The power struggle between Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump is being characterized as the irresistible force v. the immovable object. It’s actually more like a skunk pissing on a rock. The rock’s been there a lot longer, the sun and wind will burn off the stink, and the skunk is just a passing nuisance.

At least that seems to be how Mitch McConnell is taking things. He hasn’t spoken to Trump in over a month, not since December 14 when he openly acknowledged the results of the electoral college and began referring to Joe Biden as president-elect. To Trump, that was throwing down the gauntlet. And then of course McConnell’s post-acquittal speech saying that Trump had “moral responsibility” for the Capitol riot and his actions were “unconscionable” did not endear him further to the Mango Monarch, either. In fact, they provoked the “dour, unsmiling political hack” comment.

So the battle lines are being drawn now, place your bets. Washington Post:

Trump’s attacks on McConnell came as he plotted a broader return to the political arena. He spent Tuesday at his Florida resort with son Donald Trump Jr., former campaign aide Brad Parscale and others, and has spoken with advisers about setting up a fundraising infrastructure and database system outside the Republican Party’s, a person familiar with his comments said. […]

It has the potential to be a very large headache for GOP Senate candidates,” said a Republican operative who worked on the 2020 Senate races, and who also expressed doubt as to whether Trump would follow through on this threats: “He’s never really put his money where his mouth is. The big thing is, will he actually help these people? Will he actually raise money? Or is he just going to go out and endorse things?” […]

“But what I would say to Senator McConnell: I know Trump can be a handful, but he is the most dominant figure in the Republican Party,” he [Lindsey Graham] said. “We don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of taking back the majority without Donald Trump. If you don’t get that, you’re just not looking.”

I could be wrong, but I don’t think McConnell feels that way.

“It doesn’t make too much sense having the least popular person in the party attacking the most popular person,” Trump spokesman Jason Miller said Wednesday. “I’m not sure what Mitch thinks he is going to accomplish.”

Trump thinks taking on McConnell will make him popular with the base. In Trump’s reality TV mind, toppling McConnell from power would be a great lead in to his 2024 sequel. I don’t think it’s going to happen. I think that McConnell is entrenched and is going to stay entrenched and he’s already said that he intends to oppose any fringe candidates that Trump might endorse and concentrate on people who are “electable.”

You can place your bets now. This is the contest between the tortoise and the hare-brained, and my money is on the tortoise. Not because I like the guy, but because I think he will beat the flamboyant, posturing dummy hands down.

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  1. McConnell, that old reptile, has been playing the long game since he was born. Trip, OTOH, has the attention span of a bad toupee.
    My money’s on McConnell, too.

  2. I’m betting on McConnell because unlike Trump ole Yertle is out of fucks to give. If he had a copy of that drawing of the sketch on browned parchment where the dude holds out his hand and says “Behold the field on which I grow my fvks. Lay thine eyes upon is and see that it is barren.” he’d messenger a copy to be delivered to Trump at the clubhouse at Doral when Trump’s guard is down and it could be personally handed to him. Yertle has spent decades being detested by Kentuckians and STILL getting re-elected. He married into money and surely has more wealth to retire on (if it comes to that) than Trump has given all Trump’s financial woes. Mitch is USED to people howling in outrage over his actions. Even before Trump wound up in the WH. No one should think for one second that McConnell cares what Trump says or does.

    For anyone who might say McConnell is being crafty and trying at the end to soften how history will view him I say nope. No way. For Moscow Mitch this is ALL about payback. He really, “bigly” loved the power he wielded as Majority Leader. He’s still got more than any of us would like him to have but he no longer has the immense power he once had and therefore no longer COMPLETE control over his caucus. He’s still in firm control of it and will be when the dust settles from all this but not in complete control and that’s more than a bitter pill for him to swallow. It’s more like a Trumpian table of fast food sandwiches for some national championship football team only the sandwiches are all shit sandwiches.

    And as far as McConnell is concerned it’s Trump’s fault. Like most others not under Trump’s spell I happen to think McConnell is one hundred percent correct on that.

