Patterico's Pontifications

8/30/2023

Mitch McConnell Freezes Up Again

Filed under: General — Dana @ 11:53 am



[guest post by Dana]

Yet another painful freeze-up from Mitch McConnell. This comes after a similar event last month, and before that, two falls, and one that left him with cracked ribs and a concussion:

Clearly, there is something seriously wrong here. McConnell, who is 81 years, is among a handful of aged politicians whose mishaps have become an issue of concern:

90-year-old Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) appeared confused and had to be coached to vote “aye” during a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing on the $831 billion Defense Appropriations bill.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell ((R-Ky.) suddenly appearing to freeze in mid-sentence during a weekly GOP leadership news conference and going silent for approximately 20 seconds before being walked away.

Beyond those two examples, we have the escalating worries swirling about 80-year-old President Joe Biden based upon his continued verbal and mental gaffes and miscues. They have sadly happened with such frequency that one need only google “Biden senior moments” to view dozens of them.

As a matter of fact, Democratic voters are becoming more vocal in their concerns about Biden being in the Oval Office for another four years:

In the poll, fully 77% said Biden is too old to be effective for four more years. Not only do 89% of Republicans say that, so do 69% of Democrats. That view is held across age groups, not just by young people, though older Democrats specifically are more supportive of his 2024 bid.

The AP-NORC survey went beyond posing questions and presenting choices. It also had a word association exercise, asking people to offer the first word or phrase that comes to mind at the mention of each man.

The answers underscored how age is a particular drag for Biden across party lines, even when people aren’t prompted to think about that, and how Trump largely escapes that only to draw disdain if not disgust on other fronts.

In those visceral responses, 26% mentioned Biden’s age and an additional 15% used words such as “slow” or “confused.” One Republican thought of “potato.” Among Democrats, Biden’s age was mentioned upfront by 28%. They preferred such terms over “president,” “leader,” “strong” or “capable.” One who approves of his performance nevertheless called him “senile.”

It’s interesting to note that, while physical/mental health is a factor in deciding whether to step down (or be expelled), so too is how to replace these aging and powerful politicians. Consider this with Mitch McConnell’s seat:

The governor of Kentucky is Democrat Andy Beshear. The Seventeenth Amendment tells us that if a senator leaves office due to death, resignation or expulsion, the governor of said state is empowered to appoint a replacement to complete the term or to hold office until a special election can take place.

Beshear obviously wouldn’t be inclined to appoint a Republican to fill McConnell’s seat…and McConnell isn’t up for re-election until 2026. Thus, straight politics appears to be the deciding factor here.

While party machinations and needs may add to an aged politician’s reluctance to step down when it’s obviously time to, I also think that the inevitable want/need for continued power, money, and influence can’t be ignored. Sadly, such is human nature. And at that level, the harder it would be to give up such perks and benefits. However, it’s important to hear from McConnell himself about his role in what he perceives to be a very critical moment in the GOP’s history:

“There are those who are trying to redefine what a Republican is — I’m not in that group,” he continued. “And so this is, I think, an important point for the future of the party, and given my place in my career at this point, this is the most important thing going on that I might be able to have some impact on.”

In the extensive interview, McConnell also discusses his concerns about NATO, Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine, and the fact that Republicans (newly elected, especially) are not concerned about Ukraine being defeated by Russia. This is where someone of McConnell’s age and experience is a great benefit to the Party.

Ultimately, however, the question really is:

At what point should human decency and compassion trump the political and ideological needs of those in power?

–Dana

70 Responses to “Mitch McConnell Freezes Up Again”

  1. This is so sad. Most of us have had a loved one go through something similar (stroke, dementia, etc.), and it’s awful to watch unfold. The look of being lost, unhearing, the lack of clarity, and the inability to understand a question. I hope for him and his family’s sake, he steps down and he spends the remaining time of cognizance enjoying his loved ones.

