he had extraordinarily long coattails in the 2020 election. This is why many (myself included) struggle to accept that Biden won, for Biden had no coattails. Trump's statement details how, with him at the top of the ticket, Republicans flipped 15 House seats, won majorities in "59 of the 98 partisan legislative chambers," and "saved at least 12 Senate seats."
When it comes to Georgia, Trump places the blame for the Senate loss squarely on McConnell:
[T]hen came the Georgia disaster, where we should have won both U.S. Senate seats, but McConnell matched the Democrat offer of $2,000 stimulus checks with $600. How does that work? It became the Democrats' principal advertisement, and a big winner for them it was. McConnell then put himself, one of the most unpopular politicians in the United States, into the advertisements. Many Republicans in Georgia voted Democrat, or just didn't vote, because of their anguish at their inept Governor, Brian Kemp, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, and the Republican Party, for not doing its job on Election Integrity during the 2020 Presidential race.
While Trump has no regrets about his role in the election, he deeply regrets responding when "McConnell 'begged' for my strong support and endorsement" in Kentucky during McConnell's close fought senatorial campaign. "How quickly he forgets," says Trump. Trump adds, accurately, that McConnell could not have won without him.
Trump next attacks McConnell's fundamental loyalty to America:
Likewise, McConnell has no credibility on China because of his family's substantial Chinese business holdings. He does nothing on this tremendous economic and military threat.
McConnell's personality also comes under Trumpian fire: "Mitch is a dour, sullen, and unsmiling political hack, and if Republican Senators are going to stay with him, they will not win again. He will never do what needs to be done, or what is right for our Country."
And then Trump really throws down the gauntlet, not just to McConnell, but to every NeverTrump, anti-MAGA, pro-status quo, Democrat-lite Republican in Congress:
Where necessary and appropriate, I will back primary rivals who espouse Making America Great Again and our policy of America First. We want brilliant, strong, thoughtful, and compassionate leadership.
Trump's silence over the past month was politically smart because it allowed people to see how awful the Biden administration is without the media having recourse to the Trump distraction. However, Trump's now made it plain that he hasn't gone away, and that he will continue to fight as hard as ever to keep America great.
Image: Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump. YouTube screen grab.