Mitch McConnell’s Pandering Path to Power and the Cynical Destruction of our Democracy

Apparently, Jane Mayer reads Ye Olde Blogge! Who knew? Because she wrote a terrific article over on The New Yorker about how the amply endowed jowl of our very own Mitch McConnell has thrown over our democracy in favor oh hording all the governing powers to himself and by governing powers, I mean hoovering up all the moneys for the 1% and if that means putting up with the Ol’ Pussy Grabber, then by golly he and Elaine is going to do just that.

Okay, she don’t say he is going full authoritarian and gutting our democracy like he was a common Virgil Ward on Championship Fishing so he can stuff that empty shell devoid of life, liberty, and pursuit of anyone else’s happiness other than his, the GOP’s, and the 1%’s with single-party pseudo-democratic authoritarian evil and mount it on the wall of America’s family room, but, she does corroborate many of my readings of the dangling jangling jiggling jowls. Let’s go through them, shall we?

Mitch McConnell’s view of the function of our American government is warped and is no longer based in democratic ideals. No where is this better expressed than when we contrast his belief in governing by the “winners” and Franklin’s belief in governing by compromise. McConnell famously said, …winners make policy and losers go home. It’s a elementary school playground approach to governance that, according to Mayer’s article, is deeply rooted in McConnell’s richly bejowled childhood experiences.

Contrast that with Franklin’s equally as infamous quote, Both sides must part with some of their demands in order that they may join in some accommodating proposition.” The much maligned and misunderstood Founding Fathers realized that to elect officials to make law and policy would necessitate finding common ground between them if we were really have a democracy.

Mitch’s Life-Long Pursuit of Self-Serving Power

Apparently, Mitch was bullied as an elementary school child, which is a tragedy in and of itself. His father didn’t help the matter when upon seeing the bully across the street, he instructed young Master Mitch to go over and kick his ass. Mitch did after some whiny protesting and came back, according to his own memoir, with the firm belief that sucker-punching your opponents has “almost always worked.”

The Early Years

In that exact same memoir, he recounts his first electoral win as student council president. If it were some film noir novel of cheap boiler-plate political intrigue, it would be laughed out of the bookstore straight to the B-movies made for video export shelves. It would seem that Mitch was envious of that year’s student body president and whined to his mother about it. She encouraged him to run himself the next year, “but mummy,” he allegedly whined, “I can’t win, I don’t even have one friend.” But, he hit upon a winning strategy that puts Pedro and Napoleon Dynamite to shame: he could “hustle endorsements from popular cheerleaders and athletes,” Mayer writes, “by giving them the ‘one thing teenagers most desire. Flattery,’ she quotes him as saying. Sweet Jeezbus and Jeezelbub, the cynical exploitation of the stooges started early, didn’t it?

Mayer’s goes on to quote many friend and Repube operative as characterizing Mitch as being long on the lust for power and short on any vision of what to do with it once he gets it. I’ll summarize some of them here:

In 1977, Mitch was elected as county judge-executive of the county that includes Louisville. His tenure was marred by accusations of sexual impropriety by a female staffer corroborated by two sources, frequent staff turnover, and breaking all of his more liberal campaign promises like supporting collective bargaining rights. He was described by employees in a puff piece in the local Courier-Journal as being “extraordinarily selfish” and having surrounded himself with only “yes men,” a penchant, I have to note, that will lead him to the depths of groupthink and all of us to the precipice of disaster.

Pandering as a Path to Power

To win elections, according to his obsequious sycophant biographer, John David Dyche, he feels like he needs to “pander” to the political positions and cultural views of his constituents. You know, little things like supporting forced birth for the poors. Dyche goes on to describe him as having “no ideology except his own political power.”

One of the people who’ve been around Mitch the longest is Democratic Representative John Yarmuth. Yarmuth hasn’t always been a Democrat, though. He started out his political life as a Repube, but switched as the Repubes went on their rightward drift towards what Repube operative Stuart Stevens describes as “obsession with power without purpose.”

