Don't Blame McConnell - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Don’t Blame McConnell

A unnamed Republican senator has some harsh words for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in Bob Novak’s column today. As an opponent of the Senate immigration bill, I’m obviously not disappointed that McConnell didn’t do much on its behalf and ended up voting against it. But I nevertheless think the criticism of McConnell is unfair.

McConnell doesn’t just have obligations to the president, he has obligations to the Republican conference he was elected to lead. Even a party leader in the Senate can’t get too far ahead of the caucus, a fact Bob Dole alluded to when he joked that his real job was “Majority Pleader.” A majority of the caucus opposed the bill from the beginning and much of its Republican support was soft. And it’s worth noting that the bill faced very steep hurdles in the House, where it had even less GOP support, so there wasn’t much point in McConnell forcing senators to cast politically imprudent votes for a piece of legislation that was unlikely to become law.

Republicans would have been worse off if McConnell had insisted on sticking by a bill that didn’t have the support to go the distance.

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