    Dana (4020dd)

  2. maybe we can work a deal where he and feinstein both retire?

    aphrael (4c4719)

  3. relatedly, one of the most infuriating things about the feinstein situation is that the republican leadership was signalling that if she *resigned* they would not support appointing a replacement on the judiciary committee.

    that decision was absolutely irresponsible and has encouraged a clearly incompetent politician to stay in office because the political cost of handing the job over to a competent person is too high.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  4. maybe we can work a deal where he and feinstein both retire?

    aphrael (4c4719) — 8/30/2023 @ 12:21 pm

    Yes, if both are replaced by members of the same party, but I don’t think Beshear would go for that.

    norcal (40e732)

  5. Aging is such a curious thing. My mother, at 91, is ten years older than McConnell, and yet her mind is much more nimble than his is.

    norcal (40e732)

  6. This was Beshear from the McConnell interview I linked to in the post:

    Since McConnell’s freeze-up, though, there has been rampant speculation in Kentucky that Beshear would flout the new law, appoint a Democrat were the McConnell seat to come open and fight out the issue in the courts.

    So I asked the Democratic governor — who, not coincidentally, is facing reelection this year against McConnell’s protege, state attorney general Daniel Cameron — directly: What would he do if there’s a Senate vacancy from Kentucky?

    “I mean, it’s not vacant,” said Beshear. “I’ve talked to his people, he’s doing alright. He’s going to serve out his term.”

    I asked the governor again.

    “There’s not going to be a vacancy,” he said, again declining to answer. “That would be total speculation.”

    Dana (4020dd)

  7. Yes, if both are replaced by members of the same party, but I don’t think Beshear would go for that.

    norcal (40e732) — 8/30/2023 @ 12:29 pm

    Beshear may have no choice:

    …………
    Under the amended law, the governor now may only choose from three names recommended by the executive committee of the outgoing senator’s state party, and must make that selection within 21 days of receiving the list from the party.

    With both of Kentucky’s senators currently being Republican, the choosing of those three nominees would be up to the executive committee of the Republican Party of Kentucky, which is made up of 54 members.

    After a vacancy is filled, there would be a special election with an open and bipartisan process — often referred to as a “jungle primary” — allowing any candidate gaining 1,000 signature to run. A candidate with more than 50% of the vote would win, but if no one wins a majority of the vote, the top two vote getters would go on to a runoff election in 70 days.

    The timing of that election would be determined based on when the vacancy occurred.

    If the vacancy occurred more than three months before a regularly scheduled election, that’s when it would take place. It the vacancy occurred less than three months before an election and a regular election is scheduled the following year, the latter election date is when the vote for the Senate seat would occur.

    If there is no regular election scheduled the following year — or the vacancy occurs in a year without a regular scheduled election — the governor must within 30 days of the vacancy call for a special election to be held within 60 to 90 days, which would be conducted with the aforementioned jungle primary format.
    ………..
    Judging from Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear’s veto statement for SB 228 — and recent conjecture of two attorneys with ties to the Kentucky Democratic Party — a challenge to the new vacancy law seems like a real possibility, should such a vacancy occur.
    ……….

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  8. I was taught about democracy during my school days. Nobody mentioned gerontocracy.

    norcal (40e732)

  9. Newsom will be the Democrat nominee. If he runs against Trump, he’ll beat him like a rented mule.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  10. aphrael (4c4719) — 8/30/2023 @ 12:23 pm

    You must be one of those “good government” types who view obstruction as a sin. Few Senators, of either party, would agree with you.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  11. I agree McConnell should retire. I agree Feinstein should retire. However, I don’t see anything remotely like the outpouring of “he’s fine and how dare you question that” that we were treated to with Fetterman coming from Republicans.

    Eliot (17e34c)

  12. Clearly, there is something seriously wrong here

    It sounds like absence or petit mal seizures, maybe brought about as the result of a concussion from a fall.

    (Many older people fall – the rate has doubled in recent years – the falls are often caused by low blood pressure medication, though in McConnell’s case it might be just post-polio syndrome. Former Senator and federal judge James Buckley died recently at the age 100, from sequelae from a fall.)

    Mitch McConnell can more or less function, but he shouldn’t drive and maybe should be wary of crossing a street.

    https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/epilepsy/absence-seizures

    An absence seizure causes you to blank out or stare into space for a few seconds. They can also be called petit mal seizures. Absence seizures are most common in children and typically don’t cause any long-term problems. These types of seizures are often set off by a period of hyperventilation.

