A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Bill Straub: Sing it to ‘Which Side Are You On?’ and call it the ballad of Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul

The gossip sheets and the tabloids are constantly filled with reports about individuals who work closely together for years but nonetheless can’t for some reason stomach being in the same room with one another. They may have created great music but Simon and Garfunkel share a mutual and loathing disregard. The Gallagher boys, Liam and Noel, created big hits for Oasis back in the day but were always...

Bill Straub: The Theater of the Absurd as poor Mitch keeps getting understood perfectly for plain-speaking

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has spent so much time backing-and-filling over the past few days that he could have sailed halfway around the world by now. Ask him how it tastes to eat crow and he’ll be obliged to tell you, “Tastes like chicken.” The Louisville lawmaker caused an uproar on Monday, spilling over into Tuesday, after issuing a statement all but ordering his longtime...

Bill Straub: Where oh where is McConnell’s infrastructure plan to fix all the bridges and roads?

It would be redundant to note that the term “infrastructure week,” invoked during the administration of erstwhile President Donald J. Trump, became something of a running joke since the former guy’s entire four-year tenure was itself a running joke, a cruel one but a joke nonetheless. It seemed that every time Trump found himself in a tight spot, constantly, in other words, he dangled the...

Bill Straub: Go figure Mitch McConnell’s turnabout, forevermore putting party over country

Calling on any public figure to resign, retire, hit the road or however you might want to put it is an onanistic gesture sure to be ignored by the individual it’s aimed while serving as a target of ridicule for his or her supporters. So be it. But, folks, it’s time for Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, of Louisville, to take a powder for the sake of the nation he’s supposed to be serving...

Bill Straub: McConnell put energies into court appointments (to little avail); Biden can do better

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, as benevolent as ever, has graciously decided to forgive U.S. Circuit Court Judge Merrick Garland for pursuing a Supreme Court appointment he intended to steal and will support Garland’s nomination to serve as attorney general. What a guy! Garland, you’ll recall, was nominated by then-President Barack Obama, a Democrat, in March 2016 to fill the high court...

Bill Straub: The Republican Party is trying to find itself — a ‘house divided against itself cannot stand’

It was Lincoln, the pre-eminent member of a political organization formerly known as the Republican Party, who cited the synoptic gospels in declaring in 1858 that, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” That proposition, Lincoln told a friend, is “indisputably true,” adding “I want to use some universally known figure, expressed in simple language as universally known, that...

Al Cross: McConnell stayed true to form; no guardian of the republic, but ready for the next battle

As the House impeachment managers concluded their case against Donald Trump Saturday, one seemed focused on a senator in the front row. Rep. Joe Neguse, Colorado Democrat, had Republican Leader Mitch McConnell in mind. He began by quoting Henry Clay, the Kentucky Whig whose desk McConnell treasures, and who first inspired McConnell’s ambition to be a senator. He dropped the name of John Sherman Cooper,...

McConnell explains his vote against impeachment; he does not condone Trump’s ‘disgraceful actions’

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell made the following remarks after the Senate voted 57-43 Saturday in favor of the conviction of former President Donald Trump on articles of impeachment related to the insurgence at the Capitol on January 6. The 43 votes opposed to the conviction were all Republican votes. Seven Republicans voted with Democrats in favor. The measure failed, however, because a 2/3rds...

Bill Straub: Leadership AWOL, ghost of Lincoln looms, future of Republican Party hangs in balance

Reports about the impending death of the Republican Party are, as Twain once remarked about his own alleged demise, an exaggeration. But make no mistake, a reckoning is in the offing, the outcome of which will ultimately carry huge consequences. On one side you have former President Donald J. Trump who has been eerily quiet since Twitter saw fit to kill his lie-prone account. But he remains inordinately...

Al Cross: McConnell makes play to sideline Trump as he has chance to remake how he’ll be remembered

“There is a tide in the affairs of men, which taken at the flood leads on to fortune. . . . On such a full sea are we now afloat.” – Brutus to Cassius, Julius Caesar, Act 4 The last time I talked with Mitch McConnell, I suggested that our next conversation be about the future of the Republican Party (after Donald Trump). I didn’t use the last three words, since it was just before the election. He...

