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  • Writer's pictureNancy Dafoe

Republicans Desperate to Win but Not to Govern, McConnell the Prototype

Updated: Nov 18, 2019

Republicans desperately want to win public office, but they don’t appear to want to govern. This statement has proven true over and over in recent years, from state to Federal levels, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell seems prototypical of this lust for power without responsibility.

McConnell has created the blueprint for other Republican “leaders” of inaction to follow. Other than blocking any kind of security measure against foreign (Russian) interference in American elections and stacking courts with archconservatives, McConnell has made his long and corrupt tenure as Senate Majority Leader into a wall against meaningful legislation, Trump’s kind of wall. McConnell blocks actions in the Senate which could actually improve people’s lives, including those of his constituents.

Once a glorious and respected institution of the American body politic, the United States Senate has become a joke, a nasty one, and a monolith of dead ends for positive change in Americans’ lives. Through trickery and bending rules for the benefit of the Republican Party and retaining power indefinitely, McConnell has effectively stopped any kind of vote, any kind of conversation or dialogue on over 300 bills passed by the House of Representatives in 2019 to date. In other words, there will be no governing—only hanging onto power—on McConnell’s dangerous brand of watch.

Although Republicans have been disinterested in governing, gaining office is another matter. McConnell’s style as Majority Leader is no holds barred, backhand, lobbyist-loving doings to gain office, clandestine deals with a sanctioned Russian oligarch to invest in an aluminum plant in McConnell’s home state of Kentucky. Sanctions relief for Oleg Deripaska’s company came not from Congress but indirectly from McConnell and directly from Trump’s hand-picked Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

Without giving many details of what promises to be a shady transaction, even likely illegal and certainly unwise, Putin gains another foothold in the U.S. for Russia. The aluminum plant slated for Ashland, Kentucky has already been revealed as 40% Russian owned and operated. This Russian company will be making parts for the Defense Department. Anyone not receiving Russian money explicitly see a problem with this arrangement? Of course, no one in the Trump administration is challenging the unusual move for obvious reasons. Bringing any kind of jobs to Kentucky will all but guarantee McConnell’s reelection despite his record of self-dealing and inaction for the people of Kentucky and all Americans.

“A number of us supported the administration,” McConnell said in his typically dry, cynical, and ironic manner of understatement. “That position ended up prevailing,” he continued. It is interesting to note that he did not use a phrase such as “President Trump won the election,” but rather “that position ended up prevailing,” an odd turn of phrase unless we recognize the implicit admission in McConnell’s statement.

Trump, like McConnell, has no interest in governing, just in winning, in gaining power, in making more money off the backs of Americans who did not elect him and those who genuinely believed in him. Governing, as in making government work for the people, is hard and takes expertise, intelligence, dialogue, research, thoughtfulness, and time—not something in which this current group of Republicans in the White House and Congress have even the remotest interest, unfortunately for all Americans.

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