When you are losing, I guess it’s natural to start coming up with wild, deus ex machina theories of eleventh-hour victories.
Enter Bill Kristol, whose once wide influence has been cratered to hits on MSNBC and Twitter rants about character. Of course, character is only a concern when it’s used to take shots at the bad orange man’s checkered past. If it’s Kristol’s allies, like Charlie “three wives” Sykes or David Frum (who had an affair with his researcher), then character no longer really matters.
Unable to accept the reality that Trump has beaten them, there’s now a new (or not so new) crazy theory floating around. Namely, that McConnell is setting up Trump and will allow the moderates of the party to dictate the currently stalled Senate trial.
What if McConnell has privately signaled Murkowski et al that he’s fine with a little rebellion that would “force” him to accede to witnesses and a real trial, which could then accomplish McConnell’s true goal of getting rid of Trump while seeming to have been loyal to Trump?
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) December 29, 2019
It means I've been right for over a year since I first wrote this:
How This All Ends For Trump https://t.co/s89GXdni1Y
— Cheri Jacobus (@CheriJacobus) December 29, 2019
Spoiler: She’s not right.
Mitch McConnell’s majority exists for one reason. That’s to put conservative judges on the court. He can’t be counted on to do much of anything else (aside from pass garbage omnibus bills), but he’s going to keep confirming Trump’s nominees as fast as he receives them. That all stops if Trump is removed from office because it would doom Republicans in 2020. There is no scenario where Nikki Haley or Mike Pence ride in on a white horse and win after their party’s incumbent has been booted from office. McConnell would lose his position and it would all burn to the ground.
Further, McConnell knows who butters his bread as Majority Leader. Trump has, for the most part, allowed McConnell to set the agenda. Three years ago, most of the GOP hated McConnell. Today, his image has been largely rehabilitated. The idea that he’d throw all that new support away to fulfill the fever dreams of people like Bill Kristol and George Conway is laughable.
The only thing Kristol may be correct about is Sen. Murkowski making trouble. She voted against Brett Kavanaugh and has tried to position herself as more of an independent senator. But with 53 GOP senators now, she’s been disarmed as a powerful swing vote and McConnell will simply ignore her demands.
The fact is that recent polling has looked good for Trump, even on a national level, where he’s lagged behind the Democrats until recently. McConnell is sitting in his office and seeing an opportunity to put a conservative majority on Supreme Court that will hold for the next 30 years. He’s not going to punt on that to make Never Trumpers happy. Any thoughts to the contrary are delusional.