Mitch McConnell: Zombie Resuscitator, Hail Mary Quarterback, and Savior of the Republic

50 Dead Men Walking

Typical of today’s impeachment analysis are articles like these:

James Bruno, The GOP’s Waiting for Godot Moment: Republicans keep hoping for a savior from Trump. But the question is whether they can save themselves.

Washington Post, Republican defense of Trump grows more frantic and disjointed as Ukraine scandal escalates

Politico, Vow of impeachment silence spreads in Senate: Senators from both parties are using their roles as potential jurors to remain silent on impeachment. 

Politico, Evangelicals have stuck by Trump. But polls hint at trouble ahead: Backlash from Trump’s Syria decision has left him scurrying to shore up a critical element of his base.

With these thoughts in mind, let us think a little more about the upcoming trial in the Senate.

And about Moscow Mitch McConnell.

What Three Things Do We Know about Moscow Mitch?

  1. We know he has the morals of a sea slug. And saying so may well be an insult to sea slugs.
  2. We know he is fixated on one thing: saving the Republican majority in the Senate, so as to cement his own power, ensure that tax policy is friendly to plutocrats, and ensure that the judiciary is friendly to plutocrats.
  3. And I am pretty sure he has figured out what I have figured out: that, unless something happens to derail the oncoming train, a whole bunch of his caucus are dead men walking. Either they will be primaried and replaced by unelectable Trump cultists. Or they will lose in the general election.

Knowing those three things, let us pose this question:

What Game is Moscow Mitch Planning to Pay with the Forthcoming Impeachment Trial?

Based on logic and the best available evidence, here is the answer to the question. Moscow Mitch is planning a long and fair trial which (1) Trump and his defenders will botch up beyond belief and which (2), if McConnell’s luck holds, will drive a stake through the heart of the Cult of Trump.

In other words, logic applied to the available evidence indicates that McConnell is planning to throw the biggest Hail Mary pass in the history of the Republic.

The alternative is that Trump succeeds, any remaining skeptics of the Cult of Trump are expelled from The Party Formerly Known as the Republican Party. And The Party Formerly Known as the Republican Party continues to do well, for a while, in Wyoming, but shortly becomes as extinct as the Whigs.

Hail Mary.gif

The Plot Thickens

plot thickens

The Postulated Plot

I have previously argued these interrelated points. First, William P. Barr did not come to Washington to fall on his sword for Donald Trump—or to occupy the same jail cell where Nixon’s attorney general severed 19 months.

I have also argued that, in the current situation, and given his economic and professional circumstances, William P. Barr likewise did not come to Washington to serve for a second time as attorney general, out of a mere abstract interest in doing good and serving justice.

I have argued that William P. Barr is a man with a plan; that that plan is, most probably, to get Donald Trump out of office with a Spiro Agnew style immunity agreement; and that this postulated plot was most probably organized at Barr’s law firm, Kirkland & Ellis.

The Postulated Plot Progresses

Today’s news is that William P. Barr has persuaded The Donald to nominate, as his deputy, to succeed Rod Rosenstein, one Jeffry Rosen, who is currently the Deputy Secretary of Transportation—serving, by the way, under the Transportation Secretary, Elaine Chao, wife of Mitch McConnell.

And what was Mr. Rosen doing prior to his service in the Transportation Department?

Mr. Rosen was senior partner at, you guessed it, Kirkland & Ellis.

The boys and girls at Kirland have a tendency to be too clever by half. But, even so, they are damn fine lawyers. And not about to have a prolonged stay in the hoosegaw for obstructing justice.

Watch this channel for further developments. I think The Donald is being thoroughly snookered and that his goose is about to be well and truly cooked.

 

Mitch McConnell Finds His Inner Stateman

turtle

McConnell Statement on Secretary Mattis

“It is regrettable that the President must now choose a new Secretary of Defense. But I urge him to select a leader who shares Secretary Mattis’s understanding of these vital principles and his total commitment to America’s servicemembers.”

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) issued the following statement regarding Secretary of Defense James Mattis:

“I believe it’s essential that the United States maintain and strengthen the post-World War II alliances that have been carefully built by leaders in both parties. We must also maintain a clear-eyed understanding of our friends and foes, and recognize that nations like Russia are among the latter.

“So I was sorry to learn that Secretary Mattis, who shares those clear principles, will soon depart the Administration. But I am particularly distressed that he is resigning due to sharp differences with the President on these and other key aspects of America’s global leadership.

“It is regrettable that the President must now choose a new Secretary of Defense. But I urge him to select a leader who shares Secretary Mattis’s understanding of these vital principles and his total commitment to America’s servicemembers.”

Wheels within Wheels, or, An Intention to Fail?

wheels

This morning—continuing his valiant struggle to find a method in the madness—Jonathan Chait asks: Why Is McConnell Rushing Through a Trumpcare Bill Everybody Hates?

The House bill—which McConnell apparently intends to photocopy and them ram through the Senate—is too liberal for the Republican right and too conservative to pass the Senate.

While McConnell’s plan might be necessary in order to keep the party’s legislative strategy on track, it is highly and even delusionally optimistic, given the state of his vote count. It also runs counter to the Senate’s institutional culture. Senators cherish their power to shape and control legislation. A strategy of photocopying the House bill and ramming it through seems almost designed to violate the Senatorial ego.

This raises a question: Is it designed to violate the Senatorial ego? And thus to fail? Neither the conservative revolt nor McConnell’s plan make a lot of sense if you view them as strategies designed to yield the most right-wing health-care policy that is attainable. They do make sense as a strategy designed to insulate Republicans from failure.

Republicans have made two promises that can’t be reconciled. They promised to repeal Obamacare, and to replace it with a terrific law that would take care of everybody. As the House Republican ad put it, they promised, “more choices and better care, at lower costs. … peace of mind to people with preexisting conditions … without disrupting existing coverage.” Those things cannot be reconciled. If Republicans repeal Obamacare, they will put in place something that not only fails to provide the better, cheaper care they have promised the country, but does not meet even the minimal threshold of access to basic care for people who currently receive it.

From that standpoint, the winning play for the GOP might be to try to repeal and replace Obamacare but fail. If they are seen trying and failing to repeal the law, it might upset the base, but most Republican lawmakers will have their opposition to Obamacare on the record. And if it is to fail, it should fail quickly, so they can move on to cutting taxes.

UPDATE! UPDATE! STOP THE PRESSES!

Paul Ryan is in on the conspiracy to make the bill fail.