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Mitch McConnell snub by Jan. 6 officers is a sign of things to come

Police officers who responded to the Capitol attack refused to shake hands with McConnell at a Congressional Gold Medal ceremony.


Move, Mitch. Get out the way. Get out the way, Mitch. Get out the way. 

These days, Sen. Mitch McConnell seems to be occupying a political no-man’s-land. His refusal to cede power — namely, his role as Senate Republican leader — to younger, more extreme lawmakers has made him a pariah to some conservatives. On the other hand, his constant obstruction, his machinations to tilt federal courts in Republicans’ favor, and his complicity in Donald Trump’s lawlessness has led many proponents of democracy to denounce him, regardless of party. 

On Tuesday, McConnell got a taste of the public derision he can expect in ample doses once he leaves office. At a ceremony to honor police who responded to the violence on Jan. 6, 2021, several officers as well as the family of fallen officer Brian Sicknick refused handshakes from McConnell and fellow Republican Kevin McCarthy, the House minority leader.

The officers' actions are understandable, given McConnell backed Trump's 2020 presidential bid, voted to acquit Trump on a charge of inciting the Capitol attack, and has vowed to support Trump if he's the GOP presidential nominee again in 2024.

(The music in the clip below is a little finishing touch on my part.)

If I believed McConnell was capable of feeling shame, I’d say this was a rather embarrassing moment — one that ought to be sobering for the Republican leader.

Because he’s seemingly en route to “Boehnerville” — that is, the lonely realm for GOP outcasts who’ve been ostracized by archconservatives in the party, like former House Speaker John Boehner during Trump's 2015 rise in the Republican Party. To clarify: McConnell has greater staying power than Boehner. He’s managed to beat back Republican challenges to his reign better than Boehner did. And it’s entirely possible McConnell has built up enough good will with the Republican donor class to maintain a circle of friends if and when he ever retires. 

He better hope so. 

Right-wingers are condemning him. And, if Tuesday’s any indicator, the court of public opinion won’t be kind to him either.