    They usually occur in children aged 4-14, and often go away They usually last less than 15 seconds but McConnell seems to have felt not right for longer, although maybe he was not unconscious for so long.

    Absence seizures are a type of epilepsy, a condition that causes seizures. Seizures are caused by abnormal brain activity. These mixed messages confuse your brain and cause a seizure.

    Not everyone who has a seizure has epilepsy. Usually, a diagnosis of epilepsy can be made after two or more seizures.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  13. there has been rampant speculation in Kentucky that Beshear would flout the new law, appoint a Democrat were the McConnell seat to come open and fight out the issue in the courts.

    Would the Senate accept a Senator appointed in conflict with KY law?

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  14. Beshear obviously wouldn’t be inclined to appoint a Republican to fill McConnell’s seat…and McConnell isn’t up for re-election until 2026. Thus, straight politics appears to be the deciding factor here.

    The maximum a Senator can be appointed by a Governor is about 2 1/2 years.

    If the vacancy occurs in a year in which members of the House are elected, but state law makes it too late to hold a primary and they skip the odd numbered year.

    After Senator Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated in June, 1968 (with regular primaries occurring in June then) New York’s Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller appointed Congressman Charles E. Goodell to the Senate in August, and he served through the entire next Congress. Thd election was held in November, 1970.

    Kentucky has elections for Governor in odd numbered years, but unlike New Jersey, it’s the year before a Presidential election – that is, this year, 2023.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  15. The power mad continuing to cling to power rather than understand that they are not kings, but public servants who are supposed to serve the publi, not themselves.

    NJRob (18aba0)

  16. Tucker carlson says trump will be assassinated. (how would he know?) Trump says he will lock up political and media opponents! McConnell again.

    asset (74ed6c)

  17. Tucker Carlson says trump will be assassinated.

    I’m sure that someone will try. The way that Trump is seen as a “clear and present danger” by people well away from the political fringe suggests that a significant number of people will see his demise as a “moral duty.”

    Now, few will act on it nonetheless, and of those who actively plan, fewer still will have the opportunity, and fewer yet will be able to carry it out. I DO expect a number of arrests of armed individuals in the coming year.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  18. Kevin m – it should not.

    Although I wonder if there is a variant of the independent state legislature doctrine which holds that state law cannot confine the governor’s discretion to carry out a federal duty assigned to him under the constitution.

    aphrael (110fe8)

  19. Tucker Carlson says trump will be assassinated.

    He brought this up in his interview with President Mugshot:

    TUCKER CARLSON: So the reason I’m asking you is I’m looking at the trajectory since 2015 when you got into politics, you know, for real. And then one, they started with protests against you, massive protests, organized protest by the left, and then it moved to impeachment twice. Right. And now indictment. I mean, the next stages is violence. Is, are you worried that they’re going to try and kill you? Why wouldn’t they try and kill you? Honestly.

    DONALD TRUMP: They’re savage animals. They are people that are sick, really sick. You have great people in the Democrat Party. You have great people that are Democrats. Most of the people in our country are fantastic. And I’m representing everybody. I’m not just Republicans, but I represent everybody. I’m the president of everybody…

    And on yesterday’s Adam Corolla Show:

    ADAM CAROLLA: I mean, are they going to let Trump be president?

    TUCKER CARLSON: ……If you begin with criticism, then you go to protest. Then you go to impeachment. Now you go to indictment and none of them work. What’s next? I mean, you know, graph it out, man! We’re speeding toward assassination, obviously, and no one will say that! But I don’t, I don’t know how you can’t reach that conclusion. You know what it been like. They have decided, permanent Washington. Both parties have decided that there’s something about Trump that’s so threatening to them, they just can’t have it.

    It’s almost like he wants someone to try…….

