Monday, February 04, 2013

What Intransigence Costs Senator McConnell

Mitch McConnell, the senate majority leader and senior senator from my state, is a regular Republican, as establishment as they come.  I don't usually agree with him on policy, but I do respect him as an effective politician, capable of making a deal and moving the government forward.  When he wants to.

At the beginning of President Obama's first term, Sen. McConnell made a fateful decision to oppose the president on everything, no matter what cost to the country.  He said that the highest priority of the Republican Party was to make Obama a one-term president.  That decision did not work out very well for the country, or for Sen. McConnell.

A new poll shows that only 17% of Kentucky voters plan to vote for Senator McConnell, even though he is the highest ranking Republican in the U.S. Senate and the head of the Republican Party in the commonwealth.  Even among Republicans, only 34% are sure they will vote for him.  By contrast, 34% of Kentuckians are already sure they will vote against him.  The rest will wait and see who his opponents are.  Indeed, he is likely to get a primary challenge from the Tea Party.

I think Sen. McConnell can improve his chances of re-election by dropping his policy of obstruction and going back to ordinary politics.  He has already made a promising beginning in the compromise to raise taxes on the rich and to raise the debt ceiling.  More of that will be better for him, and for the country.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am even less generous in my opinion of Senator McConnell than you are, but it seems overwhelmingly unlikely to me that he does not get re-elected.

McConnell's greatest risk of losing would be in a tea-party-launched primary challenge, and compromising on taxes and spending is would increase, not decrease, the chances of that.

gruntled said...

I do see the danger to Sen. McConnell of a Tea Party challenge, but I think he will have to face them down to get his party back. I believe, as I have written several times, that the Tea Party has shot its bolt, and will begin to recede. He may be challenged in the primary, but I think he can win.

Mac said...

“I think Sen. McConnell can improve his chances of re-election by dropping his policy of obstruction and going back to ordinary politics. He has already made a promising beginning in the compromise to raise taxes on the rich and to raise the debt ceiling. More of that will be better for him, and for the country.”

Why is it that only Republicans are required to abandon principle in favor of “ordinary politics”? When are you going to ask Harry Reid to do the same--and the President-—both of whom have taken a staunch my way or the highway stance?

infidel said...

To be fair the senater said this after the mid term elections when the Dems. were trounced.Not at the beginning of Obama's first term as many liberals like to say. And of course he didn't say no matter the cost to the county...

gruntled said...

Infidel: You are right about the timing. And, of course, the estimate of the potential cost is mine.

In that speech, though, the senator did say that the main Republican agenda was to reduce governmental deficits. Yet it is hard to square that with all the actions he took in the Bush years to turn the Clinton surplus into those gigantic deficits in the first place.

infidel said...

Governments shouldn't have large surpluses because they,left or right, will find ways to waste it. That is what ordinary government does...