Disgraceful post-impeachment speech proves Mitch McConnell is unfit to lead Senate GOP
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WASHINGTON, D.C., February 16, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – Donald Trump is gone (for now), and his second impeachment ended in failure. But before we can move on, there needs to be a reckoning for what this debacle revealed about the Republicans still in office – starting with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
From the start, McConnell has tried to split the difference between the conservative base and the GOP swamp. He was not among the seven Republicans who joined Democrats in voting for conviction, but made clear in a floor speech that he voted to acquit not because he was standing up to the incitement lie, but simply because former presidents are “constitutionally not eligible for conviction.”
The January 6 rioters stormed the Capitol, McConnell claimed, “because they had been fed wild falsehoods by the most powerful man on Earth — because he was angry he’d lost an election (...) There is no question that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of that day.”
“The people who stormed this building believed they were acting on the wishes and instructions of their President,” he went on. “And their having that belief was a foreseeable consequence of the growing crescendo of false statements, conspiracy theories, and reckless hyperbole which the defeated President kept shouting into the largest megaphone on planet Earth.”
Say, remember when a deranged supporter of 2016 Democrat presidential finalist Bernie Sanders opened fire on Republican members of Congress, hospitalizing House Republican Whip Steve Scalise for months? McConnell didn’t feel the need to respond to that with any lectures about the dangers of inflammatory rhetoric or stoking extremism. Instead, we got, “I know the Senate will embrace that spirit (of bipartisanship) today as we come together.”
Remember, the narrative that Trump’s election challenge provoked the riot is not a good-faith argument; it’s a post-hoc justification for continuing to hold Trump responsible after the original theory, that Trump’s January 6 speech inspired it, fell apart upon reviewing Trump’s actual words and learning that the rioting was started by people who either left the speech early or skipped it entirely.
But McConnell is parroting it anyway.
Democrats are ascendant, the Left is as fanatical as it has ever been, the GOP is divided, and countless conservatives feel more abandoned by their party than ever before … yet instead of trying to address the concerns of 61 percent of Republicans in a productive way and re-unify the Right in time to ward off looming threats, McConnell chose instead to pander to Democrats, to the media, and to the hive of donors, lobbyists, and hangers-on that comprise the dominant culture of Washington, D.C. In short, this “leader” sided yet again with the Swamp against the people he’s ostensibly there to lead.
Why? At The Federalist, Young Americans for Freedom vice chairman Christopher Bedford offers a likely answer:
After four years of yelling “MAGA!” while pushing his own classic, corporate Republican policies, McConnell had hoped to rid himself and his conference of the conservative populist nationalism the former president had championed and go back to the way things were. He wants a return to promising to tackle illegal immigration before winking at corporate America that nothing will change. He wants to raise money on fighting the abortion of our infants while comfortably lifting nary a finger. He wants to shrug and change the subject when asked about men dominating women’s sports and using women’s bathrooms. He wants fewer taxes and more wars. Hell, he wants someone to blame for the Republican losses in the Georgia special election, and with them the loss of his seat at the head of the Senate.
Instead, his push to impeach ended with rebuke from his own conference. Angry and embarrassed, he blamed his own colleagues as well as the former president, performing a 20-minute attack ad for the left to use on Republicans for the next election cycle and beyond.
Longtime LifeSiteNews readers know that Mitch McConnell has never been nearly as effective, principled, or conservative as his fans insist, but this is simply too much. If naked contempt of one’s own base isn’t enough to finally oust him from leadership, it will be the surest sign yet that the Republican Party – as a national organization, at least – simply lacks the will to survive.