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  20. Or he’s queueing up a false flag fake assassination to justify martial law if trump wins.

    aphrael (110fe8)

  21. This is giving me Reichstag fire vibes.

    aphrael (110fe8)

  22. Although I wonder if there is a variant of the independent state legislature doctrine which holds that state law cannot confine the governor’s discretion to carry out a federal duty assigned to him under the constitution.

    aphrael (110fe8) — 8/30/2023 @ 3:13 pm

    The 17th amendment doesn’t say that a governor has complete discretion, it also gives state legislatures the power to “empower the executive thereof to make temporary appointments until the people fill the vacancies by election as the legislature may direct,” so the Kentucky Legislature may well be within its rights to set up the appointment as it did. (My emphasis).

    Not all states allow the governor to fill a Senate vacancy on their own:

    The only states not to do so are North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island and Wisconsin; in those states, vacancies can only be filled by special election.

    Among the 46 states that do give their governors authority to name replacement senators, 11 limit their field of choice in some way. Seven states – Hawaii, Kentucky, Maryland, Montana, North Carolina, West Virginia and Wyoming – make the governor choose from a list of nominees submitted by the previous senator’s party……Utah requires the governor to choose from a list of candidates compiled by the legislature, all of whom must be of the same party as the previous senator. Arizona and Oklahoma simply require the governor to choose someone from the previous senator’s party.

    Connecticut has the most restrictive rules: The governor can fill a Senate vacancy only if there’s a year or less remaining in the term, and his or her choice must be approved by a two-thirds vote in each house of the state legislature.

    The 17th Amendment also gives states considerable leeway in deciding how long temporary senators can serve until a special election. In 30 states, special Senate elections must be held concurrently with regular general elections. In some cases, those special elections coincide with the next scheduled general election, but in other cases – especially if the vacancy occurs late in the election cycle – they coincide with the general election after the next one.

    Five states have specific timetables for holding special Senate elections, usually a certain number of days following the occurrence of the vacancy. Thirteen states authorize either a separate date for the special election or hold it concurrently with the next general election, depending on when the vacancy occurs. And two states have few or no rules on when a special election must be held, effectively leaving the decision up to the governor.
    …………

    Source

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  23. Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 8/30/2023 @ 3:16 pm

    Source for post 19.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  24. I remember how Harry Reid wasn’t the same after stumbling on a treadmill or something.
    It’s time for these old people to quit.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  25. Feinstein obviously has to go, but I’m not convinced about McConnell. He’s had some disturbing episodes, the precise nature of which we don’t yet know. Apart from those incidents, is there any evidence his mental faculties have diminished or that he can’t get his work done? If so, I’ll reconsider my opinion, but as far as I can tell, he still seems cogent. Maybe his health is seriously declining and he doesn’t have long for this world. I don’t know, and I don’t know when we will. But some people would prefer to be carried out horizontally on their last day of work. As long as he’s performing his job proficiently, I believe that choice should be his.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  26. Two separate recorded incidents where McConnell head locks up and he stares into oblivion until prodded does not count as “ any evidence his mental faculties have diminished.”

    We will need hearings on whether or not he was thinking clearly while his staff helped him reboot.

    BuDuh (1bf0d3)

  27. At what point should human decency and compassion trump the political and ideological needs of those in power?

    Like John McCain most recently, Dianne Feinstein is likely no longer capable of making a voluntary decision to resign. The only way to remove her is by a two-thirds vote of the Senate to expel her, and few if any of her colleagues would do that to her.

    nk (61187b)

  28. And I agree with lurker about McConnell. Freezing or chilling, he’s still more compos mentis than most of his caucus.

    nk (61187b)

  29. Show of hands! Whom would you rather have up there? Mitch McConnell or Tommy Tuberville?

    nk (61187b)

  30. It’s good to see that nk has come around to the decision to support politicans based on policy preferences and not other considerations.

    Hear hear!!!

    NJRob (18aba0)

  31. I agree with lurker and nk about McConnell — naturally.

    In recent years I have begun to wonder whether he is thinking of retiring at the end of his current term. (He’ll turn 82 next February, and so would be 84 in 2006. He’s had a triple heart bypass, which is not a plus.)

    It would be easier for McConnell to retire, if we can keep the Loser out of the White House.

    He may feel he has accomplished his two great tasks, overturning Roe, and ending the Supreme Court’s toleration for race preferences. He has been a strong supporter of civil rights throughout his political career, so the second may be even more important to him than the first.

