Donald Trump made a mistake. He asked for something that Mitch McConnell doesn’t want. But anyone who demands something in American politics that Mitch McConnell, the Republican majority leader in the Senate, does not want, has a problem.
A popular saying in Washington is that McConnell doesn’t care who is president next to him. Some also say that he doesn’t care who is president under him.
In any case, he is not only one of the most powerful men in America, but also one of the most astute tacticians in Congress. Trump is just feeling that.
Specifically, it is about the President’s wish that emergency aid for needy Americans in the recently passed Corona aid package is increased from 600 to 2000 dollars. He only signed the law at all, said Trump, because he had been assured that this increase would come – and that the Senate would also deal again with the issue of electoral fraud and review the legislation to protect social media.
Trump is interested in the latter two topics because he continues to claim without any basis that the election was stolen from him, and because he is annoyed that Twitter has recently been warning his lies. However, McConnell has no interest in these subjects.
Since he cannot openly say that he will not give Trump any support in his efforts, McConnell is now doing what he has mastered like hardly anyone on Capitol Hill: He plays his games.
With a serious expression and a deep voice, he announced that the Senate would “initiate the process” to discuss these issues. In other words: First of all, nothing happens in this regard.
Republicans find emergency aid of $ 2,000 too expensive
The majority of Republicans are against increasing emergency aid to $ 2,000. They consider the measure to be too expensive, and they also believe that in the medium term, President-elect Joe Biden will benefit if the state distributes money too generously.
However, the House of Representatives has now approved the increase, which requires a vote in the Senate. Democrats are willing to vote for the increase. It takes a two-thirds majority.
Some of Trump’s most loyal Senate supporters have already said they would comply with his request for an increase. This is not surprising in that his most loyal supporters would also agree if Trump asked them to wear a dog costume and say “woof”.
It’s the usual suspects, on the front lines Lindsey Graham from South Carolina and Marco Rubio from Florida. Most Senators, however, know, first, that Trump’s time is up, and, second, that McConnell will remain the most powerful man in the party for the foreseeable future. So you have no interest in messing with him.
Now McConnell is not so stupid that he seeks open confrontation and forces the senators to make a decision for him and against Trump. So what’s the easiest way to get the $ 2,000 problem off the table? He combines it with the other two issues Trump raised and wraps it all into a single bill.
It’s as simple as it is ingenious. With that he could announce – again with a serious expression and a deep voice – that he had exactly met the wishes of the president. At the same time, he would have elegantly brushed all three issues off the table, because the Democrats would never approve a law that said there may have been fraud in the November election.
McConnell purposefully mixes up several topics in one pot
So when McConnell says the Senate will “initiate the process” of discussing Trump’s wishes, he means that he is busy mixing things up in one big pot until it is inedible for all has become.
Although Trump currently spends many hours on the golf course every day, he still seems to have noticed that something is not going well for him. That he, the self-proclaimed biggest dealmaker, is being played like a schoolboy by his fellow party members according to all the rules of political art and that there is nothing he can do about it.
So he did what he always does. He had a rage on Twitter and didn’t skimp on capital letters: if Republicans weren’t longing for death, they’d have to raise payments to $ 2,000 immediately. Mitch McConnell must have followed the outbreak with great serenity.