Reagan covered this earlier today, but soon-to-be-ex Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) came out guns blazing against the president. With just one day left of the Trump administration, the Kentucky Republican flat-out blamed Trump for causing the chaos that engulfed the Capitol Building on January 6. Five people died. Scores of pro-Trump supporters descended into the capital for the Save America rally which the president addressed. Some marched to Capitol Hill and mayhem erupted. Federal investigators are looking into evidence that this was a pre-planned incident. That, of course, undercuts the new articles of impeachment against the president which passed the House with ten Republican votes. Trump is being charged with inciting and riot and insurrection. This was bound to happen in the aftermath.
McConnell hasn’t said where he’ll land on impeachment, but he’s reportedly furious with Trump, blaming him for losing the GOP majority in the Senate. He sees the impeachment move as a way to purge Trumpism from the Republican Party. He does not view this push as politically motivated, which is a huge endorsement from the GOP side of the aisle.
WATCH: Sen. McConnell on US Capitol insurrection:— NBC News (@NBCNews) January 19, 2021
"The mob was fed lies. They were provoked by the president and other powerful people, and they tried to use fear and violence to stop a specific proceeding of the first branch of the federal government which they did not like." pic.twitter.com/Gr4fXQp2R9
So far, you can guess who would vote for impeachment on the Republican side right now: Sens. Mitt Romney (R-UT), Susan Collins (R-ME), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Ben Sasse (R-NE), and Pat Toomey (R-PA). That leaves 12 votes short of the two-thirds majority required for a conviction. Yet, McConnell carries markers, and he offers a lot of political cover, or so it seems.
Poll after poll shows this move to purge to so-called Trump element from the GOP is fraught with danger, but McConnell’s remarks show he’s planted his flag and he’s determined to follow through on it. Does he know that the party base is still decidedly in the Trump camp? Also, if he decided to launch nukes at the Trump wing, does he know that it could keep the GOP in the minority for quite some time. You cannot win elections if 30-40 percent of the base, who are Trump die-hards, walk away.
Also, it’s not like Trumpism is some alien attachment to the wider conservative movement. Almost 90 percent of its policy initiatives are what Reagan Republicans have pushed for on the national political stage for decades. It boils down to personality, which really can’t be debated. If you don’t like Trump, like some in the GOP, then anything he does flies by like millions of jobs being created, Middle East peace agreements, no new wars, record unemployment across the board, a solid conservative majority on the Supreme Court, the total overhaul of the federal judiciary along conservative lines, and consumer and small business confidence reaching their highest marks in years. Yeah, Trumpism sure is awful.
Awfully conservative. You made your bed, Mitch. I hope you know what you’re doing.
The House plans to send the articles of impeachment to the Senate later this week.