Aggrieved, angry and anxious he may lose enormous power come January, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has an agenda for pre- and post-election Senate action that extends far beyond filling an open seat on the US Supreme Court.
September 20, 2020
By Andrew Squibley and Arthur Bushwhacker, May Be Monitored for Quality Assurance
“Democracy Dies in Darkness…Starting with Kentucky”
WASHINGTON (Rueters) — US Senate leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) has scores to settle.
Lots of scores.
The Republican and 36-year Senate veteran has told friends and close associates he sees “a sea change” coming with the likely defeat of President Donald Trump on Nov. 3, the strong possibility of a Democratic takeover of the Senate in January and a more than reasonable chance he could be defeated in his bid for a seventh term.
“If I don’t act now,” he told a source who insisted on anonymity to speak freely, “I might never get another shot at these assholes.”
Rueters has learned McConnell asserted in private conversations that the death Friday night of liberal Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was “just the thing” for introducing a series of changes in the Senate he favors that could alter the political landscape for generations — and not likely to be loved in blue states that are home to a huge majority of Americans.
First and foremost for Senate action in coming weeks is the appointment to the US Supreme Court of federal Circuit Judge Amy Coney Barrett, described as a devout Roman Catholic and anti-abortion rights activist who’s considered a solid conservative vote, McConnell said. “We couldn’t appoint the Pope, so we’re going for the next best thing,” he said, referring to the 48-year-old judge’s strong religious views.
“Democrats are whining about my so-called hypocrisy because I wouldn’t allow (President) Obama to appoint a moderate judge to the (Supreme) Court,” he told associates. “Tough shit. This is politics the way it should be played,” he said.
McConnell was nicknamed “Moscow Mitch” by television host and former GOP representative Joe Scarborough who accused the Senate leader of helping Russia by blocking legislation designed to protect the integrity of US elections. With his feelings badly scorched by this new moniker, McConnell took to the Senate floor to whine about the way politics is played.
Getting Barrett on the Supreme Court is just first on the octogenarian’s political bucket (read: hit) list, he told a Rueters source.
To McConnell, “timing is everything,” he’s often repeated. Other ideas have been sitting in his desk drawer waiting for the moment he felt compelled — and bulletproof enough — to push through the changes he’s contemplated for decades, sources told Rueters. And with both the White House and Senate possibly falling into “enemy hands,” he believes, now is the time to make his moves.
Among them is a change to the minimum age for US citizens to serve in the Senate, Rueters has learned. The US Constitution leaves the setting of the minimum age up to the members of the Senate. Currently, the age is 30 but McConnell has plans to push through a change to 75. A simple majority vote is all that’s needed to protect the vast majority of sitting white male GOP senators against younger diverse challengers.
Senators Mitch McConnell (R-Ky), 88, left; Charles Grassley (R-Ia), 103, upper right; and Diane Feinstein (D-Ca), 95, lower right. (Photos by Fuzzy Koppelman Images)
“We’ll lose virtually no members with this modification,” he reasoned. “The Democrats will hold onto (Diane) Feinstein and (Patrick) Leahy. And (Bernie) Sanders. That’s about it. If I could add the requirement they also have to be men — and white — I would.”
Other changes within the Senate’s control that McConnell is vowing to push through — before the present Republican-controlled Senate is but a bad memory — include reversing Senate approval of statehood for New York, Hawaii and California and voting rights in federal elections for the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.
McConnell’s targets for the upcoming “lame duck” session of the US Senate: DC, Hawaii, California and New York. “I really hate blue and we have too many blue states,” McConnell has told The Washington Post.
McConnell, who’s been beholden to corporate interests since entering the Senate in January 1985, has pledged to coal companies, in particular Kentucky mining concerns, a Senate-approved resolution banning the use of solar- and wind-powered energy in the US.
“This country was built on coal and, by God, we’ll go out the same way,” he told a lobbyist earlier this year, apparently unaware of the irony.
There’s another grievance McConnell has harbored secretly for years, his Senate associates told Rueters. “And, by gum, if he can’t make the change now, he never will.
“Who the hell knows what KFC stands for, he’s asked us several times. ‘We’re going old school if it’s the last thing I get done in this place,’ Mitch told us. He wants the colonel back along with his picture and the original name on the bucket. And now’s the time to strike.”
Welcome back, Colonel.