press: why can’t Biden cut a deal??? https://t.co/CweKOWKlqz— Eric Boehlert (@EricBoehlert) May 5, 2021
McConnell is too smart to reprise his “single most important thing” line - that was a Kinsley gaffe. But this is pretty darn close. https://t.co/RKSoYBBKEO— Adam Jentleson 🎈 (@AJentleson) May 5, 2021
Boehlert's point is, however obvious, an excellent and critical one. However, Vote Vets and Jentleson actually are incorrect. The Washington Post's Fact Checker noted that in the infamous interview of October, 2010, Senate Minority Leader McConnell stated
The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president... If President Obama does a Clintonian backflip, if he's willing to meet us halfway on some of the bigest issues, it's not inapppropriate for us to do business with him.... I don't want the president to fail. I want him to change.
Of course, McConnell was lying. He wasn't willing to meet Obama halfway and he did want the President to fail.That's why he bragged (video below) as Majority Leader "about how he blocked former President Barack Obama's federal judge picks for two years,'' including refusing even to hold a hearing for the nomination of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court. He nonetheless pushed through the elevation of Amy Coney Barrett to the High Court a few days before the 2020 election and in the lame duck session successfully rushed approval of several individuals for lifetime appointments to the federal bench.
McConnell's message on Wednesday was more explicit than his responses in the 2010 interview. Responding to one question, he stated
One hundred percent of our focus is on stopping this new Administration. I think the best way of looking at what this new Administration is- the President may have won the nomination but Bernie Sanders won the argument about what the new Administration should be like. We're confronted with severe challenges from a new Administration and a narrow majority of Democrats in the House and a 50-50 Sentate to turn America into a socialist country and that's 100% of my focus.
Asked a follow-up, the Minority Leader replied
One hundred percent of my focus is on standing up to this Administration. What we have in the United States Senate is total unity from Susan Collins to Ted Cruz in opposition to what the new Biden Administration is trying to do to this country.
No longer can anyone legitimately claim, as Kessler did in his GOP-freindly fact check of the 2010 statement, that McConnell is speaking in "a political context.." The Majority Leader has laid down the gauntlet: it's a "socialist" Administration and everyone in his caucus, from Collins to Cruz, is unified in opposing the President's agenda. All of it.
"What a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive." Mitch McConnell set out to deceive people during the Obama Administration, and succeeded with an important Washington Post reporter and a few others. At least now, as Boehlert's sarcastic retort indicates, the jig is up.