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I’ve been defending Sen. Mitch McConnell even since Donald Trump started slamming him upon leaving office.
I had my reasons. I felt that Trump was unfairly targeting McConnell. As far as I was concerned, Trump and McConnell successfully reshaped the judiciary in four short years. With McConnell’s help, Trump filled more vacancies in one term than any president since Jimmy Carter. With McConnell’s help, Trump got three Supreme Court picks confirmed, despite unprecedented attacks from the left, which was determined to thwart each of them. Whether it was nuking the Democrats’ filibuster against Neil Gorsuch, the pressing on with Kavanaugh’s nomination despite the bogus claims of sexual assault, or even proceeding with Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination despite the short window before the 2020 election, McConnell got things done.
Heck, that he managed to save the nation from having Merrick Garland on the court was enough for him to earn my praise. I said last year that McConnell was still okay in my book because of these efforts, especially those that were made against incredible odds and at significant political risk.
But now I find myself unwilling to defend him after what he said on Tuesday, when he suggested that the Jan. 6 capital was an “insurrection.”
“Let me give you my view of what happened Jan. 6,” he told reporters. “We saw what happened. It was a violent insurrection for the purpose of trying to prevent a peaceful transfer of power after a legitimately certified election from one administration to the next. That’s what it was.”
As the Washington Examinerreported on the anniversary of the riot, “more than 225 defendants had been charged with assaulting, resisting, or impeding law enforcement officers; at least 275 defendants have been charged with obstructing a congressional proceeding; and about 40 defendants have been charged with some sort of conspiracy charge,” but none had been charged with seditious insurrection. Conspicuously, days later, the Justice Department did charge 11 defendants with “seditious conspiracy” who were part of the Oath Keepers, a militia group, for having organized an effort “to oppose by force the lawful transfer of presidential power.”
Sorry, Mitch, the math just doesn’t add up to insurrection. You’re playing right into the Democrats’ hands.
McConnell also criticized the Republican National Committee for censuring Reps. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger by saying that the party should not be “picking and choosing among Republicans who ought to be supported.”
“We support all members of our party,” McConnell insisted, “regardless of their positions on some issues.”