O.K., throwing this one at you without warning: What’s your opinion of Mitch McConnell?
A) Spawn of Satan.
B) Sort of pitiful, what with having Donald Trump on his back.
C) Can we talk about how he looks like a turtle?
Definitely not the last one. It’s true that many Americans think of McConnell as turtle-like, due to his lack of anything resembling a chin.
But this is wrong on two counts. First, you shouldn’t tackle people you disagree with by making fun of their looks.
Second, it gives turtles a bad name. Turtles are great for the environment and everybody likes them. They sing to their children. You are never going to see a turtle killing gun control legislation.
Mitch, on the other hand, has a longstanding alliance with the National Rifle Association, which has shown its affection to the tune of about $1.3 million in support. Anything the N.R.A. dislikes never gets the chance to come up for a Senate vote. Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act is moldering away in a corner because the N.R.A. doesn’t want authorities taking guns away from domestic abusers.
It’s been another terrible year of mass shooting violence. One simple, very popular response would be to improve the background checks for gun purchases. It would at least show our elected officials care about the crisis.
Such a bill passed the House of Representatives and went to the Senate where it’s, um, laying around somewhere. “There’s a whole bunch of Republican support, but he won’t let it move to the floor,” said minority leader Chuck Schumer.
This goes on a lot. McConnell, who has near total control over what comes up for a vote, sits on things he doesn’t like until they smother. Farewell, immigration reform, Paycheck Fairness Act, legislation protecting Americans with pre-existing conditions, lowering prescription drug prices, protecting election security, restoring net neutrality.”
David Lindsay: Thank you Gail Collins for a good piece. Also good comments. Here is one I found useful but daunting.
I live in the same area of town as Mitch- the Highlands of Louisville, one of the most liberal neighborhoods in Kentucky. You can only imagine how painful it is to stand behind him at the local deli or in Kroger, knowing how responsible he is for this very real threat to our democracy. For all those who believe that removing him from power is simply a matter of telling Kentuckians that he hurts us more than helps us – oh how naive you are! His willingness to allow the movement against abortion rights to progress through his manipulation of the judicial system is enough for most KY voters to back him yet again. The real problem lies within the Senate. How is it that only the number of years one has served can give one man from such a small state as KY so much power? This debacle of McConnell reveals yet another weakness in our democracy. A man who can cater to singular interests of a small portion of society can retain his seat for decades. He doesn’t even acknowledge the letters, calls and emails those who disagree with him send. He doesn’t need us. His power is entrenched and Republicans at large know it. McConnell can be as deceitful, manipulative and hateful as they need because he faces no consequences. The system of designating power must change.