Like a Cold You Just Can't Shake: Mitch McConnell Returns to Capitol Hill

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Well, we dared to hope. When Mitch McConnell fell at a hotel in Washington in early March and couldn’t get up, we thought we might have a chance for new Republican leadership in the Senate and for some real opposition to the Left’s increasingly insane agenda, rather than the dreary establishment Me-Tooism that McConnell represents. When Mitch was out of action for weeks, Matt Margolis noted that “there are whispers that he might not be fit to return to the Senate and is preparing for retirement.” It was enough to make a patriot positively giddy with excitement at the prospect, but alas, now Mitch has dashed everyone’s hopes by returning to work.


Mitch McConnell is 81 years old. He is nine months older to the day than Old Joe Biden, who gives us indications of his diminished cognitive abilities on a daily basis. On the day Mitch was born, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, which was the legal basis for the internment of over 120,000 Japanese-Americans in the United States during World War II. That same day, the Japanese defeated Allied forces in the Battle of Badung Strait, off Bali.

On the home front, major league baseball got permission from President Roosevelt to keep going as a morale booster during the war. The Brooklyn Dodgers’ spring training camp was in Havana; eighty years later, no baseball teams train in Communist Cuba, and the Dodgers haven’t played in Brooklyn since Mitch McConnell was a junior in high school. In sum, Mitch McConnell was born into a vastly different world from the one we inhabit. And it’s long past time for him to step aside and allow those who grew up in a world that was a bit more like our own, for better or worse, to revitalize the political opposition that McConnell, as its putative leader, has done so much to hamstring.

Retiring, however, appears to be the last thing on McConnell’s mind. “Needless to say, I’m very happy to be back,” he said Monday. “This wasn’t the first time that being hardheaded has served me very well.” He added in some standard-issue “public service” boilerplate: “We’re truly lucky and blessed that we get to serve in this remarkable institution, represent our home states and serve our country.” Yeah, Washington is just teeming with these selfless public servants who are there to better our nation by echoing Democrat talking points about the fake Jan. 6 “insurrection” and a host of other issues. That’s just what we need in these days of deep crisis: an opposition leader who isn’t really an opposition leader at all.


It’s important to remember that McConnell is as avid as Old Joe Biden to blame “MAGA Republicans” and Donald Trump for everything that ails the nation. Newsweek reported last December that Mitch blamed not only Trump but also “a segment of his base” for the Republicans’ decidedly underwhelming showing in the midterms. He warned that in 2024, he would throw his support behind “quality candidates,” and that doesn’t mean supporters of the former president, whose “political clout has diminished.” If Mitch remains true to form, and of course he will, that will involve backing more RINO candidates such as Lisa Murkowski and Mitt Romney. It’s not beyond the realm of possibility that Mitch could recruit Liz Cheney to run for a Senate seat.

Related: It’s Time for Mitch McConnell to Retire

Tellingly, Mitch also claimed that the America-First faction made voters dislike Republicans: “We lost support that we needed among independents and moderate Republicans, primarily related to the view they had of us as a party—largely made by the former president—that we were sort of nasty and tended toward chaos.” The “chaos” gibe hinted at the Democrats’ Jan. 6 mythology, which McConnell should have rejected resolutely from the beginning. Instead, he has repeatedly played along with the charade.


Mitch McConnell is yesterday’s man. Maybe he learned his habit of carrying water for Democrat initiatives back in the days when Dwight D. Eisenhower was the leader of the Republican Party. Mitch was just coming of age in the early Sixties, when Eisenhower had completed two successful terms as president while repeatedly making it clear that he had no intention of rolling back the welfare state the Democrats had started constructing during the New Deal era. Then, as the party’s elder statesman after his presidency, Eisenhower made it clear that his Republican Party played ball with the Democrats, offering not a real choice but an echo of Democrat policies. Barry Goldwater was against all that Me-Tooism, and Ronald Reagan struck it a death blow, but it just keeps coming back. Like Mitch McConnell.


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