Does not compute
Sen. Mitch McConnell calls the presidential election “a resounding repudiation of the last eight years of failed liberal policies, many of which were imposed on the American people against their will.”
That doesn’t really compute.
True, Donald Trump won the majority of electors; but the majority of voters opted for Hillary Clinton and her promise to continue President Barack Obama’s policies. Projections have Clinton ahead by over 1 million votes. That’s hardly a resounding repudiation.
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If by “imposed ... against their will” McConnell means “done by executive order,” that’s a pretty sweeping claim and raises serious questions. Were all the orders done against the will of all the people? Again, given the election results, that seems unlikely.
Though used by all presidents, executive orders are not ideal. But there’s hardly any other way of getting anything done if you’re faced with a Congress that has preemptively declared its unwillingness to support you in any way and sees fit to prove it with repeated attempts to repeal anything you managed to get done.
McConnell’s comments are remarkable coming from a congressional leader who famously said his party’s top priority was to cause this president to fail.
Sen. Mitch McConnell’s op-ed of Nov. 15 makes many claims which I find difficult to reconcile with reality, but the most important is contained in the headline, that the “election was a repudiation of Obama’s liberal reign.”
I’m not surprised by the senator’s interpretation of the results; his success depends on self-serving distortions of reality.
Hillary Clinton received at least 1.1 million more votes than the president-elect. While our current president-elect won the Electoral College, and so was elected, he lost the popular vote. I don’t dispute that he won the election, but clearly, more people in America agreed with Clinton than with the Republican choice. Given the Republican Party’s claim that a Clinton presidency represented a continuation of President Barack Obama’s policies, winning the popular vote hardly seems a repudiation of said policies.
No trump mandate
“It’s well known in Washington that President Obama failed to extend outreach in any significant way to most members of Congress.”
So states Sen. Mitch McConnell in op-ed in the Herald-Leader on Nov. 15, failing to mention that it’s also well known in Washington that the Republican caucus met before Barack Obama even took the oath of office to agree to fight against anything he intended to do. He also takes issue with Jamie Lucke’s description of America as “a nation left tarnished and torn,” again seemingly failing to understand that Donald Trump failed to garner even a plurality of the vote.
There has been no repudiation, nor was there a mandate. The refusal of the Republican members of Congress to work in any meaningful way with President Barack Obama is what has led to this unfortunate moment in American history, and whatever misfortune may befall our country in the coming years is on them. If anybody is out of touch, it is McConnell. It’s a shame that he represents such a glorious commonwealth to the nation.
Silence was golden
I am a citizen who has lived in Kentucky for over 30 years. I see that Sen. Mitch McConnell’s loyalty is to the Republican Party and to gloating over his party’s perceived political victory. Was the election a repudiation of failed policies, as he stated? No. Hillary Clinton won the popular vote.
During the campaign season McConnell stood by silently as President-elect Donald Trump incited racism, xenophobia and misogyny, keeping his hands clean by not invoking Trump’s name. Now I see him stepping in to reap the benefit of his silence. That might be considered a brilliant tactic, but it is repulsive.
Moreover, in 2016 as Senate majority leader, McConnell intervened to strongly block the appointment of a Supreme Court justice after Antonin Scalia’s death created a vacancy early in the year. Was this lawful according to the Constitution? No. As a public official, senators have sworn to uphold the Constitution. McConnell made a political decision to defy the law. I will never forget this. McConnell did not do his job for all Americans.
I read Sen. Mitch McConnell’s op-ed narrative of Barack Obama’s two terms in office. It is skillfully crafted, but does not ring true. Remember McConnell said his No. 1 priority was to limit Obama to one term. He called for pulling out Obamacare “root and branch.” These harsh sentiments do not signal cooperation.
So now that McConnell and his GOP (a.k.a. “Party of No”) are in nearly complete control of the U.S. government, and by the way, 98 percent of Kentucky, what will their reign produce for all of our citizens and those here and abroad who want to become citizens?
Andrew J. Grimes
Hope I’m wrong
Contrary to what Sen. Mitch McConnell thinks, Donald Trump’s win does not repudiate President Barack Obama’s reign. Obama’s approval rating after the election was 57 percent. (I found one poll that gave McConnell a rating of 11 percent). Hillary Clinton also won the popular vote.
The system is rigged. Trump had that right. Eliminate gerrymandering and the Electoral College and Clinton would be president. Anyone who complains about the national debt and then brags about not paying any income tax is morally bankrupt. I thought Clinton would win. I was wrong. I fear that Trump as president will be a disaster. I hope I am wrong again.
Sen. Mitch McConnell claims a resounding repudiation by the voters. Could anything be further from the truth? Hillary Clinton’s margin in the popular vote is over 1 million. McConnell also blames the Obama administration for not working with Congress, this coming from the biggest obstructionist of modern times, a man who said he would do everything in his power to see that Obama would not win a second term. That’s the definition of a hypocrite.
We couldn’t even get legislation passed to develop a vaccine for the Zika virus because Republicans added provisions to the bill. Let’s not forget Republicans would not consider, let alone approve, a Supreme Court justice, even though over two-thirds of American voters thought otherwise.
Since 2007 the Republicans have filibustered about 500 pieces of legislation (a record), many that would have helped the middle class. No wonder the voter is disenchanted with the stagnation in Washington, brought on in large part by McConnell’s tactics. That these tactics worked for the Republican Party is a conundrum and misdirected.
Change election coming?
Regarding Mitch McConnell’s op-ed that said “the election of Trump sends a clear message to the establishment in Washington: it’s no longer business as usual”:
McConnell has been one of the cornerstones of that establishment for more than 30 years. He is a major player in the “politics as usual.” How does that square with his comment that it will no longer be “business as usual”?
My fear is that it will be business like we’ve never seen before in this country, and not in a good way. I wouldn’t be surprised that after these next four years, Americans will, indeed, vote for “something very different.”
Cooper a real statesman
I read with great interest the column by editorial writer Jamie Lucke, “Could McConnell have Saved GOP with Less Polarization?” I appreciated her reference to Sen. John Sherman Cooper.
I spoke at Cooper’s funeral in the chapel at Arlington Cemetery. At the time of his death, I was his pastor at the First Baptist Church in Somerset.
The theme of my eulogy was “He Made Power a Healthy Word.” I relayed stories he shared that led me to this conclusion, including the dinner Lucke described. I believe this dinner between the Coopers and the Kennedys occurred soon after the election as the president-elect sought advice on Cabinet selections.
The senator was passionate about building bridges of goodwill, understanding, hope and reconciliation instead of erecting walls of suspicion and hate. Perhaps this is a reason Cooper is one of Kentucky’s most revered statesmen.
His influence upon me has been immeasurable. I have to believe all who knew him would say the same.
Pastor, First Baptist Church
At issue: Commentary by Sen. Mitch McConnell, “Election brought hope, renewal, repudiation of Obama’s liberal reign” and column by editorial writer Jamie Lucke, “Could McConnell have saved GOP with less polarization?”