- The Washington Times - Monday, August 29, 2022

Back in his home state earlier this month, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, downplayed—make that, gratuitously badmouthed—the prospects of the GOP reclaiming control of the Senate in the November midterms.
 
Without saying so explicitly in his Aug. 18 speech before a Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce luncheon, Mr. McConnell all but conceded that he could well remain minority leader in the 118th Congress next year.

“I think there’s probably a greater likelihood the House flips than the Senate. Senate races are just different. They’re statewide. Candidate quality has a lot to do with the outcome,” he said, when asked for his predictions about the 2022 midterms, according to NBC News.

“Right now, we have a 50-50 Senate and a 50-50 country, but I think when all is said and done this fall, we’re likely to have an extremely close Senate, either our side up slightly or their side up slightly,” said Mr. McConnell, 80, now in his seventh Senate term.



That analysis is puzzling because the Senate is currently split evenly between the two parties. That means the GOP needs a net pickup of just one seat to take control of the upper chamber.
 
To petulantly dismiss the prospect of a red wave election in November, given the historical precedent that the party that doesn’t control the presidency wins big in the midterms, is talk you’d never, ever hear from Democrats.
 
Mr. McConnell—a senator since 1985—surely remembers that the 1994 midterms during the presidency of Democrat Bill Clinton netted the GOP a whopping 54 House seats and eight in the Senate. He likewise must remember that in the 2010 midterms of the presidency of Democrat Barack Obama, Republicans picked up a jaw-dropping 64 House seats, along with six in the Senate.
 
The Clinton and Obama administrations, while far too liberal for our tastes, weren’t nearly the flaming trainwreck that the Biden presidency has been. In just his first 19 months, President Joe Biden’s policies have given us inflation soaring to more than 9% year over year, national average gas prices still at least $1.25 a gallon higher than they were when he took office, a military withdrawal from Afghanistan that gifted the Taliban with $80 billion worth of U.S. military hardware, millions of illegal aliens streaming across our open southwestern borders, the waging of a pro-transgender war on (real) women, and a reverse-Robin Hood scheme to “forgive” student debt to buy votes.
 
Not surprisingly, then, a pair of “right track/wrong track” polls released on Aug. 24 both showed respondents think the country is going in the wrong direction by a gaping 40-point margin.
 
If Senate Republicans led by Mr. McConnell can’t parlay Mr. Biden’s omnishambles administration and the president’s 41.9% Real Clear Politics average job approval into a landslide on Nov. 8, there’s something terribly wrong. And that’s not a problem of “candidate quality” as Mr. McConnell suggests, but of his leadership—or lack thereof.

Mr. McConnell’s own favorability ratings in the polls are 31.2 points underwater. That’s far worse than Mr. Biden’s or those of Vice President Kamala Harris or even House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
 
Mr. McConnell’s jab about “candidate quality” was also a cheap shot at Republican primary voters and their preferred candidates, which aren’t always the nominees he favors.
 
It was almost as though Mr. McConnell would prefer not to have responsibility for governing and for Senate Republicans to continue to get rolled by his Democratic counterpart, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York, as they did on the pork-laden infrastructure bill a year ago this month.
 
The 19 Senate Republicans—including Mr. McConnell—who voted for the $1 trillion infrastructure boondoggle convinced themselves that doing so would somehow dissuade Mr. Schumer and his Democrats from ramming through their grossly wasteful $740 billion “Build Back Better Lite” bill euphemistically dubbed the Inflation Reduction Act.
 
How did that work out for them? (And just as an aside, where were the Senate Republicans raising the issue of the federal debt limit when all this reckless spending was going on?)
 
Fifteen GOP senators—again including Mr. McConnell—also voted against most Republican voters’ wishes on June 23 in support of Democrats’ gun-control law, which will do little or nothing to reduce the soaring violent crime rate Mr. Biden has presided over for the past year and a half.
 
With regard to openly disparaging his own side’s “candidate quality,” unless those remarks were some bizarre form of political “psy-ops” aimed at gaslighting Democrats, we can’t fathom why he would volunteer such opinions publicly. It’s something Mr. Schumer would never do.
 
All of the above is reason for Senate Republicans to depose Mr. McConnell (whether as minority or majority leader) in January.
 
As they say in the broadcast industry, Mr. McConnell “has a face for radio,” but he also has a voice for print. The octogenarian Kentuckian is neither telegenic nor particularly articulate.
 
For the sake of the party—and more importantly, for the sake of the country (specifically, saving it from further depredations by congressional Democrats and Mr. Biden)—Mr. McConnell needs to be replaced by someone younger, more attractive and articulate, and more media-savvy.

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