There’s a reason Mitch McConnell has prospered for decades in politics despite never having a good idea, being endlessly corrupt, and not being liked by almost anyone on either side: he’s particularly savvy when it comes to political corruption. He can spin anything. He can effortlessly lie as often as needed. He’s skilled at loudly pretending to take the high ground, as cover for the worst of his antics.
Even now, with McConnell having been demoted to the largely powerless position of Senate Minority Leader, we were still expecting him to remain a savvy adversary. In fact, early on in this term, he succeeded in using every procedural trick in the book to delay President Biden’s nominees and even slightly delay the Senate transfer of power. But since then, something has happened to him.
Suddenly, McConnell isn’t particularly savvy anymore. He no longer seems to know how to spin things in his favor. Instead he keeps stepping in it, such as when he publicly threatened corporations on Tuesday who are daring to be politically active. That played so poorly for him, he ended up having to flip flop on the matter the next day, insisting that he was just fine with corporate political speech.
Mitch McConnell hasn’t historically been someone who does such a poor job of spinning things, he ends up having to retract his words the next day. Yet lately, McConnell just keeps stepping in it. He’s making unforced errors – and he’s the kind of slick villain who doesn’t make unforced errors.
This all comes even amid increasing buzz from major media outlets that McConnell is considering resigning before his current term is over. Is there something wrong with him? Is that why he’s become such a doddering fool? This also comes amid the recent news that his wife is facing a potential criminal probe for her actions as former Transportation Secretary. Is McConnell cracking under the pressure? One way or another, McConnell just isn’t himself lately. It’ll be worth watching where this trend ends up going.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report