Evaluation: Trump and McConnell’s marriage of comfort seeks its final prize


It is extra an organized marriage between two cold-blooded politicians whose targets usually coincide. Nothing extra, nothing much less.

Besides now, the lads want one another, perhaps greater than ever — and every will do no matter it takes to get one other conservative on the Supreme Court docket.

For Trump, the rationale is easy: He believes the controversy over changing the late Justice Antonin Scalia helped him win in 2016. And he’s satisfied it is going to assist him once more, though he could also be very flawed about that.

For McConnell, this isn’t about Trump’s victory. It is about his personal cosmic aligning of the celebs. The bulk chief has at all times been ruled by two targets: First, preserve energy. As in, preserve management of the Senate. Second, fill the courts with conservative justices — together with the excessive court docket. The second objective can’t be achieved with out the primary one, so there you go.

Trump could also be making historical past, however he is taking part in for the quick time period win. McConnell is in it for the lengthy haul.

However to not fear. The connection between the 2 males is as transactional as you will discover wherever. Neither man is heat and fuzzy; each most likely have some stage of contempt for the opposite. However — greater than the rest — they need to win.

In an opus on McConnell in The New Yorker, journalist Jane Mayer notes that many see McConnell’s assist for the President as a stroke of political genius as a result of he may help himself in pink Kentucky — the place he’s favored to win reelection — and shield his GOP caucus.

That’s true, however it isn’t to be confused with affection. When Trump tweets one thing McConnell believes just isn’t helpful, he ignores it. And again in 2017, Trump liked to gripe at McConnell, tweeting about his inaction and even hinting he ought to resign “if he would not get repeal and exchange accomplished…and tax reform accomplished.”

However Trump has leaned on him since then, and out of the blue will get that McConnell does know the way to get issues accomplished. So he listens to him. He even marveled to Bob Woodward at how centered McConnell was on judges. “You already know what Mitch’s greatest factor is in the entire world,” he instructed Woodward, as if it had been a secret. “His judges. … (He) will completely ask me, ‘Please, let’s get the decide accredited as an alternative of 10 ambassadors.’ “

Then Trump brags to Woodward concerning the outcomes.

Now comes the massive prize. However it could possibly solely come if Republican senator after Republican senator — led by McConnell — utterly reverse themselves and say it is OK to approve a court docket nominee this near an election, or truly in the midst of one. In 2016, in fact, Republicans — led by McConnell — had been all saying Merrick Garland, President Barack Obama’s alternative to switch Scalia, shouldn’t be thought-about as a result of it was too near an election. The election was just below eight months away.

However these senators haven’t any drawback contorting themselves to say the other now. The query, in fact, is whether or not the general public decides they need to be held to their phrases — or whether or not the general public believes, on this time of Trump, that all of them lie anyway.

Or that hypocrisy is what we now count on of our flesh pressers, whose solely goal is to win above all else. In that, McConnell and Trump are completely suited.


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