Musings on the Least Consequential Election in U.S. History
Imagine if all the teams in the National Football League folded today, all colleges cancelled their football programs effective immediately (a good idea by the way), and all teenagers were homeschooled so that there were no high school teams of any kind (my fantasy world). Now imagine that as a replacement for the sudden lack of all qualified football squads, the owners of the NFL got together and decided to promote a Super Bowl game featuring a group of slow-witted ten-year-old boys against a group of nasty twelve-year-old mean girls. Would you watch that game? Would you feel enthusiastic about the outcome? Or would you be disgusted at that gang of corporate fat cats running the NFL who thought they could insult your intelligence so outrageously and get away with it? — who thought you were such suckers that you would literally buy tickets for any unathletic crap they threw in front of you with the name “Super Bowl” slapped on it?
Now imagine that instead of the NFL and the Super Bowl, even bigger fat cats were trying to pull exactly the same sort of stunt in an arena that actually mattered?
Four and a half years ago, back when I was slightly popular, I said in print repeatedly, to anyone who cared to listen, that for all of his bluster against Washington insiders, all of his vulgar personal attacks against anyone who opposed him, and all of his supporters’ fantasies that he was going to drain the swamp, if Donald Trump were actually elected president, there would be one man in the Washington establishment whom he would never criticize publicly, would never attack personally, would never saddle with one of his schoolyard nicknames, and would never oppose directly in any matter of consequence — and that man would be the figurehead and lead advocate for the GOP side of the Washington establishment itself, Mitch McConnell, whom Trump vigorously supported, rhetorically and financially, during McConnell’s 2014 bid to (as he put it) “crush” the Tea Party.
Now, four and a half years later, on the eve of Trump’s re-election bid, I challenge all those people who, collectively, made me extremely unpopular, and basically persona non grata in so-called “conservative” circles, to show me one instance — just one — where I was wrong in that prognostication. In other words, I challenge them to show me why my prediction, back in 2016, that what we were seeing was the first term of Mitch McConnell’s presidency, was false. Show me the major decisions, major appointments and nominees, and major domestic policies, where Trump veered significantly away from Mitch’s handbook. Show me where Trump, notorious for personally smearing every single person who resists his ego in any way, ever lashed out over anything at all during this entire first term against Mitch the puppet-master, husband of one of Trump’s first cabinet appointments.