We always knew there was a threshold at which Mitch McConnell would decide to try to save himself and his Senate majority by kicking Donald Trump to the curb. We just never knew if Trump’s numbers would drop to the point where we reached that threshold.
With Trump’s numbers now in freefall, and the Senate now on track to flip to the Democrats, it looks like Mitch McConnell is at least toying with the prospect of throwing Trump under the bus. Trump has staked himself to the notion that he’s not going to wear a mask, and he’s not going to encourage anyone else to wear a mask either. It’s an incredibly stupid thing to marry himself to, but then Trump is awfully stupid.
McConnell has now decided to make a point of distancing himself from Donald Trump on the issue:
We must have no stigma, none, about wearing masks when we leave our homes and come near other people. Wearing simple face coverings is not about protecting ourselves, it is about protecting everyone we encounter.
— Leader McConnell (@senatemajldr) June 29, 2020
We award Mitch McConnell no points for belatedly taking this position months after it could have made a difference in terms of life and death. But it is notable that McConnell is (finally) starting to distance himself from Donald Trump on this. If Trump’s numbers keep sliding in the coming weeks, it’ll be worth watching to see if McConnell takes additional steps to distance himself from Trump’s sinking ship.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report