Mitch McConnell’s daughter tweeted about the need to pass the Voting Rights Act
The Washington Post has published a quasi-profile of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. It is a halfhearted attempt at pretending that the man who led the Republican Party to do nothing except deregulate and lower taxes on the wealthiest Americans and corporations while fostering the rabid bigotry of a disenfranchisement-fearing white voter base (which led to electing Donald Trump) is somehow in a weird place now. He's the head of the minority party but the GOP's base dislikes him now more than ever, in no small part because Donald Trump likes using him as a punching bag.
The story hinges on this concept: "Yet in the months since the Jan. 6 attack, a different portrait of McConnell has taken shape. At 79, safely reelected last year to a seventh term and in his 16th year as the Senate's top Republican, McConnell is nonetheless increasingly playing the role of a conflicted and compromised booster of Trump's interests — not a leader with his own vision." What is this grand McConnell vision? According to the Post, it was his abilities at "leveraging chamber rules to thwart much of President Barack Obama's agenda and to block judicial nominees, including a key Supreme Court seat." Funny. That's not a "vision," that's just an individual's power grab using the most nihilistic machinations to achieve … what, exactly?
Buried in this strange profile is one interesting nugget of information. It points to McConnell's greatest failure through the years: his 180-degree turnaround on the Voting Rights Act.
McConnell has reportedly rewritten his ideological history. During an anniversary celebration for the Voting Rights Act in 2008, instead of speaking about how he had voted for Lyndon Johnson and had supposedly been frustrated by anti-civil rights political operatives in the late 1960s, he told the audience that what he had learned from Lyndon B. Johnson was how to "amass power and how to use it." At least he has rewritten it to reflect that craven person he has become.
But probably the most telling tidbit about Mitch McConnell is the social media back-and-forth within his own family. His youngest daughter, Porter McConnell, a liberal-leaning, campaign director for Take on Wall Street, had this to say about the For the People Act (H.R. 1) in February.
"We need to pass #HR1 & fight like hell against these bills. Because if they win, we can kiss democracy goodbye for another generation."
Since the election, legislators have filed 106 bills to make it harder to cast a ballot. We need to pass #HR1 & fight like hell against these bills. Because if they win, we can kiss democracy goodbye for another generation. (4/4)https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/30/us/republicans-voting-georgia-arizona.html\u00a0\u2026— Porter McConnell (@Porter McConnell) 1614260037
Two weeks later McConnell gave his response: "This is the worst bill I've observed in my time in the Senate."
House Democrats' H.R. 1 is a partisan assault on elections. It directly targets political speech and would centralize control of elections in all 50 states in Washington Democrats\u2019 hands. \n\nA dramatic one-party power grab over the way Americans vote.pic.twitter.com/ObjBkEnobS— Leader McConnell (@Leader McConnell) 1615581114
Since that time, McConnell has done his best to try and take apart any meaningful voting rights legislation. Besides his normal fundraising schedule and frequent calls to Sen. Joe Manchin, McConnell's biggest public statements in the past few months have attacked any attempts at coming to a nonpartisan agreement … on voting. The only end game here is oligarchical rule.
The story points out how McConnell, who may or may not have been very angry about being the target of the MAGA mobs trying to take over the government on Jan. 6, 2021, received nothing in return for protecting Donald Trump. In fact, Trump described McConnell like this: "He's a stupid person. I don't think he's smart enough." Trump was reportedly talking about McConnell's refusal to completely end the filibuster during his administration. Is Mitch McConnell not "smart enough"?
No, Mitch McConnell is just smart enough. But what the Post misses is that Mitch McConnell's greatest blindspot, in his craven crawl to the top of his party, is that he has never had any true vision for anything more than his power. Because to have true vision as a leader, one must be able to see a world in which one no longer exists.
In creating a world that demands individuals look out only for themselves with no regard for anyone or anything else, Mitch has helped to create a base of voters who don't care about anyone but themselves. In fostering a fear-mongering and anger-baiting platform of completely impotent policies, Mitch has just created a voting base that will blindly follow whoever tells them it's not their fault, and will attack whomever that false idol points at. McConnell is just reaping what he's sown.
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