In his six terms as senator, Mitch McConnell has been responsible for some of the most draconian legislation passed by Republicans and brought about an unprecedented degree of obstruction in his time as the Senate Majority Leader, using the filibuster a record number of times during the Obama administration. This was so disastrous that he’s bragged about his greatest accomplishments in the Senate being the things that he prevented from happening – like his repeated attempts to kill the Affordable Care Act.
In the wake of a deadly pandemic, however, this reckless behavior becomes a bit more troublesome, especially as McConnell has been doing all he can for the last three months to hold up coronavirus aid. Now he’s trying to rationalize the whole delay as a good thing, by saying that the rising death toll means his decision to block the bill that House Democrats passed back in May was the responsible thing to do.
On Wednesday, he excused his inaction as an attempt to see if the coronavirus would magically disappear and if Republican efforts would be worth the time. The problem, however, is that he insisted the Democrats’ bill was “dead on arrival” as soon as it passed, it’s just that now it’s no longer politically feasible for him to hold this position. Now, McConnell is stuck between making an unpopular decision that won’t play well with his base, and an even less popular decision that’s at odds with how mainstream Americans are feeling, so he’s largely chosen to sit this one out, by his own admission.
While McConnell is incredibly politically savvy it seems from his comments that he’s largely given up on one of the most important issues – and that can only mean one thing: He thinks the GOP will lose the Senate by substantial numbers. It should be our mission to keep him running scared and make sure he is no longer the majority leader after November 3.
James Sullivan is the assistant editor of Brain World Magazine and an advocate of science-based policy making