Gloves Come Off as Republican Infighting Escalates

UPDATE: Don’t forget that Sen. Mitch McConnell will be in Colorado next week (August 17) for a fundraiser hosted by Sen. Cory Gardner.

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Sen. Cory Gardner (left) and Sen. Mitch McConnell (Associated Press)

In case you somehow missed it, Congressional Republicans spent most of 2017 in a fruitless quest to repeal and (maybe) replace Obamacare. Despite seven years of campaign promises to destroy the Affordable Care Act and the Congressional majority to theoretically make it happen, the GOP couldn’t come up with a reasonable piece of legislation that could even make it onto the Senate floor for a debate.

While some Republicans are still pretending that they might eventually repeal Obamacare, most are spending the long August recess trying to avoid the subject altogether. Instead of talking about healthcare changes with constituents, Republicans such as Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) are desperately trying to figure out how to explain some pretty awful votes. When Congress returns to work after Labor Day, healthcare won’t likely be a focus of their attention; as Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch colorfully explained, Republicans “shot their wad” on healthcare.

Republicans may indeed move on to other legislative priorities without accomplishing anything on Obamacare, but the political wounds from the first half of this year may not heal anytime soon. Right-wing radio host Sean Hannity is calling for the head of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell:

As the Huffington Post explains, red-on-red anger is on the rise:

While moderate Republicans like Sens. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and Susan Collins (Maine) are receiving warm adulation from constituents for opposing a bill that would have repealed Obamacare, other GOP lawmakers are facing attacks from their right flank over their handling of the health care debate.

Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) drew a primary challenge this week from businessman Danny Tarkanian, a staunch supporter of President Donald Trump, who blasted the senator for failing to support Trump during last year’s presidential campaign and for “obstructing” his agenda in Washington, D.C…..

…The inability to repeal Obamacare has also roiled the race for an Alabama Senate seat made vacant by Trump’s appointment of Jeff Sessions as Attorney General earlier this year.

Ousted Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, who is running in the Republican primary, released a television ad on Tuesday defending himself against attacks made by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and his allies in Washington, D.C.

“They lied about repealing Obamacare. Now Mitch McConnell’s D.C slime machine is spending millions spreading lies about Roy Moore,” the narrator in the ad said.

Frustration over the failure to repeal Obamacare isn’t just limited to Republican Primary fights. Dark clouds are bubbling over in the White House New Jersey as well:

Trump’s comments were in response to this statement from McConnell.

It was just about a year ago that Sen. Gardner was publicly campaigning to be the head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) for 2018. If he could get his hands on a time machine, we’d guess that Gardner would happily take a do-over on that decision. Come to think of it, Gardner would probably prefer to just erase 2017 altogether.

16 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. mamajama55mamajama55 says:

    Sean Hannity,  Judge Roy Moore, and Donald Trump attacking Mitch McConnell. Delicious.

  2. DawnPatrol says:

    Love it. Love it. LOVE. IT.

    May there be NO survivors.

  3. DawnPatrol says:

    Looks like it's a heaping bowl of schadenfreude for dinner, my friends, tonight and for many nights to come! And it’s oh so delicious!

  4. unnamed says:

    To quote our friend Moldy: The GOP desperately needs a win.  

  5. RepealAndReplace says:

    Not everything Cory Gardner does is evil. (I suppose that is true. He did vote for the Russia sanctions bill.)

    I wonder if Moldy could make the same claim about McConnell…..

    • JohnInDenver says:

      Does "not doing" count as doing?  I'd suggest by not audibly agreeing with his President, Gardner's non-statement is not evil.

      It is telling, however, that the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy has thus far on the Senate "district work period,"

       * not announced his plan for solving the North Korean situation,

       * not said anything about the NK threats,

       * not responded in any way to the impromptu threats from the President, and

       * not recognized the Sad!-ministration's efforts to erase/walk back/contradict the President's rhetoric.

      Perhaps accepting that Subcommittee chairmanship is another decision awaiting intervention via the time machine.

      LATE BREAKING UPDATE

      I just found a Gardner Press Release from 8.9.2017, thus far not published in other media I read.

      “We can only negotiate with this rogue regime from a position of strength, and I firmly believe the best option to stop North Korea goes through Beijing. China is responsible for 90% of North Korea’s trade, a tenfold increase in the last 15 years. It’s time to hold China accountable for their refusal to shut off trade with North Korea, and if they do not take the necessary steps to help us prevent a nuclear war, it must mean that business as usual is over between the United States and China.”

      I have NO idea what is meant by that — maybe a trade war to go along with the threatened missile exchange? I’m not trained or experienced in military or international affairs, but I’m guessing if we threaten the Chinese, they laugh at the predicament we’ve gotten ourselves into. If we launch or counter-launch missiles (or do much else) against North Korea, there almost certainly will be no “business as usual” with the Chinese.

  6. DawnPatrol says:

    The GOP dominated Congress:

  7. Genghis says:

    And, of course, there's also Senator Ron "I'm not saying it was John McCain's brain tumor that voted against repealing the ACA, but hey, let's face it – John McCain's brain tumor is probably what voted against repealing the ACA" Johnson (R-WI).

    • RepealAndReplace says:

      Almost as classy as US Rep Mo Brooks (R-AL) using audio recording from the shooting of Steve Scaliese in one of his campaign commercials in the race to fill Beauregard Sessions’ senate seat.

  8. lilyflower says:

    Let them eat their own.

  9. Gilpin Guy says:

    What is ironic is that McConnell did every twisted evil thing in his power from secret meetings to eliminating hearings to get this passed.  He was standing on the Senate floor in front of each senator when they voted as extra pressure.  He couldn't have done anything more evil and dastardly to get the bill passed and now they are calling him weak and spineless.

    Maybe

    Just maybe

    It didn't pass because they couldn't come with anything better.  Instead of looking for real improvements in our health case system, they fall back on blaming each other for not being ruthless enough.  Not exactly encouraging for future efforts.

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