There is an article at the Wall Street Journal in which Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell does a great service for the GOP and the country. He tells it like it is about America's frustration with government, what the TEA party is up to and why he clearly deserves to be the next majority leader of the US Senate.
"The most important election yesterday wasn't the governor of New Jersey and it wasn't the governor of Virginia, it was the special election for Congress in South Alabama, where a candidate who said the shutdown was a great idea, the president was born in Kenya, and that he opposed Speaker Boehner came in second." The victory of a more electable Republican, is significant, Mr. McConnell says. To govern, parties must win. To win, parties must "run candidates that don't scare the general public, [and] convey the impression that we could actually be responsible for governing, you can trust us—we're adults here, we're grown-ups."
EXACTLY! Sure, you can grouse all you want about the fact that McConnell wasn't able to single-handedly repeal Obamacare, but just listen for a minute. Expecting him to have THAT much power is a disconnect from reality.
Is the GOP in civil war? "No, I don't think so." Everyone agrees on the central issue: "We would all love to get rid of ObamaCare. If we had the votes to do it we'd do it in a heartbeat. It's the single worst piece of legislation that's been passed in modern times."But "we have a disability right now—it's called in the Senate '55 of them and 45 of us.' I'm not great at math, but 55 is more than 45. . . . I think it's irresponsible for some people to characterize themselves as sort of true conservatives, to mislead their followers into believing you can get an outcome that you can't possibly get."
And Mitch is spot on in his analysis of what many in the TEA party are really up to.
The tea party, he says, consists of "people who are angry and upset at government—and I agree with them." But "I think, honestly, many of them have been misled. . . . They've been told the reason we can't get to better outcomes than we've gotten is not because the Democrats control the Senate and the White House but because Republicans have been insufficiently feisty. Well, that's just not true, and I think that the folks that I have difficulty with are the leaders of some of these groups who basically mislead them for profit. . . . They raise money . . . take their cut and spend it" on political action that hurts Republicans.
In his usual calm, reasoned and measured approach to political reality Mitch has provided us once again with a voice of reason. We need to elect adults, not tantrum throwing protesters. We cannot beat back the Obama agenda until we get a majority in the Senate and hopefully control the White House. And for all the good ideas that many in the TEA party have, and their understandable anger, many of those who are taking the lead in that group are in it for the money and the power and the prestige who are misleading their followers.
Are members of the tea party on the ground being fooled by operators, profit makers and cynics? "Yes," he said, followed by a brief silence. He declined to say more, but emphasized again that "I make a distinction between the leaders and the followers. I mean, I think a lot of well-meaning people are sending money to organizations having no idea they're gonna spend all that money against Republicans. Because they're being misled."
I've been saying these things for a long time now. Thank you Mitch McConnell for saying them so much better.
Oh, and thank you for saying without a flinch something else I've been saying all along too.
He refers to the Senate Conservatives Fund. "That's the one I'm prepared to be specific about." The fund "has elected more Democrats than the Democratic Senatorial Committee over the last three cycles." The group is targeting Mr. McConnell with ads slamming his leadership during the shutdown. "Right now they're on the air in obvious coordination with Harry Reid's super PAC—Harry Reid's!—in the same markets, at roughly the same amount, at the same time." But says he isn't worried about his own race: "I don't wanna be overly cocky, but I'm gonna be the Republican nominee next year."
Damned right you are Mitch.