“The looming defeat of the Senate health care bill marks a dramatic low point in the otherwise lofty political career of Mitch McConnell, the chamber’s majority leader who is often described as a disciplined “master tactician” of the Senate accustomed to methodically building legislative victories for Republicans.” CNN (7/18/2017)
“After that effort failed, McConnell has thus far proven to be unable to unite his party behind an Obamacare repeal vote. While it’s certainly not easy to unite a party with a clear divide between conservatives and the more moderate-to-liberal types, McConnell brought this on himself” The Daily Wire (7/18/2017)
Tuesday has not only marked the tragic end of the Republicans’ attempt to repeal Obamacare, but should also trigger the resignation of GOP Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
I don’t at all envy Majority Leader McConnell’s position as he’s been stuck in the classic “between a rock and a hard place” since Trump has become President. However, his performance compared to other Congressional leadership is sub-par and he has just failed to deliver on so many occasions. The one and only success we can contribute to McConnell is getting the confirmation of Neil Gorsuch as Supreme Court justice.
Meanwhile, Trump’s nominees and the House of Representatives’s bills are still backed up on the Senate’s consideration queue while it has been trying to hash out an Obamacare repeal. Granted, the US Senate is in fact the slowest organ of government in the executive and legislative branch, but Majority Leader McConnell hasn’t seemed to been doing enough to fix that problem.
And even on that front, he has also betrayed his own principles. Despite being outraged when Democrats used the “nuclear option” to start overriding GOP filibusters in the Senate while they were still in power, McConnell has also continued to utilize those tactics as Majority Leader, hoping to impress Trump by getting as many nominees as possible through. He even expanded it to push through Trump’s Supreme Court nominee.
But the Obamacare repeal has really rattled his cage. This repeal has been no piece of cake and it took the House of Representatives two different tries to get it right. In the Senate however, McConnell has now tried three times and failed. Despite giving up, he is giving it one last shot by letting the original repeal bill go to the floor of the Senate. After all, what does he have to lose?
But while McConnell has long been a fixture in the Senate, perhaps its time for a younger and more energetic Senate leader to take over. By injecting new and fresh blood into the Senate leadership, the GOP will be able to reinvent themselves while stirring things up in the Senate. Yes, McConnell has years of experience but that experience may have also made him blind to the reality that things are changing and shifting, even in the Senate where they usually don’t.
McConnell is now head of a majority that is facing a very fierce opposition from the Democrats and who have shown, despite their inner divides, that they are able to unite to form a solid wall against the Republicans’ advance. McConnell may need to be much more firm with his own GOP senators. After all, when Senators like Rand Paul (R-KY) or Ted Cruz (R-TX) refuse to support an imperfect repeal, they are actually supporting Obamacare by ensuring it will stay the law of the land.
I don’t claim to have access to the inner workings and deliberations of the Senate but I just don’t see McConnell as the kind of person who would know when to sweet talk and when to whip his party into line. McConnell has certainly had successes in the Senate but unless something drastic changes, it seems the heydays are over for him. So while we have a new President, a new majority, and a new opportunity to make America great again, maybe it’s also time for a new Majority Leader. Because these chances don’t last forever and it is of the utmost importance that Republicans are able to score significant legislative victories before the first round of midterms arrive in 2018.
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