    (Many organizations will try continue race-based hiring; many educational institutions will try to continue race-based admissions. But I think all of them will face greater difficulties discriminating than they have in recent decades. We may finally come closer to following the plain language of our civil rights laws, which would be a national blessing.)

    Jim Miller (c66f9a)

  32. Show of hands! Whom would you rather have up there? Mitch McConnell or Tommy Tuberville?

    nk (61187b) — 8/30/2023 @ 4:17 pm

    Would that be the Tommy Tuberville who lives in Florida?

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  33. It’s good to see that nk has come around to the decision to support politicans based on policy preferences and not other considerations.

    What makes you think policy preference has anything to do with it? McConnell loses more IQ points when he blows his nose than Tuberville has in his whole head.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  34. I still think McConnell should step down, but if I had to choose which was the bigger sh-tstain in the Senate, a dumbass like Tuberville or a mentally diminished McConnell, Tuberville is the easy winner.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  35. The House is getting younger while the Senate is getting older:

    The median age of voting House lawmakers is 57.9 years, down from 58.9 in the 117th Congress (2021-22), 58.0 in the 116th (2019-20) and 58.4 in the 115th (2017-18). The new Senate’s median age, on the other hand, is 65.3 years, up from 64.8 in the 117th Congress, 63.6 in the 116th and 62.4 in the 115th.
    ……….
    The Senate, for its part, has gotten older even though the median age of the eight new senators in the 118th Congress is far below that of the chamber as a whole (49.4 vs. 65.3). Three of the new senators, all Republicans, are in their 40s, while another new Republican – J.D. Vance of Ohio – is in his 30s. Three other new senators, including two Republicans and one Democrat, are in their 50s, while another new Democrat, Peter Welch of Vermont, is in his 70s.
    ………
    In the Senate, Boomers (born 1946-64) continue to dominate, with 66 senators in this generation. That is slightly down from the previous Congress (68) but in line with the two before it (66 and 65, respectively). The number of Silent Generation (1928-45) senators has fallen to eight. As recently as the 115th Congress (2017-18), 19 senators were part of that generation. The number of Gen X (1965-80) senators has ticked up to 23, compared with 20 in the previous Congress.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  36. Show of hands! Whom would you rather have up there? Mitch McConnell or Tommy Tuberville?

    If it wasn’t for false dichotomies we’d be hip deep in zombies.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  37. This is giving me Reichstag fire vibes.

    Donald Trump would burn down the wrong building.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  38. And, norcal, Senate is Latin for Gerontocracy (although the Greeks say Gerousia).

    It comes from sen=old=>senex=old man=>=>Senatus=bunch of old geezers=>Senate.

    As for the democracy part, senates have seldom been democratic. Senator was a social status that people were appointed, born in and/or rose to. Even in America, they were not popularly elected until the ratification of the 17th Amendment in 1913.

    nk (ef2db6)

  39. > Mitch McConnell or Tommy Tuberville?

    Tuberville. He’s an —hole who is unreasonably interfering with military readiness,but he’s also in better physical and mental condition.

    That said, I doubt he could do the job. Holding the consensus of the party’s membership in the Senate is *hard* and I think he’s probably not up to it.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  40. Would John Thune be a terrible minority (or majority) leader? He sounds like a great guy from his Wikipedia entry.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  41. Mitch McConnell has been good for America.

    (You can ask and answer the unstated question for yourselves.)

    nk (ef2db6)

  42. Anyone know how long he is allowed to hold up the military promotions?

    asset (3d59bc)

  43. Tuberville is not in the GOP leadership. Not even junior assistant level. It won’t be him.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  44. Anyone know how long he is allowed to hold up the military promotions?

