There is a growing effort under way by Republicans to oust Mitch McConnell. North Carolina Congressman Mark Walker, the chair of the Republican Study Committee, said in an interview that “there’s a growing consensus that would be very happy if the fine senator from Kentucky called it a career” Though Walker is in the House, Senators are expressing frustration as well, though more diplomatically. And it is notable that it is the RSC Chairman, not just the House Freedom Caucus members, publicly saying this.
David Perdue of Georgia is one of several senators to question the direction of the Senate GOP.
Which leads me to Alabama where Roy Moore made ousting McConnell the centerpiece of his campaign. It resonated so well that Luther Strange had to start saying the same thing, though no one believed him because McConnell funded his campaign.
In Mississippi, McConnell allies worked with Democrats to sabotage Chris McDaniel’s challenge to Thad Cochran because, in part, McDaniel would have challenged McConnell’s leadership.
Now, Roy Moore is the nominee. In calls with donors, McConnell and his allies have started suggesting the GOP will lose the Senate because of all the rightwing candidates challenging them in primaries. Ginning up opposition to Moore in coordination with media efforts to suggest Alabama Republicans are even rejecting a guy like Moore would be an effective way to scare people away from anyone who might challenge McConnell. Many of the reporters on Capitol Hill work on a de facto patronage system where they serve as stenographers for McConnell and friends in exchange to leadership access. This would not be hard to do.
Just remember that McConnell is all about himself. He’d rather be a ruler in Hell than a servant in Heaven so long as he is in charge. Obamacare repeal was scuttled in part because McConnell knew it would impact Kentucky. Only six judges have gotten through the Senate but McConnell made sure the ones affecting Kentucky were on that list. McConnell has never put the party ahead of himself because he views his interests as the interests of the party.
And if he perceives a coming wave of rightwing primary challengers might threaten his hold on power, I suspect he’d gladly sabaotage those efforts even if it meant turning a blind eye to Democrat advances.