One would think, from looking at the polls, that Mitch McConnell is one lucky man right now. As I write this, the Real Clear Politics gives the Republicans a 2.5% advantage in their “Generic Congressional Vote” polling average. When the GOP closes in on parity with the Dems, it is widely understood that the Republicans will do well in congressional elections. Polling two and a half points above the Dems, it’s a rout and Mitch McConnell should be measuring the curtains in Harry Reid’s office.
Unfortunately for Mitch, he is beset on all sides. He has strong challengers on the left as well as on the right and he will be lucky to get through the upcoming 2014 midterms unscathed. It is even possible for the Grand Old Party to recapture the Senate while he loses his seat altogether. Why? What went wrong for Mitch?
I don’t think Mitch McConnell is a bad man. I don’t even think he is an incompetent man. By all accounts, he is tactically adept at Senate arcania and knowledgeable about the ways of Washington. Important skills if you want to enact your agenda. But these are revolutionary times in America. Times like these require a leader not a backroom operator. Mitch McConnell’s core problem is that has not mastered the events but has let the events master him. He has looked into the abyss of voter anger and stepped back. He is a coward.
Right now, what America needs is not negotiation, nor compromise, nor deal-making. It needs a visionary. America requires a leader who can stand in front of the discontented voter, and provide a voice for their discontentment and guide them to victory over the ruling class. No such person has been found yet. The obvious choices, the Republican leaders in Congress, have failed.
As a result, instead of gaining strength from this patriotic anger, they are being consumed by it. Through his dithering and his mealy-mouthed backroom dealing, Mitch McConnell is reaping the whirlwind.