During the 2016 presidential campaigns, political outsider Donald Trump vowed to drain the swamp in Washington DC, referring to the stagnant smelly swamp filled with career politicians who are more interested in keeping their positions than they are doing the job people elected them to do. Trump’s accusation applied to many career Republicans as well and his comment drew a lot of criticism from those Republicans as well as from Democrats.
Being a political outsider and threatening to drain the swamp which included many Republicans, a number of GOP leaders listed Trump as an enemy to be destroyed. Former White House Chief strategist Steve Bannon alluded to this in a recent interview. In the interview, Bannon indicated that both House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell were trying to somehow nullify Trump’s election or take him down and leave the power to themselves.
The interview was given after Congress failed to repeal or replace Obamacare. President Trump was very quick to point out that the GOP leaders had failed to keep their promise to the American people. This instantly spurred the ire of Ryan and McConnell, especially McConnell, who seemed to take Trump’s comment as a personal insult or slap in the face.
In fact, it was a personal insult and McConnell deserved it. McConnell was one of the Republican leaders promising to repeal and replace Obamacare for the past 7 years and when the time came for action, McConnell was not prepared and he wasn’t able to lead Senate Republicans to accomplish what he and they, had been promising.
McConnell has also failed as the Senate GOP leader to keep Trump’s promise to build a border wall or come up with a revamp of the tax code that would cut taxes for millions of Americans.
In the wake of the McConnell’s fiascos, President Trump and the American people are frustrated with McConnell and his inability to lead the Senate. He is being viewed by many as being a poor leader and someone who has lost much of his credibility and power.
When President Trump named Sen. Jeff Sessions to serve as his Attorney General, it vacated Sessions Senate seat from Alabama. In the interim, Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange was appointed to fill the vacant seat until a special election could be held.
In the primary, a number of Alabama Republicans ran for Session’s vacated seat. They included Strange, Rep. Mo Brooks and Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore. In the primary, Moore received the most votes with Strange coming in second. Since none of the Republicans garnered a 50% majority in primary, a runoff election is necessary due to Alabama law.
McConnell has thrown his full support and endorsement behind Strange. He has encouraged Alabama Republicans to keep Strange in the Senate.
However, a current poll indicates that McConnell’s power and influence means nothing to Alabama Republicans. The poll was conducted August 28-31 by a Montgomery based Southeast Research. They found that overall, 52% of voters favored Moore to only 36% favoring Strange.
There is an obvious rift in Washington between Trump and McConnell and it seems that Alabama voters are siding with Trump. In the same poll, 62.9% of the voters gave Trump a ‘strongly favorable’ rating. I wish they had asked for rating of McConnell, but they didn’t.
I live in Kentucky and McConnell is one of my two senators, but come the next election, I will likely vote for whatever Republican runs against him the primary. McConnell, is 75-years old and he is definitely one of the top gators in the Washington swamp, but that gator has lost many of his teeth. McConnell needs to be replaced with someone who is not old-school or a career politician and someone who will work to help President Trump keep the campaign promises on which the American people voted him into office on.