Power Without Purpose

Yarmuth’s bona fides come from having been an active member of the Kentucky Repubes until 1985 and having worked with Mitch on a campaign in 1968. Mayer’s quotes him as claiming that he “never saw any evidence of that [idealism]. He was just driven to be powerful.” And, of Mitch’s acceptance of the current direction of the Repubes, “He [Mitch] never had any core principles. He just wants to be something. He doesn’t want to do anything.”

The Jones boys, you know, of the health-care behmouth, Humana Joneses, the founder David and his two sons, David, Jr. and Matthew, have been big supporters of Mitch’s, but after Trump’s election have been dismayed. They gave Mayer the two letters they wrote to Mitch chastising him for not standing up for our democracy and Mitch’s one condescending reply. In short, they wanted Mitch “to lead” — god only knows why they thought Mitch was even remotely capable of it — and wondered why “having chosen the judges for a republic while allowing its constitutional structures to fail and its strength and security to crumble” was a good idea. I guess they don’t realize that the radically unqualified judges that Mitch is championing are part of the plan to allow our constitutional structures to fail and our strength and security to crumble. Mitch don’t need no stinking Constitution, its structures, or any strength or security as long as he can keep the dollars flowing to himself and the 1%. All that shit does is get in the way of the cash flow.

The venerable Rick Wilson recons that Mitch’s only interest is in being Majority Leader — he needs to keep the Repube majority for that, duh — and to do so, he’s needed to normalize Trump.

So, there you have it, the reasons that Mitch is hell-bent on trading our clunky old republican democracy in for a nice new shiny authoritarian regime. If you needed any more proof that Mitch and the Repubes were really deliberately destroying our democratic institutions, weakening the separation of powers, and replacing our democratic norms and traditions, then you should have ample evidence now. This is Mitch’s personality and life-long dream. It’s what he’s been working towards his whole life.

But, it ain’t jus’ Mitch, he has continued the “cult of winning” that old Newtie Grin-rich started back in the ’90’s that was seeded by Ronnie Ray-guns and fertilized by the bad blood of Tricky Dick being driven from office for being such a corrupt fool. They learned their lesson, just stonewall all accusations and keep the stooges happy with forced birth, guns, racism, and misogyny, and they can have us all living in Flint and Cancer Alley as they win every election with 99% of the vote and the 1% get all the money!

Oh, yeah. You should def read the article for yourself because (a) she details the shit out of her indictment of Mitch’s selfish naked pursuit of his own power and legacy and (b) really drills Elaine Chau, and I don’t mean in the fun way.

There’s two good interviews that her article has spawned. One is over on Vox, Jane Mayer on Mitch McConnell’s shameless pursuit of power, and the other on Fresh Air with Terry Gross, Mitch McConnell’s Calculated Decision To Become Trump’s ‘Enabler-in Chief,’ Explained.

Image Attribution

This image was found using a Creative Commons search. It was found on Flickr. It was made by DonkeyHotey. And it is licensed as Attribution 2.0 Generic.

8 replies »

  1. The pursuit of power as an end in itself as a personal possession, in which even the ascendance of the party he appears to lead becomes merely a tool and a President no more than another useful idiot; This is the picture we see.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Howdy Bob!

      That is the core of authoritarianism and the enlightened despot: I should have all the state’s power because I want it. I’ve worked for principals, heads of schools, and other bosses who think the same way: I should be boss because I like being the boss. They don’t bring anything to the table like a pedagogical approach or a belief in how organizations should run or anything unique or worthwhile. They just want to be the boss. That’s the modern GOP. They’ve got to keep their base happy, which nowadays means letting them be as racist, misogynistic, and sadistic as they wanna be, suppress the votes of their opponents, and, viola, they get to keep the keys to the treasury because they want them.

      We have so completely lost our way as a country and a democracy.


      Liked by 1 person

      • I see between McConnell and Trump both that similarity and a difference (neither of which mitigate the damage being done). Mitch is focused on control of the institutions, especially the legislative and judicial. Trump operates out of his life experience as the sole boss of a privately held business. Being THE BOSS is all he knows. He does not comprehend anything else. It is his only measure of success or personal worth. He has never been accountable to shareholders or a board of directors, never an employee. Added to his malignant narcissist personality, that can only further cripple his ability to learn and adapt to the demands on an elected executive.

        Liked by 1 person

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