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This Has to Be the End of the Road for Mitch McConnell


Mitch McConnell has to be finished as the caucus leader for the Republicans in the Senate. Now. He has to resign, and if he won’t, then that caucus needs to get together and force him out.

Now. Not next week, not next month, not after this election cycle. Now.

McConnell gave a speech Monday demanding a “yes” vote on that atrocious border bill that Melissa Mackenzie and I both wrote about here at The American Spectator on Tuesday and discuss in the next episode of The Spectacle podcast. By now you already know how utterly awful a bill it was. And after McConnell blathered on for a while about what a good bill it was, the public outrage over the bill was so white-hot that three hours later McConnell relented:

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell recommended that Republicans vote against the $118 billion border security bill, at least for now. Even Oklahoma Senator Jim Lankford, one of the bill’s authors, indicated that it was too soon to bring the bill to a vote. The sudden about-face on the part of the GOP caucus left Democrat Brian Shatz saying on X, “Just gobsmacked. I’ve never seen anything like it. They literally demanded specific policy, got it, and then killed it.”

The cloture vote scheduled for Wednesday is certain to fail. Without the momentum of its much-anticipated release and the tactical advantage of not giving anyone time to read it, it seems that if the bill does pass, it is unlikely to resemble the atrocity unveiled Sunday night.

I quoted this from Ace of Spades in the open to The Spectacle episode, and I think it bears repeating here:

McConnell’s determination to ram through yet another Comprehensive Amnesty will have several terrible aftereffects.

On the strictly political side, it gives Biden and Schumer what they actually wanted all along: A way to blame Republicans for the Democrats’ border catastrophe. Democrats will claim the solution to the open border crisis was at hand, but Republicans rejected it for political reasons.

Indeed, turncoat “Republican” liberal James Lankford is going out on all the political talk shows making exactly that case.

On the policy side, Democrats will now insist that this weak “deal” establish the contours of any future “deal.” In other words: The Republicans have announced that they seek only the tiniest breadcrumbs in exchange for mass amnesty; why would Democrats ever agree to offer more than breadcrumbs in any “deal”? McConnell has committed us, out to the medium future, to sharing the Democrats’ Amnesty First, Security Last (or Never) agenda.

The “deal,” by the way, contained a Very Special Betrayal for conservatives: The bill would make the ultra-liberal DC Circuit Court the only court empowered to decide questions about immigration and border enforcement. We’ve seen some good rulings coming out of the Fifth Circuit on the border; this “deal” would take all cases away from any conservative-tilted court and give them all to the leftwing DC circuit.

This is a “deal.” You guys are excited by this “deal,” right?

Ace has it exactly right.

What McConnell has done in taking an issue that had gone absolutely, utterly septic for the Democrat Party — an issue that held the promise to ruin Democrats in all federal (and quite a few state) elections this fall — and offer a Solyndra-style bailout in the form of that border bill has been to utterly and completely neutralize the issue.

Because Republican voters now know that the GOP candidate running for the Senate in their states is utterly worthless on the issue no matter what he or she says.

They know this because they now know that the Republican leadership is completely willing to sell them out on the border issue. But for the public outcry, they’d have already done it with this atrocity of a bill. That would have gone straight to the House floor, and it would have been up to Speaker Mike Johnson and his leadership team to keep it from getting a vote while being pulverized by the Washington media and political class.

Johnson has all of 219 votes in his caucus. There is little reason to believe he could hold that slim majority together to kill that bill if it came over to the House.

And McConnell was more than happy to jam up Johnson and keep him from having a policy win. McConnell was quite happy to stab Johnson in the throat the way he repeatedly stabbed John Boehner in the throat before Boehner realized it was better to join the D.C. slimeball cabal than to attempt to fight it (and, yes, that didn’t take very long, to be sure).

Maybe Johnson is made of sterner stuff. But maybe we’ve been through enough of this crap.

Maybe it’s time that there are consequences to this kind of Failure Theater.

McConnell is a cat with nine-times-nine lives. But the abject mess he made with this border bill, which has Democrats like Schatz pointing and guffawing like drunken hillbillies at a cockfight, should be enough to finish him.

Certainly because every member of the Senate GOP caucus who didn’t publicly trash this bill now looks like an utter buffoon — most especially James Lankford — or, perhaps more appropriately, James Walktheplankford, given what McConnell did in sending him out to commit political suicide in “negotiating” this utter surrender. These are the people who have remained loyal to McConnell, by far the least popular politician in Washington and the one constant factor in the Republican Party’s thorough underachievement in election after election in every cycle since 2008.

By now they can’t possibly miss the fact that McConnell is an anchor dragging the whole party down. Even if they’re establishment hacks like he is, they have to recognize that whatever magic the Turtle once offered has evaporated, so much so that this week’s debacle is the future of their caucus’ performance until new blood comes in.

Most importantly, though, what Ace said is the most important reason McConnell has to go. Because of the terrible border deal McConnell had Lankford craft in concert with the execrable Chuck Schumer and his flunkies Chris Murphy and Kyrsten Sinema, the GOP is now locked in a box of its own making. They’re in no position to refuse various forms of amnesty or even encouragement of further migrant invasions — because GOP leadership has already agreed to those.

There is only one option available to break out of that box, and that is to replace McConnell and the GOP leadership. The same people cannot present different conditions for negotiation.

The good news is that in Johnson and the House leadership, you have something to build from. The House already passed a legitimate border security bill nine months ago. Sure, Schumer says it’s a non-starter in the Senate, but a new Republican Senate leadership that was actually interested in representing Republican voters could force Schumer to the table with the House bill as the starting point.

And when — not if, when, because Chuck Schumer has never negotiated in good faith in his entire miserable life — he refuses to do a deal with a newly unified GOP on Capitol Hill, at least we can return to our natural point of origin.

Which is an understanding that Biden’s border invasion was no accident, that it’s the result of a deliberate policy agenda the Democrats have intended for a long time, that it’s an intentional disregard of our national security, and that the people most damaged by it are core Democrat voters. And that what Republicans are asking for is a return to the successful policies of the Trump administration, which had slowed illegal immigration to a near-standstill before Biden blew up that status quo.

That understanding is honest, and it’s truthful. We don’t have it right now because of what McConnell has done. That it has blown up in his face must carry political consequences of the most severe kind.

He has to go. Now. Beat it, Mitch — you’ve done enough damage.

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The American Spectator

The American Spectator is a conservative U.S. monthly magazine covering news and politics, edited by R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr. and published by the non-profit American Spectator Foundation.

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