You might not have caught this earlier in the week, but President Trump unloaded on Mitch McConnell with a vengeance in a statement reacting to a Jordan Boyd piece at the Federalist on McConnell’s shady relationship with China.
The statement was not kind:
The Democrats have Mitch McConnell and his lovely wife, Elaine “Coco” Chao, over a barrel. He and she will never be prosecuted, as per the last paragraphs of this story, as long as he continues to give the Radical Left the Trillions and Trillions of Dollars that they constantly DEMAND. He was afraid to use the “Debt Ceiling Card” in order to stop the most expensive waste of money in our Country’s history, to be spent on the Green New Deal, which will only cause one thing, a Depression. These expenditures are something our Country can never recover from. Mitch McConnell is not an Opposition Leader, he is a pawn for the Democrats to get whatever they want. He is afraid of them, and will not do what has to be done. A new Republican Leader in the Senate should be picked immediately!
Trump had trashed McConnell for his family’s business dealings with China, dealings Boyd’s piece covers in ire-raising detail, on Sunday and was excoriated in turn by the legacy corporate media.
We’re inside 11 weeks from a massively important midterm election, so from an aesthetic standpoint it isn’t particularly preferable to have this kind of flame-throwing between the two most prominent figures in the Republican Party.
Except Trump isn’t wrong. And he’s especially not wrong in his main point, which is that Mitch McConnell doesn’t need to continue as the GOP caucus leader in the Senate.
And while the Chinese dealings could well be a viable reason for that judgment, what really ought to disqualify McConnell is something else.
You surely saw this a few days back:
Then there was more:
Senate Minority Leader McConnell on the stakes for the upcoming midterm Senate elections:
"The issue this fall … do you want Chuck Schumer to be making these decisions or Mitch McConnell to be making these decisions?" pic.twitter.com/M1tMMHMFdI
— The Recount (@therecount) August 22, 2022
That was what really got all of this going, because Trump couldn’t contain himself. This was his reaction to McConnell’s statements:
‘Broken Down Hack’: Trump Skewers McConnell After Leader Doubts GOP Midterm Chances
Former President Donald Trump did not mince words in a statement critical of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).https://t.co/c76DGOLIGa
— National File (@NationalFile) August 22, 2022
Again, it’s probably better not to have this kind of gunfight going on inside the tent. But on the other hand, who in the hell is Mitch McConnell to be trashing his party’s own candidates in August of a midterm year?
You never, ever do that. You never see Democrats doing that to their candidates, do you?
And what’s the standard for candidate quality that Mitch McConnell wants to impose on the GOP? Does Mitch McConnell have some outstanding record of picking winners in Senate races? Wasn’t Mitch McConnell the clown who inflicted Martha McSally on the Republican voters of Arizona not once but twice? And hasn’t McConnell made a practice of sabotaging Republican Senate candidates for a very long time?
Why, yes. Yes, he has.
Or don’t you remember the Alabama special election of 2017? McConnell backed the ethically challenged state attorney general Luther Strange, whose popular support was quite limited, over Mo Brooks and Roy Moore. Brooks was the obvious choice, but because he was an outspoken conservative McConnell wouldn’t back him. Brooks got squeezed between Strange and Moore, Moore won, and then Moore lost to Doug Jones in the general election. McConnell did little to help him.
Go ask Joe Miller, who was sabotaged in the 2010 Alaska Senate election, what he thinks of Mitch McConnell.
Oh, we could go on all day. In the interest of brevity, we won’t go through the litany of rotten candidates McConnell has wasted resources on when voters in the states wanted nothing to do with them — and the ones McConnell has withheld resources from after the folks on the ground chose them over his anointees.
McConnell won’t even get Mitt Romney to endorse Mike Lee, for Pete’s sake. Mike Lee, one of the most reasonable and intelligent members of the GOP caucus, is running against that Bill Kristol–created Egg McMuffin guy from the 2016 election.
Probably worst of all, when Rick Scott tried to come up with a Contract with America–style covenant with the American people that would nationalize the election and provide a rising tide that would lessen the negative effect of lackluster candidates here and there — if your agenda is good your people can make the elections about the agenda and it doesn’t matter if they’ve got a skeleton or two in the closet — McConnell trashed him. He stupidly said the election was going to be a referendum on Joe Biden, thus giving the media a reason to prop up that doddering dunce.
Which they have done in ways beggaring all credibility.
