Pelosi's strength and McConnell's weakness is generating an epic leadership gap
On Thursday, Mitch McConnell reversed himself on previous statements about the National Emergency Act and declared that he would go along with Donald Trump’s ludicrous, and dangerous, theft of $8 billion. In doing so, McConnell is writing himself a spot in the history books … a spot that falls somewhere between Arnold, Benedict and Quisling, Vidkun.
McConnell is agreeing to support Trump in an executive branch takeover of legislative function. But wait! He’s also counting on the judicial branch, the branch he’s been trying to cut off for years, to pick up the pieces of his disaster. It’s a plan that just screams “Mitch McConnell-Style Leadership.”
But this isn’t a surprise to anyone. Mitch McConnell’s style of leadership is already extremely familiar to Americans on the left and the right. That’s why McConnell is viewed like this:
Net favorable ratings of congressional leaders in 2019
Nancy Pelosi enjoys the support of most of her party, and her position has been slowly but steadily improving since Election Day. That’s not the situation for McConnell. On Election Day, he was just three points behind Pelosi. But after leading his party into the first shutdown, he entered the new congressional session 28 points behind his Democratic counterpart. That distance between McConnell and Pelosi is the leadership gap. It’s the gap between a leader who is working with the various factions of her party while balancing the needs of the country, and a leader in name only who is continually finding new ways to fail. It’s also a measure of how McConnell has taken the “upper” chamber of Congress and turned it into something even less than a sideshow.
As McConnell bends the knee to Trump again … watch this space.