Mitch, We Knew Ye Really, Really Well

Mitch McConnell announced today that he will resign his Senate leadership position in November, while remaining in office through his current term. I have generally thought well of McConnell and believe that on the whole, he has done a good job of leading his caucus. But it is notable that, as far as I know, not a single Republican has expressed regret at his decision.

It was time to go, if only because the geriatric era in Washington needs to end. While nowhere near as debilitated as Joe Biden, McConnell’s health issues in recent years have been visible. It is highly desirable for Republicans not to be seen, like the Democrats, as a party of octogenarians.

What comes next? The Wall Street Journal speculates:

Potential successors, including Sens. John Thune (R., S.D.), John Barrasso (R., Wyo.) and John Cornyn (R., Texas), have been quietly positioning themselves for the day McConnell steps down. Other possible candidates include GOP Sens. Steve Daines of Montana, Rick Scott of Florida and Tom Cotton of Arkansas.

Most of those senators are perceived as more conservative than McConnell, although that may be largely because McConnell has been in a leadership position for so long. As the leader of a caucus, responsible for negotiating agreements that can actually pass, you can’t be a firebrand backbencher–although, to their credit, that description doesn’t fit those the Journal identifies as candidates, either.

Finally, let’s hope Republicans do it the old-fashioned way by agreeing on a new leader behind closed doors, and then anointing him with a show of unanimity. A fiasco like the one we endured in the House of Representatives is to be avoided.

Notice: All comments are subject to moderation. Our comments are intended to be a forum for civil discourse bearing on the subject under discussion. Commenters who stray beyond the bounds of civility or employ what we deem gratuitous vulgarity in a comment — including, but not limited to, “s***,” “f***,” “a*******,” or one of their many variants — will be banned without further notice in the sole discretion of the site moderator.