I swear to God, sometimes I think that the Republicans have already just thrown in the towel. For starters, you’ve got about 40 GOP rats that have already scurried down the mooring ropes before the SS Trumptanic makes it’s maiden voyage in November, and now Mitch McConnell is doing everything he can to hamstring even holding onto the Senate this November.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch “Yertl the Turtle” McConnell had a dire warning for the Senate earlier this week. He told the guys and gals in that august body that they had better prepare to spend at least a part of their August recess chained to their desks in DC, cuz there was just too much important shit that wasn’t getting done around here! I don’t know if Trump’s political stupidity is rubbing off on McConnell through repeated exposure, or if McConnell thought that this would please Glorious Bleater, but the idiocy is inspired on two fronts.
First of all, it’s an exercise in futility. McConnell has been in congress since Adam was a lad, and he knows that this legislative session is already DOA. Nobody is even thinking about passing anything now, they’re already mired in thoughts of their own primaries and upcoming general elections. And if they can’t pass anything now, what on earth makes McConnell think they’ll pass something so that their vacation plans don’t get tanked? Also, the GOP caucus of the House is in open rebellion against their own Speaker. Last count I saw, the GOP “moderates” were within four signatures of having a successful discharge petition, dragging four immigration and DACA bills to the floor over Ryan’s silly screaming head. Even if McConnell manages to pull off a “Ben Hur” galley slave scene and whip something through, the House won’t even look at it.
The second reason is that while the old saying may be “No man is an island,” McConnell seems to be giving it his best shot. While McConnell may be threatening to keep the kiddies after class, Paul Ryan has proclaimed no such edict, and if Ryan won’t bring the House back into session, anything McConnell passes during the extended session in August is just going to sit there collecting dust until the House resumes after Labor Day. And Ryan has absolutely no incentive to follow McConnell’s lead, he has 200 members in life and death struggles for their seats, and if he dared to call them back to Washington, they’d reconvene just long enough to depose him as Speaker, and go back home to campaign.
I can think of only one tactical reason for McConnell to make a decision like this, and it’s a piss poor one. There are ten Democratic Senators up for reelection in 2018 in states that Trump won. But Yertl has a problem there. Since the Inauguration of the Idiot Prince, none of the A-List GOP political talent in these states wants to join Trump’s Hole-in-the-ass gang and ride off into battle. If McConnell keeps these Democrats in Washington, his bench sitting lineup can campaign unopposed. But it was reported earlier this week that the Koch brothers are throwing their weight behind Heidi Heitkamp in her reelection bid, due to her stance on DACA and immigration, and they may back more Democratic incumbents against the Insane Klown Possie Trump candidates. Add to that the fact that Dean Heller in Nevada is approaching dead-man-walking status, and mark my words, Beto O’Rourke is going to give Calgary Teddy a run for his money in Texas, and this path is fraught with peril.
So, I’ll admit it, I’m at a total loss as to why Mitch McConnell would pull such a brainless stunt. Either he keeps his own Senators in DC, depriving them of valuable campaign days they can never make up for no good reason, or he keeps them there and passes stuff that won’t be touched until after election day, since nobody will want to risk doing anything that will piss any portion of their constituency before the votes are counted. And if there is one thing that Doug Jones and Conor Lamb have already proven, it is that there is no longer any such thing as a truly “safe” seat for Republicans this year. Go ahead Mitch, take your best shot.