McConnell Reveals GOP Plan To Sabotage Trump In The General Election (TWEET)
The Republican leadership probably should have thought of this sooner. As Donald Trump cements his front-runner status heading into Super Tuesday, the GOP Senate leadership is concocting a plan for how to deal with the damage he is likely to cause them. The New York Times recently examined multiple dimensions of how the Republican party at large is reacting to the rise of Trump. One remarkable paragraph in the article explains that Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has given fellow GOP Senators the green light to stab Trump in the back if it helps their election prospects.
“While still hopeful that Mr. Rubio might prevail, Mr. McConnell has begun preparing senators for the prospect of a Trump nomination, assuring them that, if it threatened to harm them in the general election, they could run negative ads about Mr. Trump to create space between him and Republican senators seeking re-election. Mr. McConnell has raised the possibility of treating Mr. Trump’s loss as a given and describing a Republican Senate to voters as a necessary check on a President Hillary Clinton, according to senators at the lunches.”
The Republican party is tearing itself apart. It’s a mind-blowing turn of historical precedence that the Republican Senate is going to presume that the popularly nominated Republican front-runner is dead in the water, even before the convention, or knowing with certainty who will challenge him. The Republican Senate leadership has clearly made the decision that holding the Senate is more important than aiding Trump’s shot at the White House.
Adam Jentleson, the Deputy Chief of Staff to Democratic Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, tweeted out this NYT quote, Monday, while noting an inherent contradiction to it.
Impossible for McConnell to accept a Trump defeat and maintain SCOTUS blockade.
One of these things has to give. pic.twitter.com/77qSGogD2m
— Adam Jentleson (@AJentleson) February 29, 2016
McConnell also recently vowed to obstruct anyone President Barack Obama nominates to the Supreme Court, following the sudden death of Antonin Scalia. He is doing this largely to assert greater control over a national election that is increasingly out of the Republican establishment’s control. But the combination of policies, blocking Obama to increase the Republicans’ chance in the general election by raising the stakes; and abandoning Trump if he’s the nominee, make no sense together. If McConnell assumes that Trump’s loss is “given” then there is effectively no difference between accepting an Obama nomination and accepting a Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton nomination next year. If he truly is going to dump Trump, then the odds are high that he will have less power next year than he does now, since Republican Senate seats are on the chopping block in November, and the Democrat facing an abandoned Republican candidate could have very long coattails. The opening months of a new administration will come in swinging haymakers if the vacancy remains open. McConnell would lose even the fabricated and historically unprecedented excuse that the country needs to wait for an election with a year remaining in Obama’s term in office.
McConnell is hanging all his hopes on a thin thread. The New York Times reports that McConnell is reminding Republican Senators that in 1996, Bill Clinton easily won reelection to the White House, but the Republican-led Senate gained seats. That kind of dynamic has not happened in 20 years, and would be anomalous in recent history. Nonetheless, Republicans told NYT that if Trump wins the nomination, McConnell plans to “drop him like a hot rock.” Unless McConnell is churning out misinformation, the contradiction in his plans belies desperation.