    Like Putin, McConnell saw Trump as a useful idiot albeit on a more focused set of goals. Remaking the federal courts (including SCOTUS), another tax cut (or two?) for the rich and gutting regulations both via executive order and ensuring agency heads that would do their damndest to wreck each and every federal agency to make life easier for his corporate cronies. Once it was clear Trump lost the election he was of no more use to McConnell. McConnell humored Trump for a little while hoping (which to a degree paid off) that Trump’s appointees, if not Trump himself would piss in the soup and toss some more turds in the punchbowl during the transition, at least during the time the administration refused to even allow the transition to start taking place. However, once Biden’s team could get even limited access to what was going on in the agencies all bets were off because then Biden could be prepared to start undoing some of that last minute fuckery (including some of the burrowing of Trump people into agencies) and McConnell needed Trump to stay on the sidelines for the most part and let HIM handle the special elections in GA.

    Trump of course refused and McConnell is now Minority Leader. A Minority Leader with decades of experience in DC and loads of people who OWE him and not Trump. Many of them don’t like McConnell any more than Trump does but unlike Trump ole Yertle knows where all the bodies are buried and how to actually work the system in ways that are far beyond Trump’s ability to comprehend.

    Rational Republicans might publicly fear what Trump can do to their careers if he tears the Party apart, but what truly terrifies them is McConnell being pissed enough (which it increasingly seems he is) that if Trump wants to have a steel cage death match deciding to go ahead and grind Trump into itty bitty orange hued “Trumpberder” and leave laughing. I say that because if Trump really wants to keep this fight up McConnell knows that any chances of becoming Majority Leader again in two years is GONE. And forget about 2024 too. Yertle is old and he’s also filthy rich. Almost no one likes him and that’s been the case for decades and he’s been fine with that. He wanted those judges and Justices more than anything and he got them. The only thing he cares about at this point is protecting what he’s accomplished on that score by having the power to prevent Democrats from watering down that legacy by adding more judges to the federal courts (something that’s been needed for decades and like his predecessor Chief Justice Roberts is on record pushing for more federal judges!) or even worse changes to SCOTUS – if not more Justices then some rules that would put some of the current Federalist Society hacks into the position of having to recuse themselves or more accurately being FORCED to do so. If he’s not Majority Leader McConnell’s ability to stop all that would be if not gone then greatly diminished. And again he could justifiably place the blame directly on Trump for that.

    So McConnell wants payback.

    However, unlike Trump McConnell has brains and knows how to plan and carry out a plan that will take a while. He doesn’t go on impulse. He will carve up Trump like a medical student in gross anatomy dissecting their cadaver.

    • Don’t forget that McConnell actually has enough power to tell his state’s party apparatus what will happen *if* he should get toppled or pushed aside: He’s the state’s SENIOR senator. With that, he can make sure a hell of a lot more money flows back to Kentucky than Rand Paul could ever hope to do. Paul’s just been in the Senate for a decade. McConnell is THIRD in terms of overall seniority (and should Iowa’s Chuck Grassley decide not to run for re-election next year, McConnell would move to second place) while Paul is 48th (and, he’s 9th among the 11 who entered the Senate with him).

      And, in terms of the national party, McConnell has a lot more sway in pushing money towards congressional candidates than Paul and I think McConnell’s name endorsement-wise would push more voters towards (or against) a candidate than Paul’s name.

      All Trump cares about is how a candidate is going to pay homage and swear fealty to Trump. Trump would support a Democrat who gives him the proper lip service (ass-kissing) over a GOPer who doesn’t give the proper–or enough–lip service.

  3. I like your opening paragraph. Very descriptive.

    I miss being able to “like” the comments on your new format. Especially following this particular opinion.

    • We will get this repaired. Our wonderful tech person is in Texas in rolling blackouts. It’s been an incredible year and it’s only the second week in February.

  4. However much Moscow Mitch wants to ignore Trump & just get on with his agenda (majority leader in 2022), the humiliated & offended ex-president won’t let any measure of tranquility take root. He’ll carry on attacking Repugnicans who defy him in any way, which includes McConnell. The GOP’s going to be kept busy patching its seams while Trump will be fending off lawsuits. That should allow Biden to actually get some much-needed rebuilding of America accomplished.


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