If Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) persists, he may be running the risk of permanently twisting his brain into the shape of a pretzel. I am still half convinced the childhood story is true, you know, the one that cautions, if you cross your eyes for too long they stay like that. Maybe that goes for brains like McConnell’s too.
Senator McConnell has publically signed on with Trump and offered what is being called “tepid” support. But on a book tour for his new book, The Long Game, McConnell spent the week kicking Donald Trump in the knees with criticism.
He may fear Trump at the top of the ticket will mean the loss of his slim majority in the Senate.
McConnell’s balancing act with Trump underscores the challenges he faces as he tries to hold onto a Senate GOP majority and defend 24 seats in November, including a handful in states previously carried by Obama.
Trying to put distance between the political fate of his caucus and Trump’s unpredictable campaign, McConnell is downplaying the impact that the businessman might have on other candidates. He told Fox News’s “The Kelly File” that it will be a “ticket-splitting kind of year,” meaning people who vote against Trump might still vote for other Republican candidates.
And McConnell offers this logic-skewing suggestion for down-ticket Republican support in November: “He’s also making the case that Republican control of the Senate would serve as a check on Trump should he win the White House.”
Ticket-splitting voting as McConnell and everyone else well knows is “splitting” votes among different parties in the same election, not at all what he is suggesting.
However McConnell is saying let’s keep the Senate majority in Republican hands so they can “check” Republican Trump — their own candidate — should he win. Can he convince voters that a vote for Trump and a Republican Senate majority is “ticket-splitting?” You know: Vote Republican: We might be able to control Trump!
So stay tuned. Maybe the Senate Majority Leader will self-divide before our eyes like some awful single-cell Republican amoeboid. Think of the ratings! This deserves undivided attention, it is that kind of year.