Mitch McConnell took to the Senate floor today and condemned Donald Trump by name for telling lies that incited the domestic terrorist attack against the U.S. Capitol. McConnell also made a point of condemning “other powerful people” without naming them. So what’s McConnell up to?
It’s true that you can’t ever trust McConnell to do the right thing. But McConnell doesn’t ever think in terms of the right or wrong thing. He only thinks in terms of what’s selfishly best for him and his ambitions. He no longer has any use for Trump, doesn’t want Trump back in politics in four years, and seems pretty clearly willing to support convicting him during the impeachment trial.
Further, the House and Senate Republicans who refused to certify the Electoral College results are being cut off by corporate PAC donors left and right, to the point that they may struggle to get reelected. You never want to be someone who gets between Mitch McConnell and his money. So by condemning “other powerful people” who incited the attack, McConnell may be opening the door to ousting the specific Republican Senators like Cruz and Hawley who are seen as having led the insurrection charge. After all, if they’re getting in the way of GOP’s ability to raise corporate cash, they’re a liability to McConnell.
We’ll see what McConnell does. Even if he does vote to convict Trump, and even if he does convince enough other Republican Senators to do the same, he’ll still have some angle where he tries to get something out of it for himself. And if McConnell does end up throwing Cruz and Hawley under the bus, it’ll only be for money reasons. But once in a blue moon, the depravedly selfish thing that McConnell is trying to do just happens to line up with the right thing that the rest of us are trying to do. Stay tuned.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report