McConnell participates in inaugural activities, turns leadership over to Schumer, and has this to say . . .

U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who lost his Majority Leader post on Wednesday, participated in the inaugural ceremonies of Joseph Biden in the traditional roles expected of the leader of the Senate. As the Senate later convened to take up confirmation duties for the new President’s cabinet and the leadership gavel passed to Sen. Chuck Schumer, McConnell also delivered the...

Mitch McConnell: Remarks on Senate floor as it returns to its work pre-inauguration

Kentucky’s Mitch McConnell delivered these remarks Monday on the Senate floor: President-elect Biden and Vice-President-elect Harris will be sworn in. We will have a safe and successful inauguration right here on the west front of the Capitol — the space that President Bush 41 called ‘democracy’s front porch.’ And then we’ll move forward. Our work for the American people will continue,...

Trump impeached by House, 232-197; McConnell says Senate trial can’t be set before inauguration

Staff report Ten Republicans in the U.S. House sided with Democrats to impeach President Donald Trump 232-197 for inciting the storming of the Capitol on January 6. The violent breach of the Capitol resulted in terrorism of its occupants, terrific damage to the historical building, and the death of five people, including Capitol police who were defending against the invasion. Mitch McConnell The rioting...

Bill Straub: Impeachment of Trump, as McConnell surprises with apparent approval and maneuvering

Now that President Donald J. Trump, aka Loser, has been impeached for an unprecedented second time – not the sort of dubious achievement one usually wants to include on the old resume – his ultimate fate may be left in the hands of the man who salvaged his worthless orange carcass the first time around. Senate Republican Leader Mitch “Root-‘n-Branch” McConnell, of Louisville, you may...

The National Review: It was Mitch McConnell’s finest hour as he stood up for the Constitution

By The Editors The National Review Mitch McConnell has had a long and distinguished career, but he may well be remembered for this week more than anything else. He steered his caucus toward fulfilling its duty, explained himself in a thoughtful, cogent, and deeply felt speech, and then after the proceedings were disrupted by a pro-Trump mob, stirringly expressed his disgust and commitment to Congress...

Al Cross: McConnell’s speech was a turning point, as he stands up for the truth

On one of the most dramatic days in American history, Kentucky’s senior senator saw he would lose control of the Senate; fled the chamber under attack from a mob incited by a president whom he had enabled, but who probably cost him that control; and gave a speech concluding their political divorce. Mitch McConnell’s remarks, which you should read, might have been the big news of the day if not...

Events at Capitol: Mitch McConnell’s remarks to Senate before/after mob; Gov. Beshear’s remarks

A civics lesson U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks yesterday regarding the Electoral College certification of vote in presidential election. In the joint convening of the U.S. House and U.S. Senate before the Capitol was overtaken by a pro-Trump mob: “We are debating a step that has never been taken in American history: Whether Congress should overrule...

Bill Straub: So it has come to mob rule, terrorism, vandalism of Capitol encouraged by sitting President

A little more than 85 years ago, during an era of rising fascism in Europe, Sinclair Lewis, who authored such classics as Babbitt and Main Street, published a novel with the title It Can’t Happen Here, about a charismatic, populist politician, Berzelius “Buzz” Windrip, who is elected president by instilling fear in voters and vowing to usher in economic reforms. Almost immediately upon...

Bill Straub: Count reasons for McConnell’s disdain for $2,000 stimulus checks; maybe 30 million of them

There’s been considerable talk recently on the subject of Senate Republican Leader Mitch “Root-‘n-Branch’’ McConnell and how he has somehow amassed great power even though he is publicly viewed to be about as popular as a heart attack. The discussion was spawned by the Louisville lawmaker’s successful effort to return the U.S. Supreme Court to the legal underpinnings it maintained before...

Trump signs ‘bipartisan rescue package,’ provides relief payments, averts government shutdown

Staff report National news outlets are reporting that President Donald Trump has signed the $900 billion ‘pandemic relief’ bill, ending his refusal to accept it and delivering relief to businesses and individuals who are suffering during the pandemic. The bill was delivered to him at Mar-a-Lago where he is vacationing. The bill also includes $1.4 trillion to fund government agencies through...