Can We Ditch Mitch?

I love Gail Collins, the columnist for the New York Times. Hell, I want to be Gail Collins when I grow up (assuming I ever do).

A couple of days ago, her column was titled “Let’s Ditch Mitch!” It’s a sentiment with which I ardently agree.

She began:

O.K., throwing this one at you without warning: What’s your opinion of Mitch McConnell?

A) Spawn of Satan.

B) Sort of pitiful, what with having Donald Trump on his back.

C) Can we talk about how he looks like a turtle?

Definitely not the last one. It’s true that many Americans think of McConnell as turtle-like, due to his lack of anything resembling a chin.

But this is wrong on two counts. First, you shouldn’t tackle people you disagree with by making fun of their looks. Second, it gives turtles a bad name. Turtles are great for the environment and everybody likes them. They sing to their children. You are never going to see a turtle killing gun control legislation.

Collins proceeds to remind readers of McConnell’s longstanding alliance with the NRA, evidenced by $1.3 million in financial support. As a result, the NRA gets its way; among the bills Mitch has obligingly killed is reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, which is “moldering away in a corner because the NRA doesn’t want authorities taking guns away from domestic abusers.”

A bill on strengthening background checks is moldering along with it, despite the fact that several Republican Senators have indicated that they would support it– if McConnell would allow it to come to the floor.

This goes on a lot. McConnell, who has near total control over what comes up for a vote, sits on things he doesn’t like until they smother. Farewell, immigration reform, Paycheck Fairness Act, legislation protecting Americans with pre-existing conditions, lowering prescription drug prices, protecting election security, restoring net neutrality.

To which we can now add this week’s burial of the bill the House just passed to protect “Dreamers” from deportation.

As Collins notes, you can’t explain away Mitch’s actions by saying he’s simply doing what Trump wants him to do, since Trump hasn’t the foggiest notion what’s happening in Congress (or, I would add, the foggiest notion what Congress does.)

There are well over 100 House-passed bills sitting around gathering mildew in Mitch’s limbo. What do you think that place looks like? A very depressing bus station waiting room? A hospital ward packed with comatose patients? Or maybe just a dimly lit storage bin where little bills sit around drinking juice and playing video games until the end of time?

All of them in the thrall of Mitch McConnell. Before we move on, can we mention that McConnell’s wife, Elaine Chao, is the nation’s secretary of transportation, and possibly on her way to serious contention for Worst Cabinet Member?

Those of you who read the New York Times have probably seen the recent expose of Chao; in a collection of totally corrupt cabinet secretaries, she has managed to out-corrupt most of them. But then, she is married to Mitch, so she’s learned from a master…

And of course, as Collins reminds us, there was that unprecedented, norm-destroying theft of a Supreme Court seat–the “high point” of Mitch’s career-long fixation on filling the federal courts with right-wing ideologues.

A man who has never gotten a single vote from anyone living outside the state of Kentucky decreed that a man twice elected president of the United States had no right to have his nominee for Supreme Court considered in the Senate. McConnell told Charles Homans of The Times it was “the most consequential thing” he’d ever done. He was extremely proud.

McConnell’s argument was that Obama was too close to the end of his term to make a lifetime appointment to the nation’s highest court. But now he’s saying that if there’s a vacancy before the 2020 election, he’ll of course get Trump’s choice for a successor a confirmation vote. “Oh, we’d fill it,” the senator chortled at a Chamber of Commerce lunch back home in Kentucky.

I know you’re not surprised, but isn’t it sort of awful that McConnell’s so proud of himself? You’d hope that, at least in public, he’d murmur something vague and look a tad sheepish.

No self-respecting turtle would ever behave like that.

Donald Trump is an embarrassing and incompetent buffoon–a bull in the governmental china shop who is doing a lot of damage. But he can’t hold a candle to Mitch McConnell. McConnell has singlehandedly broken American government.


  1. There is no doubt in my mind that Mitch McConnell is the absolute most evil person in Washington!

  2. McConnell shows how fragile democracy is. If you don’t want to play, you can bring it to a standstill. His theory of government is, if you don’t have a Republican Congress, a Republican president and a conservative court, your government is not going to do any business. Karl Rove once dreamed of a “permanent Republican majority” to run the country . . . McConnell shows that a majority is not even necessary to install some real one-party rule.

