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Independents & Moderates Hoping For Progress, Look At Mitch McConnell’s History & Power

There is a lot of hope among people from all US political parties that the United States will move forward in a bipartisan, united way with Joe Biden as president. That would be nice, but people who follow US politics very closely know there’s less chance of that happening than the chance

There is a lot of hope among people from all US political parties that the United States will move forward in a bipartisan, united way with Joe Biden as president. That would be nice, but people who follow US politics very closely know there’s less chance of that happening than the chance that Georgia will go to Donald Trump — or, in non-political terms, less chance of that than the chance that the coronavirus pandemic will completely disappear by January.

There is a strong, strong desire in the United States for bipartisan action on important legislation. People want this. Unfortunately, Mitch McConnell has demonstrated that he has absolutely no interest in bipartisan progress. He has demonstrated that for a decade. And even after failing to help protect and boost the economy in the later stages of the pandemic, Kentucky voters didn’t punish McConnell for this. They just re-elected him by a sizable margin against a terrific Democratic candidate. Over the past decade, McConnell has demonstrated that his focus on obstructing progress is about as strong as Steph Curry’s focus on shooting basketballs (or Michael Jordan’s if you haven’t followed basketball in a couple of decades, which is how long McConnell has been a leader in the Senate).

Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Yes, a lot got done in the US government after Obama was elected. For about two years. Then Republicans won the Senate, putting McConnell in charge, and nearly 100% of legislation was blocked by McConnell. The GOP became the “Party of No,” and McConnell openly admitted that his #1 goal was to make Obama a one-term president — no, not to help the American public, but to hurt the US president, which implicitly meant hurting the United States. (Why would Americans vote out the president if all was going well?)

McConnell blocked practically everything for 6 years. There’s a solid argument that the lack of progress caused by McConnell’s complete obstructionism is what led to Donald Trump. There was strong economic recovery in the first couple years of Obama’s presidency, when Democrats controlled the House and Senate and only had to contend with the right-leaning moderates in their own party and a desire for bipartisanship, but that was all but stopped — put on Autopilot, you might say (speed-restricted Autopilot) — which allowed Republicans and Fox News to complain about lack of progress and “slow” economic growth for 6 years.

After Donald Trump won in 2016, he had a Republican Congress for two years himself, and what did they do? They almost repealed the Affordable Care Act, and they cut taxes by an enormous degree on super rich people and corporations. That was it.

In more recent years, after Democrats took over the House of Representatives in 2018, McConnell proudly called himself the Grim Reaper. The Democrat-controlled House has passed many bills to help the American public — economic stimulus, an infrastructure booster, health and climate legislation, and so on and so on — and McConnell has not even considered the bills. He has not given them a moment of his time. He has not even put them on his desk. Because his default is to do nothing in Congress except anoint conservative judges to lifetime appointments onto federal courts and the Supreme Court.

Any hope of bipartisan change has to go through Mitch McConnell. And anyone who has paid close attention to policy (not just politics) in the past decade knows that such hope is horribly misguided.

Yes, there is some hope that Biden’s history in the Senate, his superb negotiation abilities, his moderate and compromising nature, his non-combative approach, and his election as 46th President of the United States will somehow work magic on McConnell, leading the Republican Party to work with Biden and the Democratic Party to help the American public in this difficult time. (After all, we are being slammed economically from this health crisis and all that has resulted in the past 8 months.) However, such hope is optimistic at best and naive at worst, as many people who have followed policy and politics close for a decade or more can quickly point out.

But hope is almost all we’ve got right now. And we are lucky to have one of the most unifying politicians in US history going into the White House in January.

So, for now, let’s hope.

However, let’s also not be unrealistic in what we expect will come out of a US Senate run by self-anointed Grim Reaper Mitch McConnell.

Featured image: screenshot of Joe Biden campaign video

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Written By

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA], NIO [NIO], Xpeng [XPEV], Ford [F], Amazon [AMZN], Piedmont Lithium [PLL], Lithium Americas [LAC], and Starbucks [SBUX]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.


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