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Conservatives &Politics Richard Falknor on 26 Jan 2009 09:41 pm

Is the Senate Republican Leader Any Kind of Conservative?

This month we wrote twice about the most recent missteps of the U. S. Senate Republican leader, Mitch McConnell from Kentucky, here and here.

Along these lines, the National Press Club Wire today reports “McConnell Pledges Cooperation, Predicts Prompt Stimulus Passage” here – –

“He presented his own bipartisan credentials by noting his work with Sen. Diane Feinstein, D-Calif, on human rights abuses in Burma, with Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn, on voting rights, and on the financial rescue package just before his own reelection bid in 2008.”
. . . . . . . . . .
“During the question period, the senator predicted passage of the economic stimulus package before the congressional break in February. He favored giving states loans rather than grants under the plan because ‘everybody’s making a list and checking it twice’ and he believes money to be repaid will be more carefully spent. There’s ‘bipartisan enthusiasm for this money,’ he added.” (Underscoring Forum’s.)

But Red State managing editor Erick Erickson, also today, renews his critique of the Kentucky senator, and makes some telling points which merit careful consideration:

“Roll Call notes McConnell intends to outline a “post-partisan” path. Everything you wanted to know about where McConnell is headed can be found in this part of the article:

‘Although McConnell’s speech could prove unpopular with the activists who generally attend the winter meeting, it could also provide a rallying cry for old-line Republicans to reassert their authority within the party, one GOP source familiar with the meeting said.’

After 2006, Lamar Alexander [chairman of the Senate Republican Conference] very famously told the Senate Republicans they needed to give up partisanship. At their conference, Alexander insisted Republican Senators only bring to the table agenda items on which they could seek compromise with the Democrats. In fact, Alexander regularly chastises conservative Republican senators and staffers.

When Roll Call says McConnell’s speech will ‘provide a rallying cry for old-line Republicans to reassert their authority within the party,’ what it means is a return to Bob Dole – Trent Lott compromise with the majority.

In other words, a return to Bob Michel. In McConnell’s own words from his Friday speech, ‘Dole explained it this way: ‘Those things that are lasting are bipartisan. If you don’t have a consensus, it’s not going to last.’’ To hell with that, Senator.

For the Senate GOP and the GOP in general to get on the road to the majority, the GOP should start listening to Rush Limbaugh. The GOP should make the case for Obama’s failures by letting him fail. The GOP should reject cooperation on the stimulus lest they be connected to it.” (Underscoring Forum’s.)

Red State voice Erickson goes on to list a bill of particulars against McConnell who, he declares —

  • has been notoriously antagonistic to DeMint for almost 2 years.
  • is throwing Coburn under the bus and throwing minority rights under the bus at the same time, refusing to stand up for the minority’s right to amend legislation.
  • currently is failing to do ANYTHING to define Republicans – such as not putting for[th] a Republican agenda of any kind, exemplified by the never-filled S11-S20 in the 110th Congress, and the yet to be laid out Republican agenda for the 111th (S11-S20 or not – just show me something).
  • that failure is exemplified by his willingness to let 25+ years of conservative, low-broad-tax-rate fiscal policy and sound economic policy get pissed all over by Democrats, with Republicans going along for the ride…
  • failed to keep us out of trouble on immigration, voting the right way only after the American people demanded it
  • has consistently sided with porkers over reformers, and never has enacted what he promised to do – reform/transparency re: earmarks and the appropriations process
  • [and so forth]

We would urge you to weigh Erickson’s entire post here.

Looking at the lost vote here on the anti-jobs and anti-business “Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009” and the lost vote here on the Land Grab and Anti-Energy Bill here, there appears to be a core of committed conservatives including senators John Cornyn, Tom Coburn, Jeff Sessions, Jim De Mint, and Jim Inhofe–around whom cluster perhaps twenty plus other senators.

And then there are the other Republican senators (of a total of 41) whose conservative convictions are often harder to identify.

As we wrote earlier, 34 senators are needed to stop several proposed sovereignty-destroying treaties.  Let us pray that the good Mr. McConnell does not fail conservatives as a ‘post-partisan’ leader on those crucial ratification votes.


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