    Until he can’t.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  45. Without McConnell, Trump would not have had the opportunity to nominate three conservatives to the Supreme Court.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  46. Without McConnell, more than half of Trump’s judicial nominees would have been defeated by the slow walk the Democrats were doing.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  47. Sanjay Gupta is saying it’s Parkinson’s, which explains a lot of things, such as why they’re not rushing him to the ER after these freezing episodes.
    As I understand it, Parkinson’s is a physical incapacitation, not mental, but I wonder if the concussion from one of his falls could’ve affected his mental faculties.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  48. If there was a mental impairment, we’d be hearing about it as his service in that position isn’t critical (but mental acuity is). John Thune is next in line and pretty much McConnell’s understudy.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  49. McConnell doesn’t seem to be losing acuity, though maybe he is behind the scenes, but if it’s just a physical issue that isn’t overly intrusive for a long period, he can continue if he chooses. Personally I don’t know that I’d choose to spend that time wrangling stubborn know-it-all ideologues, but ultimately it’s his choice.

    Nic (896fdf)

  50. Thune:McConnell::Harris:Biden

    Only one of these things is scary

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  51. Scumbag

    BuDuh (1bf0d3)

  52. @41 Good for ameriKKKa not America. At least he and trump got AOC and the squad+ elected. The 3 supreme court justice they put in place helped discredited the clinton/biden corporate establishment wing of the party who are now trying to rearrange the deck chairs as the titanic slowly sinks beneath them. Conservative media is so scared of the abortion issue (as democrats have been over gun control issue) all they do is yell transgender and drag queens. The republican debate on the abortion issue was desperation crying in the wilderness. 80% in polls oppose abortion ban. Even mississippi was afraid to put it on the ballot. A brain dead mcconnell will do less damage.

    asset (3d59bc)

  53. Scumbag

    BuDuh (1bf0d3) — 8/30/2023 @ 11:35 pm

    I also noticed that Trump did not pick McConnell’s pocket and steal his wallet. Not on camera, anyway.

    Millions of people across the world will make that same gesture millions of times every day. That you think it’s noteworthy when Trump does it is something you should think about.

    nk (d83673)

  54. Anyone know how long (Tuberville) is allowed to hold up the military promotions?

    Until he can’t.

    Kevin M (ed969f) — 8/30/2023 @ 6:12 pm

    January 3, 2025, when the 118th Congress ends.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  55. @44

    Anyone know how long he is allowed to hold up the military promotions?

    Until he can’t.

    Kevin M (ed969f) — 8/30/2023 @ 6:12 pm

    Yup, he can indefinitely hold them up.

    But, remember, it takes two to tango so it’s ALSO up to the Biden administration to acquiesce to Tuber’s demands.

    Tuber (and Senate) is legit using one of their tools to proved oversight to the executive branch, and anyone complaining is simply sour-graping.

    If you’re simply mad that the political process is using these military promotions as “pawns”, then be mad at BOTH Tuber and the Biden administration.

    whembly (e2380c)

  56. ut, remember, it takes two to tango so it’s ALSO up to the Biden administration to acquiesce to Tuber’s demands.

    The way I heard it, his power is only over “unanimous consent”. The Democrat majority in the Senate can override him, but it would have to be by regular vote in a regular session of Congress, and it would be too much work and take time away from their fund-raising breakfasts.

    nk (8fd323)

  57. Here are the Senate procedures for considering nominations not receiving “unanimous consent.”

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  58. But, remember, it takes two to tango so it’s ALSO up to the Biden administration to acquiesce to Tuber’s demands.
    Tuber (and Senate) is legit using one of their tools to proved oversight to the executive branch…..

    If it is up to the Biden Administration to acquiesce to Tuber’s demands, how is that “taking two to tango?” It would just be capitulation by the other side. And what oversight is Tuber conducting?

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  59. Circling the Wagons:

    ………..
    Senators quickly sought more information about McConnell’s health after the incident, according to one person familiar with the dynamics. Shortly after the Wednesday incident, McConnell held calls with his closest allies including Minority Whip John Thune (R-S.D.), Conference Chair John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) and Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), according to people familiar with the calls. All of them are potential successors to McConnell.
    ………..
    Internally, McConnell is facing dual dynamics: His potential successors — Cornyn, Thune and Barrasso — are backing his leadership, staying supportive and say he’s sharp. There’s no mechanism to force another leadership race until the end of next year, though a group of five senators can call a special conference meeting to discuss the matter.

