The Morning Briefing: Mitch McConnell Wants to Lose and Stay in the Minority

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Top O’ the Briefing

Happy Tuesday, dear Kruiser Morning Briefing friends. Anastasia was fervently hoping to form a more spiritual connection with Gianfranco through their Interpretive Clogging class.


I’m glad that so many enjoyed yesterday’s “rerun” edition of the Briefing. Thanks for the nice comments about the flashback. We’ve got another one coming up next week.

On more than one occasion since the midterm debacle, I’ve written that I get the feeling that Mitch McConnell and his inner circle in the Senate actually prefer being in the minority. McConnell seemed to be the only high-ranking elected Republican who wasn’t the slightest bit upset about his party greatly underperforming in November.

I’ve only recently begun giving some thought as to why this might be. Before we get to my theory of Mitch the Squish, let’s take a look at Donald Trump’s idea, which Matt wrote about yesterday:

Donald Trump slammed Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell Monday morning, insisting that the only reason Republicans supported the Democrats’ $1.7 trillion omnibus bill is that Democrats have dirt on McConnell.

“The Marxist Democrats must have something really big on Mitch McConnell in order to get him and some of his friendly ‘Republican’ Senators to pass the horrendous ‘All Democrat, All the Way’ OMINOUS Bill,” Trump said in a post on Truth Social. “It gives Border Security to other countries, but ZERO $’s to the U.S., it fully funds the corrupt ‘Justice’ Department, FBI (which RIGGED the Presidential Election!), and even the Trump Hating Special ‘Prosecutor.’”

That’s an angle I hadn’t thought of. It would explain a lot of what McConnell does. It wouldn’t, however, explain why the other turncoat Republicans who voted for this monstrosity did what they did. Well, Romney’s vote is easy to explain. There’s always at least one Republican in the Senate who makes a name for him or herself by sticking it to GOP voters when it comes to important legislation. This is done for the sole purpose of getting a pat on the back from The New York Times. That’s Romney’s gig now.


However interesting Trump’s theory may be, I have a completely different idea about why McConnell is so awful: being in the minority means he can always use that as an excuse for never doing anything meaningful or good for Republican voters.

Before I go any further I think that I should clarify that this is a tale of two Mitch McConnells. The Mitch McConnell we saw during Trump’s presidency was a very different politician. Both he and Lindsey Graham seemed to have gotten an infusion of testosterone and healthy partisanship when Trump was POTUS.

Both are invertebrate surrender jellyfish now.

I kept hoping to see flashes of the Trump-era McConnell these past two years and occasionally would in early 2021. Sadly, that guy has now exited the United States Capitol, and it looks like he’s gone for good.

While leading the minority party, the bare minimum that McConnell has to do is stomp his foot and play spoiler every once in a great while so he can have something to point to when we conservatives take him to task. He still gets to wield power over his Republican colleagues in the Senate. At this point, that appears to be all he wants to do.

We have several modern examples of the GOP being truly awful when being in the majority in either the Senate or the House. Veteran conservative observers of politics don’t get our hopes up when the Republicans are about to take control again. The most semi-functional example of handling business well when having the majority was the judge-producing factory that McConnell presided over when Trump was president. That’s what makes seeing this McConnell back in action so disheartening.


Stalling the passage of this God-awful omnibus bill should have been a no-brainer for McConnell, especially after what happened in the election. Instead, he’s now presenting a version of the Republican Party that is even less attractive to voters than the one they barely voted for in November.

Even if the Republicans take back the Senate in 2024, one gets the sense that McConnell will find a way to make winning feel like losing.

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The Mailbag of Magnificence contributions can be sent to [email protected].

The Mailbag of Magnificence

We’re only going to do one today. It’s the last time I’m going to deal with this. Perri writes:

“Everything isn’t awful” literally means that everything, all things without exception, is not awful. Therefore nothing is awful.

“Not all things are awful “ on the other hand means that some things are not awful although others may be. It’s an important distinction.

I think that in today’s world most people neither care nor are they capable of making that distinction.  I blame this on “conversational writing,” poor editing, and poor education.

Such things result in a populace with weaker critical thinking skills. Once readers and educators could look to news media for examples of how to write clearly and concisely. Editorial staff used to correct such usage before it reached the press.

These days that’s no longer the case. Online content is often full of sentence fragments, broken statements, misused homonyms, and idioms that are simply wrong because rather than understanding them writers “hear them” and repeat them.. It’s appalling, and the printed word is often no better.


I conceded in my original response to the point that it’s imprecise. If I were a logician, I would change the name to the clunky but precise “Not Everything Is Awful.” The distinction would then indeed be important, as you assert. We’re in a sort of “read the room” situation here, though. It’s a throwaway line that I thought of one night when I decided to add a section of lighthearted and/or uplifting news before we plunged into the yuck of politics. The context is understood. I doubt even you watch one of the goofy cat videos and think, “That doesn’t mean ‘nothing is awful!'”

You may not like “conversational writing,” but without it, most scripted entertainment would be like watching a dramatic performance of a legal brief.

While we’re discussing important distinctions, I’m not “news media.” I’m a verbal bomb-throwing opinion writer. We’re just trying to have fun here. Still, I make more valid, extremely well-thought-out political points in a week than most people will in a lifetime. There’s plenty to aid the populace in honing its critical thinking skills, even in my most flippant columns. If that’s not happening, it’s on the populace, not my writing skills.

Could I write more precisely and dazzle everyone by becoming a gushing fount of turgidity? I most definitely could. You’d probably even find my employment of idioms to be correct most of the time. This ain’t my first rodeo, after all.


We’re dealing with silly animal videos though.

Thanks to Perri for writing (really) and continuing to read my stuff. Please keep the emails coming and let’s see if we can fill Friday’s mailbag!

Everything Isn’t Awful

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