  3. Dennis; your comment is directly on target, he is the one to be in our cross hairs in 2020.

    Bob; he makes me wish for Newt’s return to power.

    Jim; this comment points out our failure to prevent his rise to power; …”McConnell shows that a majority is not even necessary to install some real one-party rule.”

    I will hone in on “c”; why insult turtles; his physical ugliness in enhanced to satanic level when he smiles. He is a “two-bagger”; one bag over his head and the second bag our your’s in case his bag falls off.

    “Donald Trump is an embarrassing and incompetent buffoon–a bull in the governmental china shop who is doing a lot of damage. But he can’t hold a candle to Mitch McConnell. McConnell has singlehandedly broken American government.”

    The above comments is a reminder that his control began in President Obama’s administration and has only grown in power; before Donald Trump was even a consideration for the presidency…or was Trump the ace up the Republican sleeves long before he became the lone nominee?

  4. An early morning ooops; that should of course say “the second bag OVER your’s”.

  5. All valid criticisms of McConnell. I live in Indiana but in his last re-election campaign I sent his opponent several cash donations – to no avail. I will support his opponent in 2020 and will again send cash. I urge all readers of this blog to do the same and encourage your friends to do it too.

  6. My greatest hope is that Mitch will go down in history, along with Trump, as the major cause of the Republican Party’s 2020 landslide election loss that buried the Reagan Consensus.

  7. There is no single individual in the history of our republic who has done more harm to our country than McConnell. He must be replaced and his party must be soundly defeated in order to restore sanity to government.

    BTW, almost nobody knows that the House has passed over 100 bills, including one of the most comprehensive reform bills in its history (HR1). Those Dems who are now showing up on Fox News need to say that over and over until it sinks in for those who only watch right wing news.

  8. McConnell must have a massive security team to protect him wherever he goes. Otherwise, I cannot imagine how he has not already been silenced by powerful people who surely must have tried to put a contract on his head.

    The damage he has done to this country will take generations to repair, that is if we have that much time left to make the repairs.

    I have referred to McConnell as the Spawn of Satan for years. He is doing his father proud!

  9. I often wonder how the Richard Nixon grandchildren and great grandchildren deal with their family history. Are they proud? Ashamed? What? That same legacy will also haunt the McConnell children, grandchildren and future generations. Kind of like the Benedict Arnold family. It will be the delayed justice that those traitors pass on to their progeny to carry through the rest of their lives. What a sorry legacy!

  10. A potential employer can run a background check on me, but a gun seller does not. This makes perfect sense! (eyes rolling)

    Mitch has an influential position, which in today’s game of politics draws lots of money. The more power I have, the more money comes my way. Keep the Donors happy, no matter what.

    The monies tossed between the Donor Class and Political Class are bribes. Period.

    I’m bribing you to vote my way, or it Mitch’s case, I’m bribing you to keep bills in the dark and not even introduce in the Senate. This is the case for nearly ALL politicos.

    Imagine our political class without the ability to be bribed. What would they do then? Would they work for constituents or would they find carefully written loopholes in laws making bribes of any sort illegal?

    What would they do if gerrymandering didn’t guarantee them a victory? What would they do if they had no motivation to swing votes in favor of Wall Street time after time?

    Would the power shift to the people, and would we look more like a democracy?

    Yes on both accounts.

    Right now, political will does not align with God’s will for the people. We are not a moral country. This is easy to determine because we shred the government and politicians daily for NOT doing the right things.

    When we get out of alignment, there are consequences to be paid. The people become restless when they are being oppressed versus having a moral, political class who serves the people. Serving the people strengthens the country via a healthy democracy.

  11. McConnell may in trouble in Kentucky over the aluminum plant deal. A private entity has placed billboards that say: Russian mob money. Really, Mitch?
    Kentucky newspapers have also been examining this issue. Here’s a link to one from Louisville:

    Getting rid of McConnell will cost A LOT of money !!! Here’s this from a recent Louisville Courier article:
    “Federal campaign records show Team Mitch has raked in $2.1 million since January, and has $5.6 million in cash on hand. That easily tops the then-record $1.8 million that McConnell raised in 2013 when he was anticipating a Republican primary challenge from Bevin.