    There’s no sign of that yet, though some Republican senators privately say his grip on the caucus and his engagement in meetings has waned since March. The dynamics are complicated by McConnell’s 2022 leadership race, in which he both won handily and faced his first opposition ever. He beat Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), a former chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, 37-10. That means he has a built-in group of detractors amid the latest health queries.
    ……….

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  60. Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 8/31/2023 @ 10:06 am

    More…….

    ………
    If a special conference meeting doesn’t happen, the issue could be punted until after the 2024 election. However, a special meeting would undoubtedly draw more media attention that would amplify the risk of specifically broaching the touchy topic of McConnell’s leadership. And his own support may be relatively unchanged even after the two summer pauses.

    “If a handful goes down that path, it will be a rerun of the last time,” said a GOP senator who was granted anonymity to discuss the issue, referring to Scott’s failed challenge.

    McConnell has telegraphed no plans about when he plans to retire, either from the minority leader post or the Senate…….
    ……….
    ………September will be a great test of McConnell’s grip on his conference: The government is set to shut down in a month without action, the House and Senate don’t see eye-to-eye on spending levels and the Biden administration wants billions of dollars more for hurricane relief, Ukraine aid and border security.
    ##########

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  61. @56

    The way I heard it, his power is only over “unanimous consent”. The Democrat majority in the Senate can override him, but it would have to be by regular vote in a regular session of Congress, and it would be too much work and take time away from their fund-raising breakfasts.

    nk (8fd323) — 8/31/2023 @ 8:58 am

    Correct.

    If Senate Democrats doesn’t deem it worthy enough to spend the time, in regular order, to override his hold… how is it solely Tuber’s fault?

    whembly (5f7596)

  62. @58

    If it is up to the Biden Administration to acquiesce to Tuber’s demands, how is that “taking two to tango?” It would just be capitulation by the other side.

    Welcome to the hard knocks of hard ball politics!

    And what oversight is Tuber conducting?

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 8/31/2023 @ 9:21 am

    I believe his objection is the DoD’s policy of paying for travel/expenses for abortions.

    whembly (5f7596)

  63. January 3, 2025, when the 118th Congress ends.

    But the appointments also end then, so it can start all over the very next day.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  64. If it is up to the Biden Administration to acquiesce to Tuber’s demands, how is that “taking two to tango?” It would just be capitulation by the other side. And what oversight is Tuber conducting?

    The administration is expending funds for a purpose not approved by Congress (transporting pregnant female soldiers to places where elective abortions are easy). Tuberville is demanding that they either stop, or get a law to authorize what they are doing.

    He is enforcing the power of Congress over the purse. In other situations the MSM would call this God’s work.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  65. The reason that the Senate does not override him is that each of them is making notes about what he’s doing and how they might use that power themselves. The Senate is really big on Senatorial privilege.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  66. the Biden administration wants billions of dollars more for hurricane relief, Ukraine aid and border security.

    The only certain thing about emergencies is that they happen. Families budget for them, why can’t the government?

    (this is rhetorical, of course)

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  67. @64 Yeah, what you said.

    whembly (5f7596)

  68. Kevin M (ed969f) — 8/31/2023 @ 11:41 am

    The only certain thing about emergencies is that they happen. Families budget for them, why can’t the government?

    It would complicate the budget process, since they’d have tp leave a lot of money off-budget.

    The problem is having a federal budget. Businesses don’t work this way. T

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  69. whembly (5f7596) — 8/31/2023 @ 11:28 am

    If Senate Democrats doesn’t deem it worthy enough to spend the time, in regular order, to override his hold… how is it solely Tuber’s fault?

    The Senate operates by unanimous consent since the days of Lyndon Johnson in the 1950s. They can’t possibly confirm all these people.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  70. McConnell has been cleared by his doctor to maintain his schedule)

    It’s also being described only as lightheadedness

    https://www.newser.com/story/339622/mcconnell-gets-all-clear-to-work-after-scare.html

    “Occasional lightheadedness is not uncommon in concussion recovery and can also be expected as a result of dehydration,” said [the Capitol’s attending physician, Dr. Brian] Monahan, echoing the diagnosis the senator’s office has provided.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)


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