McConnell playbook: When victory is certain, surrender!

retreat flagCurrent polling numbers show that Obama is looking a little more like the anti-christ than the messiah these days. In a new Quinnipiac University poll, the President’s approval rating is at its lowest point in Quinnipiac polling history–nationally or in any state–at 34%. This puts him within striking distance of the second-term average of 34.4% of Richard Nixon, which was reported by Gallup at the height of Watergate scandal. And it’s not just his job performance. A new CNN poll shows that Obama’s personal attributes are on par—gratuitous golf reference for the over 150 rounds Obama has played while in office—to reach record lows as well.

In another CNN poll about the 2014 mid-term elections, Republicans now have a 49%-47% edge over Democrats in a generic ballot question, which asked respondents to choose between the two parties in their congressional district without identifying the candidates.

Yes, there is every reason to believe that the GOP should have a good year in 2014. So, how do the establishment Republicans react to such promising news? Well, according the current Senate leader of the GOP—hopefully, not for long—Mitch McConnell (R-INO – KY), you surrender even before you fight. Regarding the upcoming budget fight—which only exists because he surrendered during the last budget fight—Mediocre McConnell had this to say:

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., promised that his party would not allow another closure, saying that outcome would not align with Republican principles.

“Shutting down the government, in my view, is not conservative policy,” McConnell said during an interview on CBS’s “Face The Nation.” “I don’t think a two-week paid vacation for federal employees is conservative policy. A number of us were saying back in July that this strategy could not and would not work, and of course it didn’t. So there will not be another government shutdown. You can count on that.”

A couple of observations here: 

  1. Mickey said Republican principles, not conservative principles. Here, I agree with him. His pathetic leadership has had only one objective, protect his inside-the-beltway Republican buddies as much as possible by kowtowing to Obama and Harry “Henchman” Reid in order to keep the peace.
  2. He said that shutting down the government is not conservative policy. I agree with him here as well. Conservatives have never advocated shutting down the government. They have advocated smaller government that lives within its means, operates under a budget, and eliminates government excess.
  3. He mentioned that it isn’t conservative policy to pay federal employees for not working during the shutdown. Again, I agree. When a free market business has a layoff, the employees don’t get back pay. Kind of defeats the purpose, doesn’t it? 

It would be easy to dismiss this behavior as an annoyance easily dealt with by nominating and electing Matt Bevin—who recently garnered 80% of the vote in a Kentucky straw poll—to replace him. Unfortunately, his surrender is more dangerous than that.

History is replete with examples of leaders who have incorporated a sort of scorched earth strategy when facing the end of their reign of power, taking out their rage against those that they feel are responsible for their demise. You would think that would mean he would target the Democrats, but you would be wrong. Mickey doesn’t have a problem with them because they don’t threaten his insider status. The real threat to his power comes from true Conservative organizations such as the T.E.A. Party groups, the Heritage Foundation, and the Senate Conservatives Fund. Some recent examples:

McConnell’s efforts appear to have had little impact so far, but it would be foolish to assume it will stay that way. As Erick Erickson so aptly describes: McConnell would rather rule in Hell than serve in Heaven. He’d rather be minority leader, than have a Republican Senate majority without him.

The current political climate would seem to indicate that a GOP victory is certain in 2014. Unfortunately, McConnell thinks that means it’s time to surrender. 


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