The Everlasting Shame Of Mitch McConnell

INSIDE: Kris Mayes ... Mike Johnson ... Christian Ziegler
(COMBO) This combination of pictures created on February 16, 2021 shows US President Donald Trump in Washington, DC, October 27, 2020 and US Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY)on Capitol Hill in Washington... (COMBO) This combination of pictures created on February 16, 2021 shows US President Donald Trump in Washington, DC, October 27, 2020 and US Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY)on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on February 5, 2020. - Donald Trump urged Republican senators February 16, 2021 to dump Mitch McConnell as their leader in the Senate following his withering criticism of the former US president after his impeachment trial. (Photos by SAUL LOEB and Mandel NGAN / AFP) (Photo by SAUL LOEB,MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images) MORE LESS
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Tribalism Trumps Conservatism

The cult of Donald Trump has swallowed the old Republican Party and nearly everyone with any significant power in it. Mitch McConnell, a remarkable national figure over the last 16 years, is no different than Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, or any of the countless others whose personal dignity was sacrificed in service of fealty to Trump. All the way down to the racist and sexist screeds Trump launched against McConnell’s own wife.

McConnell will spend his twilight years trying to ensure that his epitaph will be free of Trump. It would be a travesty if it is. The excuse-making for McConnell will linger, but he’s no conservative, he’s no institutionalist, and he’s no evil genius.

Monuments in Kentucky will bear his name, Democrats and journalists will murmur niceties over his ability to wield power, and time as it does will soften the judgments of him. Hold firm against the erosion of memory. McConnell deserves the enmity of a generation.

Here are McConnell’s own words after the Jan. 6 attack:

The man who mustered indignation after his own personal safety was threatened in the coup attempt nonetheless voted to acquit Trump in his impeachment trial, so we knew the mettle of the man already. Yesterday’s endorsement of Trump confirmed it, but with the added twist that McConnell is now, unlike in 2021, a lame duck. He won’t be the Senate GOP leader next year, and he won’t run for re-election in 2026. But even the lack of real political risk wasn’t enough for McConnell to break from his tribe. He owns it now and for evermore. Let us not forget.

The Much Vaunted Guardrails Are Failing

Thomas Zimmer:

The guardrails are failing. They are failing not only to hold Trump accountable directly, but also, absent any serious legal and political consequences, to at least tell the people how exceptionally dangerous Trump and those who are fueling, enabling, and supporting him are. If someone assumes that this is still a country with functioning institutions, then it’s only logical for them to conclude that Trump walking free means his transgressions can’t be that bad. At some point, it becomes really hard to expect people to break through their routines and actively defend democracy, as is necessary in a situation of crisis, if the institutions we ask them to trust shy away from doing their part – if they instead continue to signal “normalcy,” that politics as usual is still an option or, at the very least, that exceptional, unprecedented measures would be “too extreme.”

Take Your Time …

The Supreme Court announced that oral arguments in the Trump immunity case will be held on the very last day of its argument calendar: April 25.

Gearing Up For Trump’s Hush Money Trial

If you want to go deep on pretrial wrangling in the case, Joyce Vance has you covered.

Arizona Fake Electors Probe Ramps Up

New reporting from Politico suggests state Attorney General Kris Mayes is nearing a charging decision in her probe of Trump’s 2020 fake electors scheme in the state.


NYT: “A network of right-wing activists and allies of Donald J. Trump is quietly challenging thousands of voter registrations in critical presidential battleground states, an all-but-unnoticed effort that could have an impact in a close or contentious election.”

Remembering Bloody Sunday

Heather Cox Richardson with a reminder on the straight line that runs from the Civil Rights Act of 1964 across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama to the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

2024 Ephemera

  • Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) falls in line behind Trump, too.
  • WaPo: The hard-right wing of House GOP poised to grow even larger next year
  • WaPo: Bernie Sanders’s private warning to Biden about the 2024 campaign

House GOP Abandons Gov’t Shutdowns For Now

It’s too early and it oversimplifies things to say that the House is working normally again, but Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) has now used Democratic votes twice to get the two spending bills through that will avoid a government shutdown — and he has kept his job, as tenuous as that may be.

State Of The Union Tonight

Morning Memo hates the rote State of the Union coverage with a white-hot fury, so just one word on tonight’s tired spectacle: It marks a pretty dramatic turn in our underlying politics over the past few years that a Democratic president would front tax increases of any kind in an election-year State of the Union address.

Alabama Enacts New Protections For IVF

Alabama has quickly enacted a new law protecting IVF practitioners from civil and criminal liability in the aftermath of the state Supreme Court ruling that frozen embryos have the legal rights of children.

Ziegler Won’t Face Criminal Charges

Former Florida GOP Chair Christian Ziegler will not face charges for illegally videotaping a woman who accused him of rape. Prosecutors had already decided not to pursue sex assault charges.

Congrats To Hunter And Luppe!

Morning Memo stopped by a book event in DC last evening moderated by TPM alum Brian Beutler for the new book The Truce by TPM’s Hunter Walker and Luppe Luppen. A great discussion of the book and progressive politics in 2024 and beyond. Proud of those guys.


Cole Brauer completed the Global Solo Challenge overnight in Spain, becoming the first American woman to sail solo around the world. She finished in second place in the race, arriving some four months after she set sail in October.

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