Then McConnell proceeded to take a dive and give the Democrats passage of a whole raft of terrible legislation, and now there is a narrative that Biden is the Comeback Kid. He couldn’t even make a statement worth a damn about the Mar-a-Lago raid until a day and a half later, after everybody noticed his silence, and when he finally did it was the same weak sauce we’ve come to know is all he has to offer.
He’s been so successful in dumbing down public expectations of his job performance that people are still acting grateful that he stopped Merrick Garland from being a Supreme Court justice to succeed Antonin Scalia. Excuse me, but that wasn’t some monumental feat of legislative prowess; it was a baseline for doing his job. I’m reminded of that old Chris Rock comedy act about taking care of your kids.
And now Morphine Mitch McConnell wants to trash the current crop of Senate candidates as not good enough? And act like if the House flips and the Senate doesn’t it somehow isn’t Morphine Mitch’s fault?
When you’ve backed Kelly Loeffler and Martha McSally, you don’t get to act like you have some high standard for candidate quality.
And let’s remember something important: the quality of your candidate is only a relevant issue relative to his opponent.
So let’s talk about Mehmet Oz, whom McConnell was clearly talking about last week when he whined about candidate quality.
Mehmet Oz is problematic. It’s fair to say that. He’s said things on television that don’t exactly make hearts sing among voters on the center and right. And he’s not what you’d call an energetic or engaging politician at this point. That video in the supermarket about buying vegetables for his wife’s crudité was 100 percent cringeworthy. Just say “vegetable plate,” for crying out loud.
But Mehmet Oz’ opponent is John Fetterman — almost literally a cross between Karl Childers, Uncle Fester, and Oswald Cobblepot. Hollywood would struggle find a creepier villain than a trust-fund sponge with zero resume or personal achievements of any kind who can’t wear a collared shirt and who looks and, unfortunately, due to a recent stroke, sounds like a Cro-Magnon man.
By comparison to Fetterman, Mehmet Oz is Marcus Aurelius. And while he’s not the most compelling candidate, he is out covering the state of Pennsylvania while Fetterman hides.
Think about what a GOP Senate leader who didn’t suck would be doing with respect to that race — which, by the way, is anything but lost. The most recent polling has Oz down all of four points. That’s nothing — especially when Fetterman can’t even make complete sentences when he tries to spout neocommunist bromides.
How about Georgia? Oh, but Herschel Walker is a terrible candidate. That’s what we hear, and that’s what McConnell is covertly saying.
But Herschel Walker’s campaign is actually doing pretty well right now. As Erick Erickson, who is no particular fan of Trump but who is in Georgia and watching the race closely, said Thursday:
And, by the way, Raphael Warnock is not a good candidate. By any objective standard, he’s atrocious. So Herschel Walker doesn’t have to be John Kennedy or even Tim Scott to be a better candidate than Warnock.
Erickson is also correct about J.D. Vance in Ohio, who will win despite being panned by the McConnell clique as unworthy. J.D. Vance is a terrific candidate. He’s the antithesis of Morphine Mitch.
Ditto for Blake Masters in Arizona.
What do all of these guys have in common? None of them are Mitch McConnell’s kind of people. Mitch McConnell wants visionless establishmentarians who’ll keep that China-friendly Uniparty status quo, and these guys threw in with Trump and won their primaries.
And they won’t be McConnell drones when they get to Washington.
It’s far past the time when we can afford to accept the sabotage of the Republican Party’s fortunes by the obsolete Mitch McConnells of the world who have long since fallen out of touch with the party’s voters.
Yes, we need a red wave this fall. Yes, all the fundamentals are still there to produce it. And yes, the candidates are good enough. What isn’t good enough is the leadership. Let’s not forget that neither Joe Biden nor Kamala Harris is the most unpopular politician in Washington. Nor is Chuck Schumer or even Nancy Pelosi. No, Morphine Mitch McConnell has that honor. And yet his framing of this election is as a referendum on whether he gets to make the decisions in the Senate?
Maddeningly out of touch.
But if the activists and voters on the ground will ignore the sandbagging comments of Mitch McConnell and get out the vote, then maybe, just maybe, he’ll wake up on Nov. 9 and start counting votes in his caucus and realize he doesn’t have a majority within it.
Because Trump is right. We can’t get a new Senate leader fast enough. If we get one, we’ll go a long way toward having a Republican Party capable of leading the national revival we so badly need.