The Senate’s Mitch McConnell Problem - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
The Senate’s Mitch McConnell Problem
by
Sen. Mitch McConnell (CBS Sunday Morning/YouTube)

Ya can’t make it up.

In this year’s midterms, the Republican leader of the United States Senate went out of his way to defeat Republican candidates for the United States Senate.

Yes, you read that right.

Here, for example, is this headline from Breitbart:

Mitch McConnell Pulls PAC Ads Out of New Hampshire, Effectively Sabotaging GOP Candidate Don Bolduc

The story reported this: 

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) will pull all his super PAC’s money out of New Hampshire, effectively sabotaging Republican Senate candidate Gen. Don Bolduc.

The McConnell-backed Senate Leadership Fund will pull all its ads off television starting October 25, Shane Goldmacher of the News [sic] York Times reported Friday afternoon. The decision will rip $5.6 million away from Gen. Bolduc’s candidacy and greatly help incumbent Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-NH).

And, like clockwork, Bolduc has now lost his race to defeat Democrat incumbent senator Maggie Hassan.

Mitch McConnell (Bill Wilson/The American Spectator) spectator.org

Move now to Alaska. Here’s the headline from the Western Journal:

Op-Ed: Murkowski, with McConnell’s Money, Picks a Democrat Over the Alaska GOP

This gem of a story reported this: 

Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, censured by the Alaska Republican Party 18 months ago, is giving the state party’s grassroots leaders the back of her hand.

Or maybe it’s her middle finger. Murkowski is not only battling back against her own state party, which supported her in 2016 but not this year; she’s now going rogue on her Republican donors, who cannot be terribly happy with her move to try to keep House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in power.

Instead of supporting Nick Begich III, the Alaska Republican Party’s only endorsed candidate for Congress, Murkowski said the quiet part out loud: She will vote for Democratic Rep. Mary Peltola, who was ushered into office via the same open primary and ranked-choice voting system that helped Murkowski get to the Nov. 8 general election….

Through Peltola, Alaska’s senior senator is supporting Pelosi, President Joe Biden and the failed policies of the Democrats. If Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is supporting Murkowski at this point, then McConnell himself is sending Pelosi another foot soldier.

And just who was financing Murkowski over the Republican nominee, the state party’s endorsed candidate for the U.S. Senate, Kelly Tshibaka?

You guessed it. Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell. 

The Alaska GOP was so incensed that it passed a resolution censuring McConnell.

Move back down to the lower forty-eight, and here’s the headline from the Federalist on McConnell and the Arizona Senate race with Republican nominee Blake Masters:

McConnell Dumps Another Million Into Alaska To Save Murkowski After Ditching Arizona’s Blake Masters

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In other words, if you were a Trump-supporting Republican Senate nominee this election cycle, Mitch McConnell would rather that you lost than that he help create a Republican Senate.

For these and other reasons, the opposition directed toward McConnell from these three nominees and, notably, serving GOP senators is on the rise. Donald Trump, of course, is flatly opposed to reelecting the Kentucky senator as the GOP leader.

Florida’s newly reelected senator, Marco Rubio, has called for delaying a GOP conference vote on who will be leader, as, per Fox News, “more members of the party’s conference in the Senate appear to be bucking Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.”

Breitbart headlined one of those members like this

Josh Hawley Says He Will Not Support Mitch McConnell for Senate Majority Leader

Among other things, Hawley said this: 

I did not agree with the idea that you go out there and badmouth our own candidates in the middle of an election.

In addition, Florida’s senator Rick Scott and Utah’s newly reelected senator Mike Lee demanded that the leadership election be postponed.

In short, this is nothing more than a battle between former president Trump and the GOP Establishment as personified by McConnell. Ignoring the wishes of the GOP electorate in three different states, McConnell has gone out of his way to put obstacles in the way of GOP nominees because they are Trump supporters.

This problem will be resolved soon enough one way or another, and things may look very different by the time you read this. But make no mistake: the battle between Trump and the GOP Establishment, no matter how the Senate GOP leadership battle ends, is not going away.

Buckle in.

Jeffrey Lord
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Jeffrey Lord, a contributing editor to The American Spectator, is a former aide to Ronald Reagan and Jack Kemp. An author and former CNN commentator, he writes from Pennsylvania at jlpa1@aol.com. His new book, Swamp Wars: Donald Trump and The New American Populism vs. The Old Order, is now out from Bombardier Books.
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