The Health Of Mitch McConnell


We don’t want to be guilty of saying about Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY, what the Republicans have done for the length of Joe Biden’s president — claim he has lost his mental faculties and should be put away in some home.

Senator McConnell has had at least two recent incidents in which he froze and could not provide comments. .

He claims all is well, and maybe it is.

Because the senator is 81 and President Biden is 80, many in our enduring youth culture believe that they should be pushed aside and let younger leaders succeed them.

This strikes us as discriminatory and then some. Our society long has been infatuated by youth. But youth lacks experience. Youth lacks trials and heartbreak.

Yes, experience and age are not panaceas, but they often pull a country’s proverbial chestnuts from the fire.

Americans could learn from their European cousins. Winston Churchill served as English prime minister deep into his 70s. Konrad Adenauer, a name not seen in print much these days, led Germany during pivotal Cold War years until he was 90! The Germans venerate age. At least they did 70 years ago.

From left to right are U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-KY, President Biden, and the late German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer. All served into their 80s and 90s.

From left to right are U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-KY, President Biden, and the late German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer. All served into their 80s and 90s.

The episode with Senator McConnell, if it has done nothing else, again shows the hypocrisy of Republicans. One would think it would make it harder for them to fault the health of any Democratic figure when their own Senate leader’s health raises questions. But Republicans, especially of the MAGA stripe, have no shame. They and their media outlets will look for any opportunity to crow that Joe Biden should be sheltered in a rest home while they gloss over the McConnell situation.

The Kentucky senator long has struck us as an amoral man whose only purpose in life is to secure and keep political power. In so doing, he has committed egregious offenses against the country and political comity.

In our view, his worst offense was not denying Merrick Garland a seat on the Supreme Court, and that was bad enough. By far, his worst sin was his failure simply to tell members of his party caucus to “vote your conscience” during Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial. The national emergency represented by Mr. Trump largely would have been ended then and there, for the sitting president would have been convicted and removed from office and made ineligible to return to power.

History, it is hoped, will not forget the fundamental and abiding failure on that score by Mitch Mc- Connell.

There are stories floating around about how he has tried to derail the Trump express heading into the 2024 presidential race. If so, his efforts do not erase his horrific failure in the two impeachment trials.

Mitch McConnell once operated as an across-the-aisle senator. He did so when Mr. Biden served in the Senate. The Kentuckian was a creature of the Reagan era. But the dark forces long spewing toxins in the GOP even during President Reagan’s era gave way to even more of a poisonous culture with the rise of the Tea Party and then Mr. Trump. Wanting to keep power, the amoral McConnell changed, too.

It is not unkind to say that his days at the top of his party’s Senate caucus are numbered. The days of each of us are numbered, and United States senators are not immune to the cycles of nature. It will be a more perilous Senate once Senator McConnell fades. Even given his worst instincts and overreaches, he helped keep the country from falling into financial default. He worked with his old friend, Joe Biden, on a generational infrastructure package. But the cliché about the passing of an era is what the country is witnessing in living color.

— Rick Gunter

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