If you’ve heard Sen. Mitch McConnell speaking on television any time in the past six months, you’ve most likely heard him say that President Barack Obama “got everything he wanted” through Congress. It’s all on Obama’s shoulders, since he rammed every liberal policy he possibly could into law.
Which is, of course, quite false. Filibustering every bill in sight required a litany of bills to be watered down (stimulus, health care reform, Wall Street reform), and many were blocked altogether despite the support of just under 60 senators and the full House (climate change, DREAM Act).
And those statements also quite jarringly contradict the first new video released (yes, already) for his 2014 re-election campaign today, which tells viewers that McConnell singlehandedly blocked Obama from getting any of his agenda passed by Congress:
Credit where it is do: At least this video is much more honest. Mitch McConnell is quite adept at obstructing legislation — the most prolific abuser of the filibuster in American history — in order to politically harm a sitting president.
As you can see in the video, McConnell also loves it when people talk about how important and powerful he is. In 2008, McConnell’s campaign theme was the same, yet it consisted of telling voters how much pork and federal spending he was able to deliver to Kentucky through his real ultimate power. Since that’s now out of favor, his new theme is how he was able to block any progress that Obama wanted, so that he could be a one-term president. In other words, the campaign is less “Country First” or “Kentucky First,” and more “McConnell First.”
That is, unless you actually believe McConnell’s statements saying that Obama got everything he wanted, in which case Mitch McConnell is a giant failure. Mitch assumes that you’ll overlook the contradiction.
And ultimately the larger message — coming just on the heels of Sen. Dick Lugar’s purging by the Tea Party to the north — is that McConnell is an unstoppable powerhouse, and the only person capable of blocking everything that Obama could possibly want — even if much of his policies are rehashes of previous Republican policy ideas.
When Dick Lugar made this statement earlier today…
“Some Americans who will remain nameless really extol the virtues of no cooperation. It’s really my way or the highway. I understand the frustrations the anger the anxiety, but nevertheless I`m gonna try to get results.”
…everyone assumed (rightly so) that he was referring to his Tea Party rival Richard Mourdock, who dispatched him earlier this month with a “compromise is evil” platform.
But honestly, he might as well have been talking about Mitch McConnell. Whereas the Tea Party at least despises compromise on ideological grounds, for McConnell it is all about his own personal power — which is either all-encompassing or non-existent, depending on what day you hear him and what talking point he’s using.