[guest post by Dana]
In one fell swoop, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell slammed the RNC for censuring Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger and strongly rebuked Donald Trump:
Senator Mitch McConnell, the minority leader, pushed back hard on Tuesday on the Republican Party’s censure of Representatives Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger and its characterization of Jan. 6 as “legitimate political discourse,” saying the riot was a “violent insurrection.”
The remarks from Mr. McConnell, the normally taciturn Kentucky Republican, added to a small but forceful chorus of G.O.P. lawmakers who have decried the action that the Republican National Committee took on Friday, when it officially rebuked Ms. Cheney and Mr. Kinzinger for participating in the House investigation of the Jan. 6 attack, accusing them of “persecution of ordinary citizens engaged in legitimate political discourse.”
Mr. McConnell repudiated that description, saying, “We saw it happen. It was a violent insurrection for the purpose of trying to prevent the peaceful transfer of power after a legitimately certified election, from one administration to the next. That’s what it was.”
“Traditionally, the view of the national party committees is that we support all members of our party, regardless of their positions on some issues…The issue is whether or not the R.N.C. should be sort of singling out members of our party who may have different views of the majority. That’s not the job of the R.N.C.”
Beating the same dead horse, Donald Trump threw more than a warning shot across McConnell’s bow, further exposing the intra-party divide. With the midterms happening later this year, drawing a line in the sand at this point is clearly a risky move. Here is Trump’s statement:
Mitch McConnell does not speak for the Republican Party, and does not represent the views of the vast majority of its voters. He did nothing to fight for his constituents and stop the most fraudulent election in American history. And he does nothing to stop the lawless Biden Administration, the invasion of our Borders, rising Inflation, Unconstitutional mandates, the persecution of political opponents, fact finding on the incompentent Afghanistan withdrawal, the giving away our energy independence, etc., which is all because of the fraudulent election. Instead, he bails out the Radical Left and the RINOs.
If Mitch would have fought for the election, like the Democrats would have if in the same position, we would not be discussing any of the above today, and our Country would be STRONG and PROUD instead of weak and embarrassed.
How this throwdown will play out is anybody’s guess. But McConnell is a clever and experienced politician, and I think this is certainly true:
The clarity of McConnell’s language, which is rare in a party afraid to contradict Trump, deserves credit. It reflects his mastery of the conference and confidence he faces no internal threats, despite the ex-President’s multiple attempts to incite a revolt against him in the Senate.
The minority leader’s words were also characteristic of McConnell’s tendency to give his senators political cover — one reason his leadership position is so secure. Senators questioned about January 6 can now refer directly to their leader’s remarks without getting drawn into politically damaging quotes that might alienate them from supporters back home.
P.S. From what I can find, Trump still leads the 2024 Republican field…