Trump on McConnell: Ego vs. Self-Interest?
Mitch McConnell’s was the key to Trump’s ONE Victory
Anyone remember the name Merrick Garland?
About a year before Donald J. Trump was elected 45th President of the United States of America, then President Barrack H. Obama nominated Mr. Garland to fill Antonin Scalia’s seat on the Supreme Court.
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In other words, there would have been no Judge Neil Gorsuch appointment to SCOTUS but for Mitch McConnell taking enormous heat for preventing a sitting President from nominating the replacement justice of his choice.
But that wasn’t the end of the story, the only reason Neil Gorsuch matriculated to the bench was because Mitch McConnell changed the rules of the Senate to make it possible.
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Yet, this is what we have seen by way of thanks from a retweet today from the current President of the United States (of course retweeted from Fox & Friends):
Maybe this would seem unimportant or unspectacular if Trump had a large list of accomplishments that were not shepherded to completion by the current Senate Majority leader but the truth is POTUS has almost no accomplishments that couldn’t have been carried out by a one-armed mechanical monkey with a signing pen.
As Ben Heineman Jr. put it in the Atlantic in 2010, greatness requires a President expend Political Capital to win policy victories:
“Presidential greatness is combining policy and politics to win significant victories that have a major impact on the trajectory of national life. Such victories — which upset the status quo — only occur when a president takes political risks and is willing to incur short-term unpopularity with significant segments of the electorate.”
So far, President Trump has signed over 50 executive orders (not exactly known as a mark of Presidential greatness as they only require an idea and a pen).
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And the legislation he has signed? Can you name one law that he has signed that cost ANY political capital or that he took to the American Public in an attempt to sign?
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By most accounts, it was a miracle Leader McConnell got the brutal and cruel Senate health care bill as close as he did given virtually zero expenditure of Presidential Political Capital from Mr. Trump.
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On the other hand, President Trumps has made life miserable for immigrants, often with no criminal record and who leave children to either stay in America alone or be deported too (or worse).
I guess, for some folks that might seem like an accomplishment (not for me).
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But maybe, given that President Trump has exactly one victory to hang his hairpiece on, and given that his one victory was actually attributable to Mitch McConnell holding the line for over a year until Neil Gorsuch was sworn in as a Supreme Court justice, he should maybe cut the Senate Majority leader a break?
Obviously, the Trump Administration won’t be looking to me for advice but I am wondering if this is more about ego (McConnell getting credit or blame) than about self-interest (McConnell is the one guy who might be able to get the rest of President Trump’s far-right agenda through the Senate).
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