It was a less than great moment for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Wednesday when he, during a press briefing, bizarrely paused for a long time, staring blankly while not moving or speaking. As could be expected, it led to calls for age limits for politicians, as it seems insane to many on the right and left that the country is run by geriatric individuals who seem to be in very bad health.
Twitter, Tesla, and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk joined that chorus of voices calling for change on Twitter, commenting on a video of McConnell’s freeze that went viral to say, “We need a constitutional amendment. This is insane.”
As background, the wild moment followed a weekly luncheon for GOP leaders on Wednesday afternoon, and McConnell led the press conference by saying, “Good afternoon, everyone. We’re on a path to finishing the NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act) this week, there’s been good bipartisan cooperation and a string of…”
That’s when he froze. It was an awkward few moments of silence before Sen. John Barrasso of Wyoming stepped up to the podium and asked, “You OK, Mitch?” Mitch didn’t respond. Barrasso asked again, saying, “Is there anything else you want to say or should we just go back to your office?”
Mitch still didn’t respond and so was escorted away, though he later returned and said that he was “fine.” He did not appear fine at the time, nor did he answer questions about if he will step down to be replaced by someone who is able to make it through a press briefing.
We need a constitutional amendment. This is insane.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 27, 2023
An aide from Sen. McConnell’s office told Fox News that Sen. McConnell “felt lightheaded and stepped away for a moment. He came back to handle Q and A, which as everyone observed was sharp.”
Though McConnell’s office tried to make it sound like the geriatric senator is sharp as a tack, many commenters agreed with Musk that a change to the system is needed so that America has leaders who can handle the job rather than geriatric, career politicians that have grown old and infirm in office.
One commenter, for example, said, “Setting an age limit would help, as well as imposing a break between mandates – this would make them less clingy to their seats.” Another, however, argued that it would be impossible to get the Uniparty to limit its own power, saying, “Permanent Washington will never limit its power and the abuse of that power.”
Another commenter argued that term limits are needed to stop people from being career politicians, writing, “Positions in government were supposed to be a service to your country, not a lifelong career. Get in and do the job you were elected to do and once it’s over it’s back to your normal life. 8 years max for any position and that’s only if you get re-elected. Would solve a lot.” That wouldn’t work for Senators, who have 6-year terms, but is still a sentiment with which many Americans agree given the old age and oligarch-like wealth of many of America’s career politicians.
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