I watched with horror the alleged “leader” of the GOP in the Senate on Fox News Sunday, Senator Mitch McConnell. I now understand why the Senate GOP is so adrift. Mitch McConnell was not on Meet the Press, or Face the Nation where he would have a hostile liberal talking head drill him. No, he had Chris Wallace. Mr. Wallace can direct tough questions to both liberal and conservatives, but Mr. Wallace was hardly being tough on Senator McConnell. Senator McConnell was not in enemy territory on Fox News Sunday. It was the friendliest territory as Senator McConnell could expect from any of the Sunday talk shows. It was also the best opportunity for Senator McConnell to get the GOP message out clearly without a liberal host diverting Senator McConnell from his message with a “gotcha question.” One would also think that Senator McConnell would actually think of possible questions ahead of time, “What questions may I be asked?” “Maybe Chris Wallace will wonder what the GOP plan is?” “Maybe Mr. Wallace will wonder about the 30 million Americans that don’t have insurance, and what the GOP plan is for them?” You would think that the leader of the Senate GOP would have been pro-active enough to think ahead, and have some clear, concise answers prepared ahead of time. You would think…and you would be wrong. Oh so wrong!
As is standard operating procedure for the Leader of the establishment Senate GOP, Priority Number 1 is to steal defeat from the jaws of victory. Here is classic Mitch:
McConnell insisted repealing Obamacare would be the biggest improvement for the American health care system, but Wallace interrupted him to ask once again how, after “repeal and replace,” the GOP would expand coverage. McConnell said he’d “get to it in a minute” before going right back to bashing the Affordable Care Act.
When one is doing a Sunday talk show, you don’t have a minute, you have seconds! Seconds to present a clear, concise, logical, competent response. And you need to know your message cold. One cannot come across as an incompetent dolt that is assuming that he is in Chris Wallace’s good graces. Because even Chris Wallace will go into shark mode when he smells blood in the water.
But Senator McConnell is just starting to bleed….
He said that the Republicans would put forth “modest reforms” in place of the law and would not simply take a “meat ax” to it. But once again, Wallace piped in to get McConnell to directly answer his question.
“Modest Reforms?” Really? I’m not a Demi-God like Mitch, but even I wonder, “What the hell does modest reforms mean?” For some liberals, Obamacare is “Modest Reform.” And what the hell is a “meat axe?” Is that an axe that is specific to Kentucky?
But wait, the hits just keep coming! It’s not enough that Mitch has the friendliest host that he will find on a Sunday morning, but Mitch puts Chris Wallace in a position to further bust out the shark:
“I just want to ask what specifically are you going to do to provide universal coverage to the 30 million people who are uninsured?”
So Mitch, I guess that “Modest Reforms” didn’t quite cut it. Too bad, Champ. Sorry you didn’t see that one coming. But I did! A kid on a high-school debate team would see that coming. But you will dazzle Chris Wallace with your next laser-like retort….
McConnell answered, “That is not the issue.” Wallace shot back with, “You don’t think 30 million people uninsured is an issue?”
“That is not the issue?” Ouch! Mitch, did that hurt when you pushed your face into Chris Wallace’s right fist? “That is not the issue?” Mitch, in one blithering inept, deft move, you made 30 million uninsured Americans the issue that you don’t’ have a sound answer to! But Ole’ Mitch is not done pushing his face around Chris Wallace’s fists. Not by a long shot.
“Wallace brought up the issue of pre-existing conditions, which the health care law does cover, and asked McConnell how Republicans would deal with that issue. McConnell said that should be left to the states to work out and not the job of the federal government.”
“That should be left up to the states to work out and not the job of the federal government.” Translated, Mitch, it sounds to me like you don’t have a clue what to do with pre-existing issues either. Thankfully, mercifully, Chris Wallace ran out of time for the segment. It is unclear how much more damage Senator Mitch McConnell could have done to his face with more time.
The appearance of Senator Mitch McConnell on Fox News Sunday is proof that he needs to go. Not only did he squander his opportunity to present a coherent message on the repeal of Obamacare, he made the GOP look incompetent. It is proof that he incapable of dealing with the Democrats, not to mention the hostile media. It is proof that he is not thinking as a leader. Call it what you want; he has lost his game, he is past his prime. I could see value of Mitch McConnell as the wise elder statesman, working behind the scene, but I doubt he is willing to let go of his power for the good of his party. He will just keep pushing his face into his opponent’s fists.
Here is the video link: