Mitch McConnell is trying to play it both ways

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I’ve spent two days watching Impeachment Managers lay out their evidence against the former occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, a horrifying spectacle. How did we get here, a place where GOP Senators are twisting themselves around any excuse to acquit or lounging with their feet up in the hallowed Senate chamber, if they are there at all?

Reading Barack Obama’s memoir, A Promised Land, I see it, the beginning, when the Recovery Act, which would save the American economy in early 2009, passed without a single Republican vote: “It was the opening salvo in a battle plan that McConnell, Boehner, Cantor, and the rest would deploy with impressive discipline for the next eight years: a refusal to work with me or members of my administration, regardless of the circumstances, the issue, or the consequences for the country.”

And on pages 262–3: “Looking back, it’s hard for me not to fixate on the political dynamics that unfolded in those first weeks of my presidency—how quickly Republican resistance hardened… a cleaving of American political sensibilities that we are still dealing with a decade later.”

You see, the GOP’s effort to destroy Democrats by humiliating the Clintons in the late 1990s and then corruptly (see Jeb Bush, hanging chads) steering the 2000 election away from Al Gore had not exactly worked. Installing a puppet with a good heart (George W. Bush) in the White House for eight years did not guarantee the GOP’s continued reign. Horrified when a Black man defeated them in 2008, they closed ranks. In 2016, the Republican party chose a puppet with an evil heart.

   

And here we are today. The Impeachment Managers’ chilling case will fall on mostly deaf ears on one side of the aisle. Mitch McConnell is trying to play it both ways, but it’s too late for him to redeem himself from decisions he made 12 years ago. Members of Trump’s mob are realizing that he played them. Now, after all of this, it’s up to us to extinguish these villains by voting, educating those who are nearing voting age, and running for public office ourselves. We cannot let evil rise again.

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