    It also doesn’t count the tentacles of different independent groups and super PACs supporting him. The three groups most commonly associated with Team Mitch — McConnell Senate Committee, Bluegrass PAC and McConnell for Majority Leader — have raised $2.8 million combined.

    If Democrats do make a viable run at McConnell, their nominee will have to have major money.

    In 2014, McConnell doled out $10 million to stiff-arm Bevin and then raised a gargantuan $31 million to defeat Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes, who raised about $19 million.”

    And then there is this from Politifact:
    “Who is Len Blavatnik and how much did he donate to McConnell?
    Blavatnik emigrated to the United States with his family in the late 1970s and returned to Russia in the late ’80s as the Soviet Union began to collapse. His U.S.-based holding companies — Access Industries Inc. and AI-Altep Holdings Inc. — are conduits for his largest political contributions, according to Federal Election Commission records.

    In 2015-16, Blavatnik’s contributions went to GOP PACs and top Republican leaders, including McConnell, according to FEC records.

    In that cycle, his companies contributed over $6.3 million, with $2.5 million going to McConnell’s Senate Leadership Fund. In 2017, Blavatnik donated another $1 million to the committee, records show, bringing the total to $3.5 million.

    While Blavatnik certainly donated a lot of money to McConnell’s committee, he is nowhere near the majority leader’s highest contributor. In the 2017-18 cycle alone, at least two other donors, Sheldon D. Adelson and Miriam Adelson, gave $25 million (a piece) to his leadership fund.”

    IMHO, McConnell is really, really dirty financially. His power is based on MONEY – a lot of it highly questionable and makes his loyalty to the Constitution doubtful. Again, IMHO, his loyalty is ONLY to himself and his power.

    There is a possibility that Amy McGrath may run against him or Matt Jones. IF they do, they will need a lot of help from folks like us around the entire country.

  12. George Takei has offered to run against Mitch. It would entail his moving to Kentucky, but hell, Carpetbagger Trey did it, so why not? In absence of a viable opponent, I’m all for ditching Mitch into the Ohio River from the Big Four Bridge.

  13. It seems that the plutocracy movement has assumed international dimensions. For instance one of the memes that they spread is that liberals are bent on creating a “new world order” starting with the UN which of course is the only means available now to enforce international laws to manage international businesses. Plutocracy (the new aristocracy) has a new leader in Putin and a new McConnell in Trump.

    The McConnells (Mr and Mrs) are minor clerks in the new aristocracy but major beneficiaries amassing fortunes that may well rank on the international scale some day. Maybe Davos will move to Kentucky some day.

    We don’t need to construct a new world order but rather protect the traditional one that worked more often than it failed – government. The world run in accord with make more money now regardless of the impact on any others, ever will just return to the aristocracy that held freedom in check in Europe for so many centuries before being booted by revolutions of we, the people.

  14. The rank and file Right Wing Reactionary – Evangelical bible thumper’s will view McConnell as heroic figure. He single handily stopped Obama in his tracks by scuttling the SCOTUS appointment. McConnell has now single handily stopped the Democratic House from enacting any legislation.

    McConnell has the “Right Stuff” when it comes to appealing to the Republican Base: anti-woman’s rights, supports King Coal and the NRA. Mitch’s riches would be proof the prosperity gospel works.

    So we have the Unholy Trinity of President Agent Orange, Pastor Pence and Mitch McConnell.

  15. To be clear – our chances of “ditching Mitch” by getting him out of office are slim to none. It’s engaging in magical thinking.

    What’s more possible though is winning the Senate majority so that he no longer has the power he has (then he might be vulnerable as well).

    I don’t know what are chances are for the Senate – but I hope that Dems are focused on that.

  16. So, how did the Senate devolve into a fiefdom from being the “most deliberative body in the world”? How did McConnell, or any majority leader, get so much power over what does and does not get voted upon? Isn’t that flying in the face of the spirit, if not the letter, of the Constitution? Hasn’t McConnell violated his oath of office?

    So, why isn’t he being impeached?

