The GOP is in a civil war, and Mitch McConnell is making it worse The Washington Examiner ^ | November 13,2017 | James Wallner

The GOP is in a civil war, and Mitch McConnell is making it worse
The Washington Examiner ^ | November 13,2017 | James Wallner

Posted on 11/14/2017, 11:14:39 AM by Hojczyk

According to a recent report, the Senate majority leader has decided to escalate his feud with Steve Bannon, the former adviser to President Trump and current Breitbart News executive chairman.

McConnell’s allies cite the decision as evidence of his toughness.

But it illustrates instead the limits of his leadership.

While long considered a canny operator, the reality is that McConnell has been unsuccessful in leading Senate Republicans in the current environment. And the decision to treat his critics as adversaries suggests that he would rather deflect blame for his missteps than rise above a conflict that threatens to tear his party apart.

The perception of McConnell’s tenure as Republican leader is belied by its reality. Admittedly, he’s earned a reputation over the years as a skilled legislative tactician for appearing to always triumph in the face of adversity. Given his experience and skill, many Republicans believed McConnell was ideally suited to shepherd their agenda through the Senate in 2017.

Yet the reality is that 2017 is almost over and McConnell has yet to deliver on his promise. Instead, Republicans are at risk of squandering the best opportunity to enact their agenda in more than a decade.

This suggests that McConnell’s reputation as a leader par excellence was not entirely justified in the first place.

Leading successfully in the current environment is admittedly not easy. But neither is it impossible. Past Senate leaders such as Sens. Mike Mansfield, D-Mont.; Everett Dirksen, R-Ill.; and Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., could do so in similar, if not even more challenging, situations. These leaders succeeded by facilitating the participation of interested senators in the legislative process. The goodwill they earned in doing so earned their colleagues trust and helped them to broker compromises between the various factions in their parties.

(Excerpt)

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