Mitch McConnell took the easy way out

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Columnist George Will believes that restoration of the Senate’s dignity rests on the reelection of Mitch McConnell, R-Ky, who Will views as “second only to Henry Clay as the state’s most consequential public servant.”  Only through McConnell’s leadership, Will tells us, will the Senate “be restored as the creator of consensus.” If McConnell’s opponent, Alison Lundergan Grimes is elected, Will believes we can expect her to march lockstep with Harry Reid and create more obstruction.

Wait a minute. Harry Reid is responsible for gridlock in the Senate, and Mitch McConnell is our salvation?  If this were a football game, Keith Jackson would be saying, “Whoa, Nellie!”

Before anything else, I’m no fan of Harry Reid, and I belong to neither party.

Will has apparently forgotten how irresponsible McConnell has been. Back in October 2010, McConnell stated, “Our top political goal over the next two years should be to deny President Obama a second term.” The only reasonable inference to be drawn is that McConnell was bent on not reaching over the aisle to Obama—hardly the way to make progress. It’s the political form of being passive aggressive.

A minute later, McConnell said, “I don’t want him [Obama] to fail; I want him to change.” At first blush, this sounds a little encouraging, but it’s just as bad because it puts all the responsibility on Obama for making things happen and allows McConnell to take himself off the hook. It’s a neat trick, the adult version of what kids do: “You first.”

I haven’t seen any change from McConnell over the years.

No one ever gets anywhere by waiting for the other guy to change. Doing so is foolish. Experts like Stephen R. Covey will tell you so in his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Let’s take a look at habit no. 5: “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.”  For anyone who’s married, this shouldn’t come as a newsflash.

Listening to people with an opposing view and figuring out what it takes to get the job done is hard work.

Asking—worse yet, demanding—that the other guy change is the easy way. That may be what way kids do, but it’s unacceptable and irresponsible for a senior elected official like McConnell.

And it’s a bad way for any of us to live.


 Jack D’Aurora writes for


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