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Have you ever been told to “knock it off”?
You have if you’re Mitch McConnell — by none other than Republican South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham.
As of late, Senate Minority Leader Mitch hasn’t seemed much of a Trumper.
In fact — as covered by RedState’s Bonchie — following last week’s 2nd-impeachment-ending acquittal, Mitch dropped some bombs on the erstwhile POTUS.
U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell called Donald Trump “practically and morally responsible” (Saturday) for his supporters’ deadly attack on the Capitol, only moments after voting to acquit the Republican former president on an impeachment charge of inciting the melee.
And from Mitch’s mouth:
“There is no question that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day.”
“The people who stormed this building believed they were acting on the wishes and instructions of their president.”
Bonchie was perplexed by the slam after what some would call a contradictory vote:
In short, it sure seems to me like McConnell was convinced Trump should have been convicted but that the minority leader just chickened out on putting that on the record.
Of course, Donald J. Trump isn’t known for staying on the ropes.
Via a statement, he came back with punches of his own.
I challenge you to find this vague:
“Mitch is a dour, sullen, and unsmiling political hack.”
“[I]f Republican Senators are going to stay with him, they will not win again.”
NEW: Former President Donald Trump puts out a statement blasting Leader McConnell:
“Mitch is a dour, sullen, and unsmiling political hack, and if Republican Senators are going to stay with him, they will not win again." pic.twitter.com/TuFL3qCqdn
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) February 16, 2021
And courtesy of a Trump statement read by Fox’s Neil Cavuto Tuesday:
“The Republican Party can never again be respected or strong with political leaders like Senator Mitch McConnell at the helm. His lack of political insight, wisdom, skill, and personality has rapidly driven him from majority leader to minority leader. And it will only get worse.”
So what happens when the kids fight? The parent has to tell ’em what’s what.
Or, in this case, a sitting senator calls on a legislative titan and the the 20th century’s most eccentric American billionaire to settle down.
Lindsey laid it out for Sean Hannity:
“They are now at each other’s throat.”
The congressman’s concerned:
“I am more worried about 2022 than I’ve ever been. I don’t wanna eat our own. President Trump is the most consequential Republican in the party. If Mitch McConnell doesn’t understand that, he’s missing a lot. But my beef is not with Mitch McConnell, because he has the same policy views I do. My beef is that we need to knock this off.”
He added that Trump was a “good president,” and he had a message for #45:
“[Y]ou own the Republican Party, my friend. But 55% of the people wanted you impeached and removed. You are the hope of the future of conservatism, President Trump, but we’ve got to make some changes to get back the White House in 2024 and have a Republican majority in the Senate and the House in 2022. I believe the Democrats are doing all they can to help us. We just need to help ourselves.”
Lindsey pointed out, “Ronald Reagan’s 11th commandment was ‘Don’t speak ill of fellow Republicans.’”
In terms of party strategy, that doesn’t sound misguided.
Furthermore, there are very few guarantees in life; but here is one: Donald Trump does not back down. If you attack him, he will attack back. And he won’t do it with a feathery touch.
Infighting involving Trump, it appears to me, won’t end well if at all.
Moreover, for 70+ million voters, Mitch’s words may not prove seductive.
Graham touched on that, while still palming a bit of the ol’ ‘Knock it off’ advisory:
“Without President Trump, we are never going to get back in the majority. And to President Trump, you are going to have to make some changes for you to reach your potential. At the end of the day, we are gonna hang separately or we’re gonna hang together as Republicans.”