Herald-Leader Editorial

Election message for McConnell: Voters reject obstructionism

November 8, 2012 

Gov. Mitt Romney's gracious concession to President Barack Obama lived up to the best traditions of American patriotism, while Kentucky's Sen. Mitch McConnell came off as a sore loser.

Even Speaker John Boehner, whose Republican Party kept control of the House, mustered a cooperative tone, calling the elections a mandate to take "steps together" to strengthen the economy.

Not McConnell, who signaled his intent to keep obstructing Obama unless the newly re-elected president moves to the "political center."

Obama just received more than 60 million votes and scored a 303-206 victory in the electoral college (pre-Florida), which raises obvious questions: Where does McConnell think the political center is? Isn't that what elections tell us?

If ever the Senate Republican leader should show some humility, it's now. Not only did McConnell fail to achieve his publicly stated "single most important" goal of making Obama a one-term president, he also presided over a loss of Republican seats in the Senate.

Republicans had harbored hopes of retaking the Senate for the first time since 2006, fulfilling McConnell's ambitions to be majority leader.

But the GOP's migration to the extreme and zany right helped seal Democratic Senate victories in Missouri and Indiana against Tea Party Republicans. Democrats also won Senate races in Montana, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Yet, McConnell, whose strategy failed, condescends to lecture Obama, whose strategy worked beautifully, on how to govern.

McConnell also said Americans who re-elected Obama had not endorsed his performance as president but merely given him a "second chance."

In fact, Americans on Tuesday again rejected the disastrous policies of the George W. Bush years and gave Republicans a second chance to cooperate with a popular moderate president.

McConnell, who has said gridlock is good, did say Republicans are eager to hear Obama's proposals for avoiding the looming fiscal cliff, shrinking the deficit and reforming entitlements, "and to do the work the people sent us here to do."

That's good, because the people will be watching.

Lexington Herald-Leader is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service