As Senator Mitch McConnell continues aging, he looks less and less like a Senate maestro who, even if not in the MAGA camp as many would prefer, at least is able to manipulate procedural outcomes to get conservative judges appointed. Instead, he looks more and more like one of the aging oligarchs of the Soviet days who lacks the energy or mental competence to be in office. Republicans are waking up to that and now want him out.
As background, Mitch McConnell had yet another freezing incident recently. It was made equally visible to the public because it occurred while he was trying to speak to the press, and so was caught on video and showed that his mental state is not what many think a senator’s should be, particularly when paired with rumors of his body failing as well.
Watch both of the incidents here:
McConnell has attempted to wave the issue away, telling the media that Congress’s top doctor, Brian Monahan, had said he did not appear to have experienced a stroke or seizure. Pointing to that report, Senator McConnell said, “I think Dr. Monahan covered the subject fully. I think it should answer any reasonable questions.”
Continuing, McConnell said he plans to finish his term as Senate Minority Leader, which doesn’t end until 2025, and his Senate term, which does not end until 2026. He said, “I am going to finish my term as leader and I’m going to finish my Senate term.”
His allies in the Senate tried to back him up on not stepping down, with Sen. John Thune of South Dakota, the No. 2 in the Senate, saying, “Without getting into particulars or details, I mean he was very strong, sharp in the lunch today.” Continuing, Sen. Thune added, “So I think everybody left feeling very good about where it was at.”
But many Republicans, even in the less-populist Senate, are growing tired of Sen. McConnell, what he represents, and his advanced age. One such GOP senator was Senator Tommy Tuberville of Alabama, who said, “The last freeze-up, it puts a question in everybody’s mind whether he can do it or not. At the end of the day, he’s going to have to make that decision. But if he freezes up again, he obviously knows that everybody else is going to have to get involved in this.” Putting his view of the situation clearly, he added, “We need a good quarterback.”
Though he did not directly call for the replacement of McConnell, Sen. Rand Paul did dispute the claim that McConnell did not have a seizure, telling reporters, “I’ve practiced medicine for 25 years, and it doesn’t look like dehydration to me. It looks like a focal neurologic event.”
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