The date was October 23, 2010 – almost two years into President Obama's first term of office, and two weeks before the first half-time election of his presidency. Speaking to National Journal, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) made a now-famous statement: "One of the most important things we want to achieve is for President Obama to become a one-term president."
Like Glenn Kessler from The Washington Post pointing out, reading quotes in their full context made it clear that McConnell said that it was impossible for Republicans to achieve their policy goals with Obama in office. But the Democrats immediately took the statement as evidence that the Republican Party should try to obstruct Obama's agenda, putting alignments in front of the country's best interests.
On Tuesday, a week after the Democratic Party regained control of the House of Representatives, McConnell, now the majority leader, published FoxNews.com, a very different opinion. "Will the Dems work with us, or just put partisan politics in front of the country?" Headline firmly. Needless to say, it did not go well with the liberals, who rushed to show McConnell's chutzpah is incomparable and accused him of being blatant hypocrisy.
The opening began with McConnell telling what Republicans had achieved over the past two years: going through a series of tax cuts, confirming two Supreme Court nominations and overthrowing federal regulations. "After this productive run, I'm not surprised to be asked during the past week about how many Americans can expect from the next Congress under divided leadership," he wrote. "What can we achieve realistically?"
The good news, McConnell replied, is that "reports of bipartisanship deaths in Washington have been exaggerated." Legislation targets the opioid epidemic, increases defense funds, reforms the Department of Veterans Affairs and funds infrastructure improvements over with support from both parties. , he said. Then, in sudden tactics, he argued that Democrats, after regaining control of the House of Representatives, must refrain from investigating President Trump:
The Senate has proven its ability to achieve a bipartisan solution to some of the most pressing challenges facing our nation.
And looking forward to the coming year, there will be no shortage of opportunities to continue this impressive record of collaboration across the aisle and across the Capitol.
What we can do from that opportunity will depend on our Democratic colleagues. Will they choose to do it themselves and only make political points? Or will they choose to work together and really make a difference?
Last week, Americans made it very clear that they preferred that Congress focus on making a difference.
The message may have been lost in some House Democrats, who have clarified their preferences for investigations on the results of the policy. After years of rhetoric, there was almost no news that some people were more interested in fanning the fire division than reaching across the aisle.
On Tuesday afternoon, McConnell (or, more likely, a member of his staff) posted a link to the forum Twitter. At midnight, he had received more than 29,000 replies. Almost all of them came from disadvantaged liberals, many of whom only responded to one name: Merrick Garland, Obama's Supreme Court nominee, whose appointment was blocked by McConnell.
Among other responses:
"I hope we work with you same way You work with President Obama. "
"I think every time Mitch McConnell tries to use it 'partisan' word pie must hit his face. "
"Man, you are one of the most in my life partisan zero-sum I have witnessed in politics. It's not something to be proud of. That's the reason why Congress is so dysfunctional. "
"You make Democrats abandon all committees and hide all information, so no. Go eat worms."
"Lol seriously ?! How often do you work with Dems? How many times have you put them out of a big decision when you have a majority or hit something on your neck? Maybe you should have this enlightenment before now. "
"Mr. McConnell, yes, you are World's top experts put a party above the country. Nobody has ever done it more clearly than you. But now, YOU calling for bipartisansi? Your hypocrisy is extraordinary. Obviously, no good American will take you seriously. "
McConnell's office could not be reached for comment on Twitter's reaction on Tuesday night. It is noteworthy that his sentiments, however unpopular online, were not entirely out of sync with the top Democratic Party leaders. Last week, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) Promised that Democrats would "try to be bipartisanship" and look for similarities with the Republican Party – a peaceful attitude that has angered some of its constituents.
Pelosi, who is currently vying to become the next DPR chairman, also avoids making definitive statements about a potential investigation into the Trump administration at a press conference immediately after the midterm. Told reporters that the House of Representatives had "constitutional responsibility to exercise oversight," he added that he did not anticipate "small-scale recklessness" on the front. Democrats, he said, "are trying to unite our country."
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