Is Mitch McConnell Rigging The Game?

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

Other news, there's the other branch of Congress or the other house. Of Congress. The Senate and everyone knows their Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell is unshakable and ruthless, and he's going to maximize his power however cam, but it is also the case the death of Justice Ruth Bader GINSBURG has taken us to uncharted territory. There are very real political pressures that are going to affect how the next several months play out. Mitch McConnell does not care about being charged with the Crisi but the raw politics of this moment themselves are not uncomplicated. As it was with the affordable care act remember Mitch McConnell had a lot of bravado about that and he failed famously and humiliatingly to replace the law. Here's mayor discuss across pressures. He faces longtime McConnell Allah Gist Jane Mayer Chief of Washington correspondent New Yorker wrote an incredibly insightful profile McConnell back in April this weekend row quote from Mitch McConnell keeping a Senate. Majority matters more than the Supreme Court. Jamie. It's great to have. Let's start with that because it seems to me there's two imperatives here. Everyone says about McConnell the two things he cares about is keeping the Senate majority and being Senate majority leader. Judges the Federal Bench, and there is a way to interpret the politics of the moment that there's a little bit attention between those two imperatives. How do you see it? Well, I mean there is I mean he wants to get obvious wants to hold the majority wants to stay being majority leader. And, this is going to be the crowning moment of his career to have yet one more justice on Supreme Court here we can get him through and he's promised trump of course that he's going to have a vote on this, and so how do you do this the problem? The problem for McConnell is it's unclear if he can keep the majority in the Senate. It's a dicey election year for him. There are a number of racist. They're very close and he doesn't want to do anything that's going to hurt the endangered members of his caucus. So he's got to try to juggle the schedule in some way that doesn't put those members on the spot in a way that will hurt them. So he's the first thing he's going to do an, and surely his done is canvas. Those members find out exactly how they feel about how this this process would affect their races. And then, and then way that in terms of whether it be better have a vote before or after the election. So. It's it's. It's. It's it's tricky but he is nothing if not clever about things like this this is he he? Very early on in his career, he ran for office from a district where he hadn't been resident in residence long enough and he vowed after that, he would never again ignore the rules, and since then he's become kind of a master of the rules, the more arcane the better. And he just he loves talking to the parliamentarian in the Senate and figuring out sort of the the most devious ways to get what he wants. The most sort of obvious pressure here. Just talking about this and I think it's pretty interesting. There's a bunch of folks who are up. In who are imperilled where it's not clear That going ahead with this would be helpful them. We have a bunch of pulling out today showing majority of people oppose it. Those numbers will probably change as they converge towards the polarization and everything else. But like Cory Gardner is down in all the polls and Colorado, he's in a state that Democrats have carried. Now a bunch and plan to carry again Martha. mcsally sally is down a to mark Kelly. You know they're on the sort of aggressor side here in terms of public opinion. It does seem like they've kind of don't care. It doesn't seem like there's a jump together mentality here in terms of getting them to come out whether it was him or not a publicly for those. Well I think. He's GonNa. Be Looking at McConnell will look at each of these races and I think you can almost imagine that he's written off. Gardner in. Colorado, and makes out the in Arizona. So he's not going to change his plan just for them unless he thinks it's going to save them and you'd probably thinks it won't save them and he's already given collins kind of buy in Maine. So it gets you down to the racist that are really going to matter in this are probably it's it's probably Tillis in North Carolina, Joni Ernst in Iowa, and Danes in in Montana, and if McConnell feels that those three or not endangered by going head, he may just gun it. You know and and try try to get I think though that in addition to just thinking about each of these races and how it affects each of the races, there's something else. He's probably got to think about, which is the overall look of this thing if if it appears to the American public that he is one set of rules for Democrats and there's another set of rules he's got for Republicans here, one Senate rules for America and another set of rules for whoever trump nominates at this point, it looks like he's reading the game it looks corrupt. It looks like a naked power, grab an and it's ugly and that could actually create a backlash I think that both he and trump have to think about. It it might really bother a lot of people in this country to think that that it's it's just too corrupt game in Washington. Yeah, I. think that's a correct reading of both where the polls are and the political risks they run and I think it's notable that McConnell has committed to vote but not win and I thought. This was also notable. He wrote this dear colleague later re basically says I don't say anything don't lock yourself into position. Let it give it give us time to work over the coming days. We're GONNA come under tremendous pressure from the press to announce how he will handle the coming nomination for those who are unsure how to answer for those inclined to oppose giving nominee a vote I urge you all to keep your powder dry Dombrowski and collins. Have not heeded that but Mitt Romney said declined today saying anything I know Pat Toomey in Pennsylvania I fully expect will support moving forward. But that that to me, it was interesting because the timing here and the sort of needle to thread is not nothing I think we'll try to do it and the odds are in their favor they will. But because of exactly what you and unseeded from the political standpoint, it's not clear that this is help for them politically in the short term. I think it may not be I. Mean I think also it's going to energize the base on both sides here for and the thing is that when it comes to the energizing the base, the base that needs more energizing really is probably on the Democratic side and you've already seen it happen I, mean look at the amount of money that act Lou raise you know practically overnight a hundred, million dollars two, hundred and sixty. Now it's one hundred and sixty million dollars. Shipping shocking about money. Shocking money an and I think the other thing that it might do is from was doing some reporting two days. I think it may really energize kids younger voters because. You know they were kind of holding their nose, a lot of them about Joe Biden it wasn't an exciting. It didn't seem you now like there was that much reason to do it. Now there's a reason that a lot of young people are GONNA see they're gonNA look they're gonNa see Roe v Wade is in the balance they're going to see a four Bul healthcare act and possibly anything to do with insurance for preexisting conditions and they're looking at the future this is going to. Their. Lives for the this is a this is a decision that has tremendous implications for everybody in the country and it's GonNa be clear and so I, you know it may turn you know help turn out. The Democrats who were young. Six three Roberts court climate. Regulation jurisprudence. A. Favorable to the kinds of solutions. That are necessary. Do you think? Ultimately McConnell himself is up and I don't think he's. He's personally a lot of trouble against say, McGrath at least the pulling now but there are also just a bunch of seats that weren't supposed to be in play that really do seem like they are. There's A Texas poll that has cornyn barely up. There's a Mississippi poll out today that has. Chrissy Hyde Smith a just a few points on Mike espey. There's the Iwa Joni Ernst race I mean it's wild how wide the sort of battlefield has gotten for him to try to hold this thing together. It's it's really volatile and and and the thing is it. What it does is it puts the Republicans on the spot about they've been doing kind of a split that's broader and broader that gotta keep the trump face and and but that's not enough for in many places to get reelected, and so they've got to do is add in. The moderates the you know suburban women particularly and got a candidate here who for a nominee for the supreme court that is truly the choice of the evangelical part of the trump ace it by very much alienate moderate women in the suburbs and in other places especially over things like abortion where sixty two percent of the people in this country saver. Abortion. As keeping it legal and don't WanNa go backwards. So it's it's. It's I think it's a it's it's a it's a it's a risky thing for some ways. You people think it's all into such a gift. Not, necessarily think that's right. Read on the situation Jane Mayer thanks as always great reporting and inside appreciate it. Great to be with you.

Coming up next