  17. Thanks again Sheila. You have again offered up another serving of reality we need to deal with. As I have said to anyone who would listen, Mitch is the perfect example of the monsters we have created and tolerated far too long. In my imagination I see a group of entitled lawmakers who leave work everyday and celebrate at their favorite watering hole. Their celebration consists of two things: 1. their longtime, powerful, secure, and lucrative cush employment, and 2. their successful destruction of the growth of America as a country. Proof of that is the myriad of bills that are backed up and waiting to be processed so this country can function and prosper. Do we need any more proof that our system is truly broken aside from our fixed voting process, inept and corrupt (so called public servant lawmakers, and volatile social structure?

  18. And let’s never forget McConnell’s artful deal with Oleg Deripaska. In return for doing what he promised not to do – lift U.S. sanctions of the aluminum czar – Deripaska committed to build a $200 million plant in – of all places – Kentucky. Won’t that be a lovely little item to brag about during your re-election campaign?

    But why do McConnell and his ilk feel that sucking up to Bolsheviks is such a good idea? Does he like the Russian model of securing government power through the use of nerve agents or simply Putin’s approach to cutting off all forms of dissent by taking over the Russian media? Perhaps he just an admirer of how effectively the Russian Intelligence Research Agency carried out its assignment to introduce chaos into the 2016 campaign. Or maybe he’s so grateful to Russia for electing a Republican president that he felt obligated to return the favor. As America’s slimiest and most barf-worthy
    politician ever, he seems to have concluded that however Russia exerts its power in the US, he and Elaine will make out just fine. He’s probably right.

    Where are the laws that protect us from this kind of democracy-ending criminality?

  19. In a just world Trump and McConnell would be in jail, many people in our jails would be out, and Pence would be in a Monastery.

  20. I didn’t think it was possible but I despise MM more than 45! He has done more harm to our county in the past decade than any other politician Ever!

  21. If Democrats only win the White House but not the Senate, McConnell will be in position to dictate the membership of the Supreme Court that lasts another 40 years.

    But McConnell has accumulated more barnacles since Obama was in office. I’ll contribute to McConnell’s next opponent and hope others will too.

  22. When it comes to states that elect people like McConnell or Lindsey Graham, if I find a product I might want to order, but the seller is in Kentucky or S. Carolina, I e-mail the seller and advise them that if their state hadn’t elected them, I’d do business with them, and because it is the only practical weapon I have to make the point that these people do not belong in Congress because what they do hurts me and my family, I’m not purchasing their product. This tactic is working for film and TV production companies, like “The Walking Dead”, that threatened Georgia with pulling production if it enacted anti-LGBTQ laws. Hit them where they live.

  23. Trump likes to talk about coups, but the real coup is the suspension of the Constitution at the whim of McConnell and the Republicans. ALL the Republicans in Congress have defied their oaths to uphold the Constitution and should be marched out. This was a cold coup, and just because they haven’t declared the suspension of the Constitution, that doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.

  24. Thanks, Natacha!
    I live in South Carolina and have NEVER voted for Lindsey Graham. If you boycott my little Etsy business to show your disdain for SC politics, that will really show those Republicans!
    Not everyone in SC voted for him. Don’t be so myopic.

  25. I’d like to see McConnell lose re-election also. But it’s more important for the Democrats to win the Senate and retain the House.

  26. My friend and I call him, “Howdy Doody “, not meaning to insult Howdy !!

  27. Yet…Mr. MM has reigned for years as the most unpopular senator in his own state! Only just recently did he lose this distinction:

    The latest rankings – based on surveys of 416,853 registered voters across the country conducted Oct. 1 through Dec. 31, 2018 (see methodology here) – found McConnell’s net approval increased 10 percentage points since the third quarter of 2018, with 38 percent of Kentucky voters approving of his job performance and 47 percent disapproving. The fourth quarter marks McConnell’s best showing since the second quarter of 2017 as he prepares for an expected re-election campaign in 2020. (Net approval is the share of voters who approve of a senator minus the share of voters who disapprove. Approval and disapproval figures are rounded.)

    Thus, as usual, it is all about getting folks to vote! How our democracy is dying….

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