On this episode of “The Federalist Radio Hour,” Federalist Publisher Ben Domenech, Senior Editor Chris Bedford, and Culture Editor Emily Jashinsky discuss Mitch McConnell and the future of the GOP.
“McConnell is only the leader of the party in the Senate. He takes on this role occasionally where he acts as if he’s the leader of the party, but obviously, we know from poll data that … they listen to Trump, they don’t listen to McConnell,” Domenech said. “What McConnell is generally speaking to then is not the base, but to the donor base, to K Street, and to the corporate donors, and so he sometimes has to take on certain roles where he plays the lightning rod, or he takes on a slightly different stance than the rest of his conference, and he goes behind the scenes and allows certain people to vote certain ways and certain things. … [Impeachment] was not a moment where he was trying to sort of stake out something so that it would protect other members of the conference. Quite the opposite.”
McConnell, Jashinksy agreed, does not always hold the best interests of the people in mind when making decisions.
“It’s not about principle. At the end of the day, it’s about power. And so Mitch McConnell can argue that increased power for the GOP will, you know, make a stronger vehicle for conservative agenda items, but that was not true when conservatives had the House, the Senate, and the presidency,” Jashinsky said. “And largely, you can blame Mitch McConnell for not moving on some of those agenda items.”
Despite his track record on legislation and stance on Trump, Bedford expects McConnell will try to stick around Senate leadership a little longer.
“It’s hard to guess two years out who is going to be after McConnell, and it will just be a guessing game, but I still think that if he goes for it, which he will, that he will maintain it at least another two times,” Bedford said.
Read more of Bedford’s thoughts on McConnell here. You can find other coverage of McConnell and the direction of the Senate here.