Congress is now back in session, and if there’s one person that’s not happy to be back at work, it’s Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
McConnell is in the unenviable position of having to lead his Republicans in a string of fights that he doesn’t really want to be involved with.
The first fight is against Planned Parenthood, where his party is trying to strip away the group’s federal funding over bogus claims that they are harvesting fetal tissue and selling it to the highest bidder. Even though the video evidence of this was shown to have been faked, McConnell’s Republican co-workers still want to de-fund Planned Parenthood, which would cripple vital services for women in the United States.
The second fight – a fight that McConnell and his Republicans have already lost – is the fight against the international nuclear agreement with Iran. McConnell and the war hawks in Congress did not want to see the President succeed in the area of foreign policy, but with a veto-proof majority of Senators now supporting the deal, McConnell and the Republicans have absolutely no chance of winning this battle.
The biggest problem for McConnell right now is that he has to lead the Republicans with an increased sense of caution. We’re coming up on an election year where 26 of his Republican members in the Senate will be up for re-election, while only 10 Democratic seats are up for grabs. The balance of power in the Senate could dramatically shift after the next election, and McConnell knows this.
If he acts too boldly and prevents action on any issue from taking place, his party could suffer in the election by being cast as obstructionists. On the other hand, if he agrees too much with Obama, his base will get angry, which could result in lower Republican voter turnout and that could cost the Republicans the White House.
So Mitch McConnell has a tough road ahead of him, but its only because this is the kind of Party he has helped create.