Last week, he told reporters: “There will be no government shutdowns and no default on the national debt.” He also said that he “hopes to” work with Obama on trade legislation and that there would be no full scale repeal of Obamacare.
These capitulations make no sense, even for a political careerist like McConnell.
Last week’s elections proved that Republicans paid no political price at all for shutting down the government in 2013—no matter what Karl Rove and the insider establishment will tell you.
Second, the threat of another shutdown was one of McConnell’s strongest bargaining chips. Even if you don’t think a shutdown is a good idea, you have to admit that conservatives used the shutdown to extract key concessions from the left.
Leave it to Mitch McConnell to use a sweeping victory as an excuse to give in to his opponents.