Any of my regular readers know I view the Trump administration as an organized criminal enterprise. It’s not much of a stretch to view the way Mitch McConnell has handled the Republican Senate Caucus in a similar vein. Hence my theory of the two, turf splitting DC Dons. The big difference is that McConnell primarily spreads the money around to help elect Republican Senators who are then beholden to him. Trump primarily just pockets the money and really doesn’t care about the GOP. Along those lines I have to ponder how far back this relationship goes, what it entails and how enduring it will be. With that in mind, let’s explore.
Unlike Trump, McConnell actually has a political philosophy; he is not playing a role. McConnell, while primarily evil, is very intelligent and skilled in the ways of Washington. When he met Trump he had to have accessed him as something well short of a very stable genius. In fact after Trump’s nomination became inevitable McConnell probably saw him as a useful idiot.
McConnell has a sense of loyalty to his GOP Senators. He has been in both the minority and the majority and like all in Washington I’m sure he finds being in the majority to be the better gig. He works hard (and funnels a lot of money) to get his boys (and they are mainly boys) reelected.
Perhaps the biggest factor in the 2016 election took place in September of 2016 and receives almost no press. The Obama administration and its top intelligence officers convened a meeting with joint congressional leadership asking for a united front statement to the public about Russian interference in the then ongoing election. McConnell balked, singlehandedly stopping the warning to the voting public. He said, “He would consider any effort by the White House to challenge the Russians publically an act of partisan politics.” I am of the opinion that no single event enabled the upset of Hillary Clinton; it was more of a perfect storm. That being said this incident was in my option the most significant. It played a larger role than even James Comey’s actions.
Had the government made a September bipartisan statement of fact that Russia was interfering in the election in an effort to aid Trump I strongly feel Clinton would have won. There would have been controversy, spin and denials; but it would have been enough to stop Trump. McConnell saw a pliable nominal Republican as a better deal for him than a strong, cerebral Democrat who had his number. Had McConnell and Trump already agreed on their turf splitting deal by September? Since Trump was already the nominee the answer is almost undoubtedly in the affirmative.
Reports in the New York Times and Washington Post this last weekend solidifying reason to believe in a long standing and ongoing Trump-Putin unholy alliance only make this incident more important and disgusting.
Long ago I predicted McConnell would still be in Washington long after Trump was gone (or at least that is McConnell’s intention). Washington is too small of a turf to have two Dons split it. McConnell knows Washington and how it works. Trump and his band of incompetent advisors don’t have a clue.
McConnell stays at least conditionally loyal to his caucus members. Trump has thrown people overboard at a record rate for a White House occupant. Some, like Michael Cohen and Michael Flynn have already turned on him. I predict there are other we don’t know about who have already turned (Don McGahn?) and countless others who will. As I’ve said repeatedly, when McConnell does Trump is toast.
Note: This article was motivated by and drew on Greg Sargent’s January 14th op-ed Washington Post article entitled: Trump is doing immense damage. He has a hidden helper.
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