Friday, February 16, 2018

McConnell is the face of the failure of Republican governance

Was it really any surprise that the U.S. Senate, under the “leadership” of Mitch McConnell, once more fumbled away an opportunity to put pressure on Donald Trump and Paul Ryan by passing a common sense bi-partisan immigration bill with at least 20 Republican votes, because even “moderate” Republicans quiver in fright in the face of Trump’s threats? Trump has shown no leadership, and McConnell threw his credibility on the subject away because, as many have noted, showing “leadership” really isn’t his thing. He’d rather take the path of least resistance, and if that means standing down in the face of a minority of far-right fanatics, he’s OK with that any hour of the day. Most senators do care about immigration policy and the fate of DREAMers, but because it isn’t a particularly important issue to his "base" constituency, it isn’t anything particularly pressing to McConnell either; he can take it or leave it. This is not leadership. This is dereliction of duty and incompetence. 

McConnell along with other Republican senators have already decided that after four immigration bills failed to reach 60 votes (Trump’s plan received the fewest votes in support) and what one senator derided as an “exhausting” 13 minutes of “debate” on immigration, that they had done “enough” and it was time to move on to more pressing items on their “agenda,” which at the present time constitutes  Trump’s infrastructure plan that everyone knows is complete bullshit because it puts the onus of paying for it almost entirely on already cash-strapped state and local governments. And even if there was anything else on Republicans’ plate in this wind-down to the mid-term elections, there is little to be expected from them save a few empty partisan tidbits aimed squarely at their “base.” 

McConnell just has that “look” of a man who is perpetually befuddled. He has already proved wildly incompetent in attempting to formulate a replacement plan for the Affordable Care Act, and the only item on their agenda that Republicans actually passed of any significance—due to the fact that they could completely ignore Democratic opposition—is the so-called tax reform bill that is already proving to be disastrous not only from a budget and deficit standpoint, but if taking into account what businesses are saying they are going to do with their tax cuts, it will have almost no positive effect at all on the economy. Half the saved money is slated to go to fatten the pockets of executives and investors, and lost revenue is to be “addressed” by removing federal spending that recycles money back into the economy—you know, the kind that funds Paul Ryan’s family wealth?

Mitch McConnell is a living testament to the Republican failure to govern. If he doesn’t give a damn about what others consider to be an important priority, he will just let it whither on the vines, because he just doesn’t care. And even when he does “care,” his energy to see a tough project through is almost nonexistent past the first round. Is McConnell the worst Senate Majority Leader ever? One thing is for certain—he doesn’t have much competition for the title.

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