Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) desperately tried to rewrite history today by implying that President Obama and Senate Democrats were responsible for the campaign of dysfunction and obstruction that he orchestrated.
McConnell was asked on CNN what the message was that voters sent to Washington by electing a Republican run Congress. Sen. McConnell answered, “I think the American people had two messages. They were certainly upset with their president, and wanted to express that opposition to what he’s been doing. But they also wanted to do something about the dysfunction in Washington. I’m not sure that they knew who was responsible for it, but they want it to stop, and so I think the message from the American people is that they would like to see a right of center responsible conservative Republican majority. That’s what the Speaker and I intend to provide, and hopefully we’ll have enough followers to do that.”
The soon to be Majority Leader implied to CNN that Obama and the Senate Democrats were responsible for not getting things done. The truth is that McConnell blocked or slowed down hundreds of bills while serving as Minority Leader. Fact checkers who limit the definition of obstruction to only filibusters are ignoring the wide variety of procedural tactics that McConnell used to grind the Senate to a halt, and turn votes that should have taken days into a weeks long process.
Mitch McConnell has spent most of the Obama presidency slowing down the Senate and blocking any progress, but now that the Kentucky Republican is the new Senate Majority Leader he has completely forgotten the past. McConnell is trying to fool the American people by selling himself as a man of action that is interested in getting things done.
Both Sen. McConnell and CNN tried to spin the Republican pickup of red state Senate seats into a national Republican mandate when the reality is that the playing field for the 2014 midterms was heavily tilted in favor of the Republican Party. It is faulty reasoning to assume that one region of the country speaks for the entire nation.
Republicans only have 54 votes in the Senate, and will be facing off with a president who is ready to use his veto pen. The reality is that it is going to be nearly impossible for McConnell to pass anything substantial without the support of Democrats and Obama. McConnell tried to blame Democrats for his campaign of obstruction, but it will be his job on the line when Republicans fail to pass legislation under his leadership.
It is this dynamic that may lead to Mitch McConnell having a very short stint as Senate Majority Leader.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA.Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association