Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) recently criticized the Republican National Committee for its censure of Reps. Adam Kinzinger (IL-16) and Liz Cheney (WY) and broke with their language on the Jan. 6, 2021 riot, calling it a “violent insurrection.”
“It was a violent insurrection with the purpose of trying to prevent a peaceful transfer of power after a legitimately certified election. ... That’s what it was,” McConnell said according to reporting by The Hill newspaper.
McConnell’s remarks are at odds with a CBS/YouGov poll that asked people online about various terms used to describe the actions of the people who forced their way into the Capitol. Seventy-six percent said it was a protest that went too far.
A whopping 77% of Republicans and GOP-leaning respondents said they weren't confident the committee's investigation will be fair and reasonable, according to a September Pew poll. A large majority of Republicans — 66% — don't even believe the Capitol riot was an attack on the US government, an October Quinnipiac poll found. And a different poll found only 16% of Republicans approved of the January 6 committee's work.
Those polls make us wonder why the Hill’s Jordain Carney reported the RNC sparked a “fierce backlash” after it described Jan. 6, when a mob of former President Trump’s followers breached the Capitol, as “legitimate political discourse” in a resolution censuring Kinzinger and Cheney.
Perhaps the “fierce backlash” was not among actual Republican voters, but among the DC ruling class whose privileged existence was threatened by the January 6 protestors.
McConnell softened his remarks somewhat by saying he had confidence in McDaniel but that the job of the RNC was supporting all Republicans, not "singling out" members of the party.
“This issue is whether or not the RNC should be sort of singling out members of our party who may have different views from the majority. That’s not the job of the RNC,” he added according to Ms. Carney’s reporting.
Based on his stated dissatisfaction with the grassroots voters that make up his Party, perhaps the Senate’s alleged Republican Leader plans on starting his own political party. The “The Turtle Party” would apparently have no grassroots activists, nor would it need any voters. Instead, it will be made up entirely of timeserving elected officials, Washington lobbyists, corporate donors, grifting special interests and careerist DC flunkies.
And it appears that several other Senators, including Mitt Romney, Lindsey Graham and John Cornyn, are planning on joining Senator McConnell in the Turtle Party.
“A very unfortunate decision by the RNC and a very unfortunate statement put out as well. Nothing could be further from the truth than to consider the attack on the seat of democracy as legitimate political discourse,” Romney said in an interview with POLITICO. Graham said the party is going in the “wrong direction” when it’s not talking about taking back control of Congress.
The RNC “did say in their resolution that the job was to win elections. I agree with that. But then they go on to engage in actions that make that more challenging,” said Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), who is close to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. “I don’t think you can kick out of the party everybody you disagree with. Or it’s going to be a minority party.”
So, if you can’t exercise party discipline, all that is left is a cult of personality.
In its focus on personality over policy the Turtle Party is the historical inheritor of Teddy Roosevelt’s progressive Bull Moose Party, which despite TR’s iconic stature in American history, was really an elitist cult of personality rather than a policy-based political movement.
In Mitch’s case it would be more of a cult of no personality, but it would have the same objective – separate elected officials, especially Members of Congress, from any accountability to the voters who elect them and organize the political party with which they are allegedly affiliated.
This top-down concept of how politics is supposed to work has more in common with Politburo-style governing than the traditional grassroots politics of America, but then again, the backroom deal, not the townhall stump, is where Mitch is more at home.
The toll-free Capitol Switchboard (1-866-220-0044), call Senators McConnell, Romney, Graham and Cornyn, today and tell them the RNC was right to discipline Rep. Cheney and Kinzinger and if they don’t like it they can always form the Turtle Party and run as a turtle, not as a Republican in their next campaign.
January 6 committee
legitimate political discourse