“”McConnell, as though lunch isn’t agreeing with him. He has been described as having ‘the natural charisma of an oyster.’” This is a quote from an article in The Atlantic written by Joshua Green, that can be easily and fruitfully read it its entirety online (source link). It was written in 2011 and was titled The Great Obstructionist. It’s my starting point for my own thoughts on Mitch McConnell.
Since we are spinning without the slightest pause in a mysterious universe, it is not so strange that time moves so fast, although I am always noting it with regret: both you and I, and Mitch, are now six years older than we were when Joshua Green wrote the article, and McConnell’s obstructionism has matured, nourished by the toxic amalgam that seems such an essential component of his nature.
How did he evolve, from the gifted republican fund-raiser, lackey of the DeVos, able to gather about him from the salary of a Senator, a net worth of millions of dollars, to this person determined to flaunt the rules and norms of democracy (see Merrick Garland), encourage the rise of demagogues (see how he was the one who rejected Obama’s wish in July 2016 that Congress raise the dangers of Russian cyber interventions and invasions, and lift the burden of accusations of partisanship from the presidential shoulders) and lean in to the shallow splendor of serving the profoundly corrupt?
Does he believe he is doing any good?
Or is doing good precisely the anathema he cannot abide? In the religious past, when evil was conceptualized and embodied by devils – usually red, usually with horns and goatish tails – the myth persisted that only goodness could exorcise evil and a whole culture of exorcism accrued around the myth…but today, exorcisms are no longer possible, and in any case who wants the totally good? Apart from it being impossible, it would also be unbearable to live in the saccharine world of the complete altruist and the absolutely unselfish. You want – at least, I certainly want, a robust amount of self-interest around me, and I accept my own self-interest as an integral part of who I am. Let’s not kid ourselves, we want no saints, even when we pretend we do.
But there seems to me a world of difference between the self-interest I advocate, and what Mitch seems to want. My self-interest is not cynical, and it is inclusive, in the sense that I want to weigh the value of something for what it will gain me AND everyone else. And if the scale points to a greater advantage to me than to others, I feel an obligation to re-balance the scale so that it remains poised, in equilibrium. Why should I get so much more than you?
It seems that what Mitch wants, despite endlessly talking of the good of the American people, is more power, more money and and more influence than anyone else including the corrupt man he is ‘serving’. And to exercise the power as a human oyster not to make any pearls.