Trump and McConnell's marriage of convenience seeks its ultimate prize

No one would ever say that the political marriage between Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and President Donald Trump is a match made in heaven. It’s nothing like that, and nothing near love.

It’s more an arranged marriage between two cold-blooded politicians whose goals often coincide. Nothing more, nothing less.
Except now, the men need each other, maybe more than everand each will do whatever it takes to get another conservative on the Supreme Court.
For Trump, the rationale is simple: He believes the debate over replacing the late Justice Antonin Scalia helped him win in 2016. And he is convinced it will help him again, although he may be very wrong about that.

    For McConnell, this is not about Trump’s victory. It’s about his own cosmic aligning of the stars. The majority leader has always been governed by two goals: First, keep power. As in, keep control of the Senate. Second, fill the courts with conservative justicesincluding the high court. The second goal cannot be accomplished without the first one, so there you go.
    Trump may be making history, but he’s playing for the short term win. McConnell is in it for the long haul.
    But not to worry. The relationship between the two men is as transactional as you’ll find anywhere. Neither man is warm and fuzzy; both probably have some level of contempt for the other. Pero — more than anything elsethey want to win.
    In an opus on McConnell in The New Yorker, journalist Jane Mayer notes that many see McConnell’s support for the President as a stroke of political genius because he can help himself in red Kentuckywhere he is favored to win reelectionand protect his GOP caucus.
    That is true, but it is not to be confused with affection. When Trump tweets something McConnell believes is not useful, he ignores it. And back in 2017, Trump loved to gripe at McConnell, tweeting about his inaction and even hinting he should resignif he doesn’t get repeal and replace doneand tax reform done.
    But Trump has leaned on him since then, and suddenly gets that McConnell does know how to get things done. So he listens to him. He even marveled to Bob Woodward at how focused McConnell was on judges. “You know what Mitch’s biggest thing is in the whole world,” he told Woodward, as if it were a secret. “His judges. … (Él) will absolutely ask me, ‘Please, let’s get the judge approved instead of 10 ambassadors.’ “
    Then Trump brags to Woodward about the results.
    Now comes the big prize. But it can only come if Republican senator after Republican senatorled by McConnellcompletely reverse themselves and say it’s OK to approve a court nominee this close to an election, or actually in the middle of one. En 2016, por supuesto, Republicanos — led by McConnellwere all saying Merrick Garland, President Barack Obama’s choice to replace Scalia, should not be considered because it was too close to an election. The election was just under eight months away.
      But these senators have no problem contorting themselves to say the opposite now. The question, por supuesto, is whether the public decides they should be held to their wordsor whether the public believes, in this time of Trump, that they all lie anyway.
      Or that hypocrisy is what we now expect of our politicians, whose only objective is to win above all else. In that, McConnell and Trump are perfectly suited.

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