That Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is prioritizing party over country, over the Constitution, and over duty isn’t even a question at this point, for anyone. It’s all about whether or not it’s a savvy move on the part of this “master” of modern American politics. So The Washington Post has gone to Kentucky to demonstrate that Mitch is just doing what his Republican base wants him to do to save his own neck.
They talk to disinterested experts, like Ryan Salzman, a politics professor at Northern Kentucky University. “It’s the safest move he could make. […] Anything that even appears he’s going against President Trump on impeachment, in any way, would be the worst thing he could do for his reelection.” They also talked to activists, like wingnut talk radio host Kevin Gordon who thinks impeachment is “an active coup” and “a sham.” Gordon says that how McConnell “handles this impeachment is going to be the big determinant of whether people get behind him. […] If McConnell runs the trial the way the Democrats want, people here are not going to be happy.”
To put a finer point on it, the Post includes a not-so-veiled threat from state Sen. John Schickel, who recently wrote an op-ed attacking McConnell and the Senate for including a provision that allows 12 weeks of paid family leave for federal employees, calling it “another step toward socialism.” He says of McConnell, “He definitely has to watch his right flank. He’s always had to. […] The party leadership in northern Kentucky is very conservative and doesn’t always like what he does.”
Yes, the story does give a couple of paragraphs to his likely Democratic opponent, Amy McGrath, who downplays impeachment as an issue she hears about from voters but says she will continue to speak out against McConnell’s collusion with Trump in the trial and “going against your oath under the Constitution.” Then it closes with Paul Fiser, a “reluctant” 2016 Trump voter who says he’ll probably vote for Trump again, but who thinks “McConnell has become the ultimate insider,” and that “people are tired of business as usual. They’re looking for unconventional candidates.” He says he’s undecided on McConnell, that “He’s not a lock like he’s been in the past.” (Says the guy who doesn’t like that McConnell is colluding with Trump on the trial but is probably going to vote for Trump again anyway. But yeah: totally undecided.)
See how smart McConnell is being by throwing out the Constitution and tossing his oath of office in the trash? What a savvy politician, figuring out how to spin atrocious approval numbers into keeping his job. Meanwhile, our nation’s house is burning down.