The stakes are high for Mitch McConnell this election.
Liberals aren’t the only folks who are tired of Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Conservatives are sharpening their knives for the Republican Senate Minority Leader and Republicans are questioning his leadership strategy of All-Obstruction All-The-Time. After the latest Kentucky Bluegrass Poll showing Alison Lundergan Grimes (D-KY) leading McConnell along with Democrats running better Senatorial campaigns, conservatives are calling for new leadership if Republicans don’t take back the Senate and Republicans are wondering if they should have tried harder to work with Democrats.
Alexander Bolton reported in The Hill:
Republican senators say there is much riding on the Nov. 4 elections for McConnell, who is gunning to become majority leader while also attempting to defeat a well-funded Democratic opponent.
“If we don’t win the majority then all bets are off,” one GOP senator told The Hill when asked whether McConnell could face a leadership race if Republicans remained in the minority in 2015.
The senator, who requested anonymity, said some members of the Senate Republican Conference would call for a re-evaluation of McConnell’s tactics, which the lawmaker described as maintaining total party unity in opposition to the Democratic agenda.
McConnell is already on record as having ordered the Republican strategy of obstruction before President Barack Obama even took office. Six years later, it seems no one is impressed with the rather predictable results. Average Americans are suffering due to Republican refusal to pass anything under this president including things that used to be non-partisan and normal like an extension of unemployment insurance during hard times. Democrats are enraged that Republicans continue to hurt the country out of pique that they keep losing elections, and Republicans are upset that McConnell’s tactics aren’t working.
Where is the GOP wave that they were promised?
Republicans are questioning McConnell’s wisdom so much, they are wondering if they shouldn’t have tried to work with Democrats, according to Bolton’s source who told him, “There’s no question Harry Reid is very tough to deal with, but some of us wonder whether we should have tried to go around him to work with other Democrats.”
Then on yet another side, because of the fissure between the Tea Party and the Republican Party (the civil war they keep denying), conservatives are not impressed because McConnell hasn’t given them what they were promised. Where is the war on Obamacare that they were promised? This is what happens when politicians make money making promises they know they won’t keep. Bolton writes that they are also angry that federal spending hasn’t been slashed. You have to love this one, because it is due to false Republican criticism of Obama that their own base thinks federal spending hasn’t been slashed.
But, the growth in the federal budget grew just 1.4% in President Obama’s first term, whereas under President Reagan it increased by 8% in his first term. The growth of spending has slowed under Obama, especially when compared to the spending of 2008 and the 2009 budget created in 2008.
The financial disaster had something to do with this, and fact checkers like to point this out. But on the other hand, bailing out big banks and financial institutions after deregulating them caused the financial disaster is sort of the cost of doing business the Republican way, so it shouldn’t be written off as just some random spending that had to happen. It didn’t have to happen.
It’s also ironic that some of the slowed spending could have been attributed to Republicans, who couldn’t take credit for it because they are claiming it doesn’t exist — but now, word on the street is that their sequester cuts are actually costing us billions of dollars (they are also costing us millions of jobs, leaving Republicans without a positive agenda to run on, thanks in part to Mitch McConnell’s strategy of obstruction). So maybe it’s best that they keep pointing fingers and not talking about real issues.
Bolton reports that Freedom Works and other conservative groups want McConnell to step down if Republicans don’t take back the Senate. No story of the Tea Party destroying the Republican Party would be complete without word from Ken Cuccinelli, who lost his own race in Virginia due to the extremism he continues to demand from other Republicans. Bolton reports that Cuccinelli as head of the Senate Conservatives Fund sharpened the knives, “If Republicans can’t win a majority with such a poor performing president, during his lame-duck midterm elections, the leadership needs to be replaced starting with Mitch McConnell.” He then attacked McConnell for having no positive agenda for the party to stand on and being out to “crush conservatives”.
In summation, Republicans are questioning McConnell’s obstruction strategy and conservatives are questioning his failure to obstruct enough. Meanwhile, Democrats are frustrated by the games McConnell plays in the Senate and the way he repeatedly goes back on his words and promises. McConnell has no honor, but that’s part of what Republicans like about him. He knows how to manipulate the legislative process. And he should; he’s been doing it for a long time.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.