On this episode of The Turtle and the Hair…
The complicated (at best) relationship between The Turtle™ — former Senate Majority Leader (now minority leader) Mitch McConnell and The Hair™ — former President Donald Trump, is perhaps unequaled in the annals of relationships between presidents and Senate majority leaders of the same party.
While these two guys have never seemed to trust one another any farther than one could throw the other, their on-again, off-again war only intensified after Trump lost the 2020 election. That war now includes McConnell’s leadership PAC, the Senate Leadership Fund, spending millions on attack ads against Trump-back Senate candidate Kelly Tshibaka in an effort to boost moderate incumbent Sen. Lisa Murkowski.
As reported by Just the News, the Alaska Republican Party voted on Monday to censure McConnell for spreading “divisive and misleading statements” against Tshibaka. The final tally wasn’t a contest. The censure resolution, which passed 49-8, declared McConnell’s financial support for Murkowski to be “in direct contradiction” to the party’s rules.
The resolution reads in part:
Much of the financial support from the Senate Leadership Fund has been used for malicious political attack ads targeted at our endorsed candidate, Kelly Tshibaka, that are gross distortions of fact. We request the Senate Leadership Fund immediately stop the attack ads against Kelly Tshibaka and discontinue the support of all other opposing candidates.
It should be noted that the Alaska GOP censured Murkowski in 2021 for voting to convict Trump in his impeachment trial for his role in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, in which Trump was acquitted. Moreover, Murkowski in the past sided with Democrats in voting to back Obamacare, and also opposed Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court.
Tshibaka, meanwhile, said McConnell’s intervention in the Alaska Senate race has wasted valuable resources that should be used to defeat Democrats in other states.
The millions of dollars Mitch McConnell is spending on lies about me could be put to better use in other states where a Republican has a chance to beat a Democrat. And the Alaska Republican Party has just told him to butt out of our state.
Hard to argue against Kelly’s logic, Mitch.
I must admit I don’t know much about Kelly Tshibaka’s positions, but I do know several things.
First, given that Tshibaka is backed by Donald Trump, most of us are aware of the “qualities” a candidate must have in order to earn Trump’s endorsement. Second, Lisa Murkowski — including pretend-Republicans Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger — is among a handful of Republican lawmakers who long ago should’ve left the GOP and made their “saddling up” to all things Democrat official.
And finally, this thing is another example of the internecine war that continues to exist within the Republican Party. As I say at the end of some articles, it would be unwise for the GOP to continue the pitched internal battle and by doing so snatch defeat from victory in the 2024 presidential election.
Which side, if you will, is to blame for the strife? That depends on who answers the question, of course.
As noted by Just the News, one of the times McConnell ticked off Republicans across the country, including The Donald, came over the summer when he suggested Republicans might not win the Senate because of the quality — or lack thereof — of GOP candidates.
I think there’s probably a greater likelihood the House flips than the Senate. Senate races are just different. They’re statewide. Candidate quality has a lot to do with the outcome.
Despite McConnell later reversing course — which he was no doubt forced to do — and saying Republicans still had a good chance to win in November, he was probably right, for various reasons. Heated debates and pitched arguments, at this point, are fruitless; which is why I refuse to get sucked into either, because… wait for it… the midterm elections haven’t happened, yet.
So, how ’bout we wait to see what happens and take it from there? Of course, those on the losing side of the above unnecessary debate will likely rush to charge somebody with voter fraud.