Mitch McConnell Betrays Mike Johnson on the Border Because the GOP Doesn't Care About You

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

If you're older than 30, you probably remember the depiction of bullies in popular sitcoms. The bully was always a big talker. He'd pound his chest, shove kids against their lockers, and let it be known he was going to get what he wanted. 


That's never how the story ended, though. Inevitably, after a round of lunch money stealing, the bully would end up writhing in pain on the playground, having been punked by the less muscular, more nerdy star of the show. 

Guess which character the modern GOP most comports with. The Republican Party is full of big talkers. They'll promise you the world, but when push comes to shove, they almost always end up lying on the ground, wondering how they once again ended up in that position. 

Enter Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who is now urging House Speaker Mike Johnson to surrender on the border lest Ukraine not continue to be the top priority. That's not the worst of it, though. McConnell went so far as to betray Johnson by calling Hakeem Jeffries, the top House Democrat, in an attempt to force through Ukraine aid as a separate vote. 

Sure, somewhere around eight million illegal immigrants have been encountered at the border in the last few years, leading to chaos in America's cities both financially and regarding crime. According to McConnell, though, we shouldn't focus on that. Instead, we should only worry about spending another $60 billion on Ukraine's stalemate with Russia. To try to then go work with Hakeem Jeffries to bypass the Republican majority is just the icing on the cake. 


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With Joe Biden in the White House, the only leverage Republicans have is foreign aid to Ukraine. If Johnson were to listen to McConnell and give that up, any hope for a viable (i.e. effective) compromise on border security and asylum reform would go up in smoke. To do that would be political malpractice, handing one's opponent the keys to the car and giving them everything they want while receiving nothing in return. I call that "being a Republican politician." 

This is a simple calculation. If Ukraine aid is that important, then Democrats should have no problem offering a real border security bill in return. McConnell's attitude toward the situation suggests he values Ukraine holding onto some outlying territories more than helping the Americans who put him in office. That's not a good look for the GOP, and the more these divisions surface, the more issues are going to be created for Republicans in the coming election. 



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