McConnell sweeps as Republican leader: the anti-Trump front is organized around him and DeSantis

On February 13, 2021, just over a month after the attempted coup against the United States legislature, the Senate had to decide what to do with the proposal impeachment approved in the House of Representatives. they were missing two thirds of the votes to separate donald trump definitively out of the fight for the White House, with no option to ever again run for presidential elections. with a cast of fifty Democratic senators and fifty Republicans, the key was what the latter decided, first-person witnesses of the insurrection organized on January 6.

[El Partido Republicano logra la mayoría en la Cámara de Representantes de Estados Unidos]

Even with their affiliates Y their own phobiaswith the memory -some- of those hours of anguish and the loyalty -others- that they still showed to their former president, it seemed clear that the Republican group would vote overwhelmingly for what he told them mitch mcconnell, the senator from Kentucky since 1985, when Ronald Reagan’s victory in the presidential election the previous year dyed the entire United States red. McConnell, a successful lawyer and a man not given to big headlines, had made working as an ant in the shadows his greatest value. at 78 years oldhe faced an enormous responsibility ahead, having to choose between his personal convictions and the image of the party.

The deep enmity between the senator and the former president floated in the air. McConnell never liked the haughtiness of the tycoon, much less that he wanted to take over a party that, to a certain extent, he considered his own. McConnell He was already Majority Leader in the Senate By the time Trump won the election, he had already been hardened by internal struggles and had already put the Obama administration on the ropes. was not disposable not at all that I wanted to put the last key in the coffin of trumpism and bury it in a corner of history.

United States Senate Republicans gather for leadership elections at the United States Capitol in Washington.


Nevertheless, preferred not to. He would have done too much damage to his own party. In return, he took a path that hurt Trump even more: blamed him for everything that happened on January 6, came to recognize point by point that everything the Chamber said was true, described him as “morally and effectively responsible for what happened that day”… and then, exonerated him and left his fate in the hands of justice. “The figure of impeachment McConnell said that day, “it was not created to replace what the courts should judge.” Thus, he left Trump without the ability to even claim treason. left him with nothing.

The knives behind the legislative

Only times change. United States, and of course the Republican Party, they have forgotten january 6. Joe Biden’s troubled presidency and his obvious limitations have renewed support for donald trumpwhose candidates, under the umbrella of the MAGA conglomerate –Make America Great Again– swept the primaries for the legislative elections last week. Former athletes, television presenters, army veteransrural leaders… they all came together to affirm loudly that the 2020 elections had been a robbery and that the already convicted of taking over the Capitol Consequently, they would have to be pardoned.

McConnell found himself in a delicate situation. A landslide victory like the one he saw coming benefited his party, but hurt him. If he wanted to continue being the Republican leader in the Senate, perhaps he was not so interested in surrounding himself with fanatics that he they owed their job to Trump. Again, the doubt was reasonable and, again, McConnell neither removed nor set a king, but helped his lord, the GOP. Thanks to his contacts with very powerful donors, filled the electoral races with funds of some of his staunch enemies, while Trump did not put a penny. Still, it wasn’t enough.

The debacle of the Republican Party in the midterms it must be measured against the expectation. In other words, in relation to the “red tide” that Trump’s candidates announced. Three days after voting, seeing that said tide had not arrived and ignoring that it had been his faithful -Mehmet Öz in Pennsylvania, Blake Masters and Kari Lake in Arizona, Adam Laxalt in Nevada and Herschel Walker in Georgia – those who had fallen short in their respective electoral races, Trump was again publicly asking for McConnell’s head, blaming him for bad results. No doubt he thought he was in a position to get her on a silver platter.

Former United States President Donald Trump announces that he will run for president in 2024 at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach.


Rick Scott’s failure

Trump’s problem is a casino rookie’s problem, à la Dostoevsky. You enter, you win and you take it for granted that it will always be like this. Suddenly, you start to lose and you no longer know what you are doing. Trump lost the 2018 legislative elections, the 2020 presidential elections and has not obtained the expected result in 2022. In the GOP they know this and, beyond the undeniable charisma of the former president, they are beginning to look for more electorally viable alternatives. And they all happen because McConnell continues to run the show and finance the matter.

that something is moving on the republican party and that he is moving against Trump became clear after the vote this Wednesday to choose his leader in the Senate. Although Rick Scott’s candidacy, a senator from Florida like Marco Rubio, and a good friend of Trump, with whom he shared a rally at the end of the campaign, McConnell was elected again with a scandalous result: thirty-seven votes in favor and only ten against. The supposed division in the Republican Party was not such. Money and order continued to rule.

Which brings us to the announcement last Tuesday of Donald Trump as a candidate for the 2024 Republican nomination. Twenty-four hours before his first loss in the Senate vote. Trump is going to have to fight McConnell and he is not going to do it from a position of advantage. At 80 years old, the senator knows how to pull the strings. All eyes have long been on Florida, where, yes, Marco Rubio and Rick Scott they have renewed seats as senators… but where they have also done it, as Governor, Ron DeSantis.

US Senator Rick Scott (R-FL) arrives as Senate Republicans meet for leadership elections at the US Capitol in Washington, the United States, on November 16, 2022.


The visible face against Trump

DeSantis, who at the time was one of Trump’s men, before getting off the boat in time, was not at the famous Miami rally on November 6. It is a conservative, familiar, serious guy from another generation (he is 44 years old). It is the future, it seems… and it is tremendously popular, even more so than Trump in Florida itself, where the millionaire habitually resides in his Mar-A-Lago mansion. The polls continue to put him far behind his opponent nationally, but that’s what McConnell is for.

[La resistencia de los demócratas frena la ‘ola roja’ y las aspiraciones de Donald Trump de volver]

If the Kentucky senator decides to explicitly support DeSantis’ likely candidacy, his 37 acolytes in the Upper House they will have a serious dilemma: bet on the new unknown or on the populism that moves the masses. The only way to beat Trump in a primary is with a united alternative ticket, something that didn’t happen in 2016, when Rubio, Cruz, Kasich and company fell apart too soon. None of them had the charisma that DeSantis seems to have and none of them had Mitch McConnell turn on him.

Undoubtedly, Trump thought that by getting him out of the way, he would have a lot of cattle in the face of what was coming his way. It could not be. McConnell stays and is left wanting war. It is the confrontation of two completely different men, but totally irreducible. Either you love them or you hate them there are no intermediate options. Although there is a year and a half left for the Republican convention that will choose the 2024 candidate, the war can be considered as begun. We may even not even know the winner yet.