One of the stranger aspects of 2021 is how Mitch McConnell seems to be losing it. He’s always been a villain, but he’s always been a politically savvy one. Now he keeps saying dumb things that he has to retract the next day, even as buzz continues about his potential early retirement. Is he just losing it?
During her MSNBC show tonight, Rachel Maddow pointed out how Mitch McConnell really is losing it, at least in terms of control over his own caucus. McConnell loudly bragged that not a single Senate Republican would vote for Biden DOJ nominee Vanita Gupta. But then Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski voted for Gupta anyway.
To be clear, Gupta was going to be confirmed with or without Murkowski’s vote. Murkowski is one of those Republican Senators who likes to occasionally vote with the Democrats when her vote isn’t going to change the outcome anyway, so she can pretend she’s bipartisan in nature. So we don’t give her any credit for this one. But it’s remarkable that McConnell didn’t know this was coming.
For as long as Mitch McConnell has been the Senate Republican Leader, he’s always had enough control over his Republican caucus that none of them would ever dare to vote with the Democrats without giving him a heads-up first. But now it appears that at least some Senate Republicans no longer fear him enough to give him such a heads-up, which in this case left him looking like an idiot.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report