Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wrote an op-ed at Fox News calling for bipartisanship from Democrats after he was criticized for years for refusing to work with the other side.
“I have good news: reports of the death of bipartisanship in Washington have been wildly exaggerated,” McConnell wrote after he successfully blocked former President Obama from filling most federal court vacancies and the Supreme Court vacancy in his final two years. “And looking ahead to the coming year, there will be no shortage of opportunities to continue this impressive record of cooperation across the aisle and across the Capitol.”
“What we can make of those opportunities will depend on our Democratic colleagues. Will they choose to go it alone and simply make political points? Or will they choose to work together and actually make a difference?” McConnell wondered.
“After years of rhetoric, it’s hardly news that some are more interested in fanning the flames of division than reaching across the aisle,” he added.
Journalists reject McConnell gaslighting: MSNBC's Steve Benen credited McConnell with being highly successful at accomplishing his party's agenda as leader but called him out for his actions that irreversibly set the Senate on the partisan course it is on.
“It was McConnell who changed Senate norms to require 60-vote supermajorities on every piece of legislation of any significance. It was McConnell who was responsible for creating the modern judicial confirmation wars. It was McConnell who spearheaded every recent attempt to derail campaign-finance reforms,” Benen wrote, adding that McConnell also “cooked up an unprecedented scorched-earth scheme to undermine Barack Obama’s presidency, deliberately refusing to consider any compromises – even if it meant rejecting his own ideas – in the hopes of trying to ensure that the Democratic president only served one term.”
Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank wrote last year that McConnell is, essentially, the man who “broke America.”
“No man has done more in recent years to undermine the functioning of U.S. government. His has been the epitome of unprincipled leadership, the triumph of tactics in service of short-term power,” Milbank wrote. “McConnell is no idiot. He is a clever man who does what works for him in the moment, consequences be damned.”
Nancy Pelosi echoes call for bipartisanship: While McConnell may not be the best messenger to deliver the “bipartisanship” call, Democrats have said they would be open to working on compromise bills with the GOP.
“We will strive for bipartisanship, with fairness on all sides,” Nancy Pelosi, the likely next House Speaker, said after Democrats won back the chamber. She added that “we must try” to find “common ground” with Trump.
This may be difficult given that many Democrats plan to launch dozens of investigations and hearings into Trump actions that received no oversight under GOP rule.
Trump, meanwhile, responded to his party's midterm losses by mocking his detractors in the GOP, baselessly accusing Democrats of trying to “steal” elections in Florida and Arizona, and blamed Democrats for the California wildfire.