The race for the Presidency may be all over but the whining, but the race for the ability to effectively govern still hangs in the balance. Since 2014, Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) has had a choke hold on legislation once it reached the Senate. Since 2016 he has played the role of the Devil’s right hand, if you will, by swearing allegiance with abandon to the man-who-would-be-king, the current occupant of the White House.
McConnell has effectively removed the “balances” in our system of checks and balances as far as the Senate is concerned. He wields his power brazenly and unashamedly, and, one could assume, without concern for the system of government our forebears established. Mitch McConnell may well be the most dangerous man in the USA.
But at least he’s honest about selling out to the demon of partisanship. Remember, it was in 2010 that, in an interview in the National Journal, McConnell stated that, “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.” No focus on keeping America great. No attention to ensuring that justice prevailed in this country. No mention of equality or abolishing poverty or providing health care. Only a drive AGAINST a President rather than FOR the country. Does anyone else hear the late Senator John McCain whirling in his grave?
Perhaps more than any other single person, Mitch McConnell has facilitated the divisive, racist, misogynistic, homophobic policies of the outgoing administration. And he has led his flock of red sheep all the way to the edge of the cliff. With McConnell’s re-election to the Senate, the most likely course of action for Democrats to gain control is to win the majority and relegate McConnell to the position of Senate Minority Leader. Otherwise, even with Joe Biden and Kamala Harris all but guaranteed to take the reins of the Executive Branch of government, Mitch McConnell would still hold enough power to hamstring much of the legislation that would come the Senate’s way. That is why the January Senatorial runoffs in Georgia are so very critical to the future of these United States.
Sitting Republican Senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler face run-offs with Democrats Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff. (Warnock would be the first black Georgian to hold a seat in the US Senate.) Democrats and Republicans will each have at least 48 Senators going into 2021, so the January run-off elections in Georgia can tip the scales either way. If it’s to the left, Chuck Schumer (D) will become the new Senate Majority Leader, giving Democrats control of both the Executive and Legislative branches of governmen
If the Biden-Harris administration is to succeed, if substantial progress is to be made toward inclusive, humane, just, and equitable policies and legislation, Democrats must control the Senate. If they gain control of the Senate there is a chance to right this ship and set her back on course. To do that Democrats must reach across the aisle with an invitation, not an axe. Priorities must return to what is for the good of the nation and the world, not a political party.
If a return to civility, to cooperation, to commitment to a higher purpose is something we care about, we cannot just keep Georgia on our minds. We must rally. We must speak out. We must tell others. We must reach into our pockets and give. The future of this nation hangs in the balance.
Singer-songwriter, columnist, psychotherapist, spiritual advisor. Lives in Oxford, MS, the home of many best-selling authors including, most notably, Nobel Laureate William Faulkner.