Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is not in an enviable position. He has to ride herd on the most disparate group of politicians in Washington.
Almost by default, he’s emerging as the Republican leader in Washington with Trump sidelined and muzzled and no other GOP personality stepping forward. And McConnell doesn’t relish his position. He was comfortable being one of the good old boys in the Senate, which is no longer quite the collegial place it used to be.
With his position as the media-designated Republican spokesman, McConnell is being asked to comment on people and issues he really shouldn’t have to. A case in point is Liz Cheney’s vote to impeach Donald Trump in the House. He said nice things about Cheney, who would be ridden out of town on a rail after being tarred and feathered if Trump supporters got their way.
He was also asked about the unbalanced Marjorie Taylor Greene, who is running for the post of “Primary Trump Worshipper” in the House.
McConnell could have said something neutral about both politicians. Instead, he waded into the controversies and staked out his territory as the highest-ranking anti-Trump Republican in Washington.
About Cheney, he was positively gushing.
“Liz Cheney is a leader with deep convictions and the courage to act on them,” McConnell said in a statement to CNN. “She is an important leader in our party and in our nation. I am grateful for her service and look forward to continuing to work with her on the crucial issues facing our nation.”
McConnell had not yet commented on the divide between House Republicans and Cheney.
The House Freedom Caucus Chief, Arizona Rep. Andy Biggs, called for Cheney to resign from GOP leadership in January after Cheney announced her support for Trump’s impeachment. The House vote on Jan. 13 was 232-197 with 10 Republicans, including Cheney, voting to impeach Trump.
I think that’s a pretty strong statement about the divide between House Republicans and Cheney. Calling Cheney courageous while she’s impeaching the former president says clearly how he feels about pro-Trump politicians calling for her head on a spike.
McConnell also made a strong statement condemning Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, who has stirred up quite a fuss by saying crazy, stupid things.
“Somebody who’s suggested that perhaps no airplane hit the Pentagon on 9/11, that horrifying school shootings were pre-staged, and that the Clintons crashed JFK Jr.’s airplane is not living in reality,” McConnell said in a statement first shared with The Hill. “This has nothing to do with the challenges facing American families or the robust debates on substance that can strengthen our party.”
McConnell didn’t mention Greene by name in his three-sentence statement, but his rare, scathing remarks about a freshman GOP lawmaker from the other chamber suggests he recognizes the potential damage her violent rhetoric and bizarre conspiracy theories could inflict on congressional Republicans as they try to take back both the House and Senate in next year’s midterms.
It should be noted that Democrats also say crazy, stupid things. Rep. Hank Johnson’s hilarious fear that the island of Guam might “capsize” because of too many people on it stands out. And, of course, just about anything that is uttered by Rep. Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, and other Squad members is Loony-Tunes nutty. Their “theories” on race and other cultural matters are demonstrably false and stupid.
But those conspiracy theories about “white supremacy” resonate with the liberal media, who nod their heads and call the former cocktail waitress a genius.
It’s true. Marjorie Taylor Greene is a screwball. But like her or not, she was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives fair and square. Who is McConnell, or any Democrat, to question her legitimacy and tell her to resign? She may be toxic waste, but it’s not up to any outsider to kick her out.
The people of her district will let her know soon enough whether they want her to be in Washington or not. To forestall that, she is wrapping herself like a blanket around Trump, hoping his embrace will protect her.
Whether it does nor not, the people in her district in Georgia will be the ultimate judgea.