Mitch McConnell, the schmuck from Kentuck
Is it an automatic call that Mitch McConnell must become the Minority Leader of the Senate? He is an old guy with old ideas. He is not representative of the US voter demographic. If Republicans want to lead, how about producing leadership for the future?
McConnell supports earmarks that Eric Cantor wants to eliminate. He comes right out of the canon aiming to make Obama a one-term President instead of addressing the needs of the American people by supporting collaboration and consensus needed in a democracy like ours.
Republicans wanting a place in the future should rethink who they elect as their leaders. Seniority is not automatic.
He is widely considered a kingmaker in Kentucky Republican politics. Although he is considered by many as an ardent conservative, he has distanced himself from the majority in his party by supporting earmarks and opposing the Flag Desecration Amendment.
Senator McConnell has supported several gun control measures put forth by Democrats including the 1991 Crime Bill S.1241 (see U.S. Senate Roll Call Vote here) sponsored by then senatorJoseph Biden that instituted a national waiting period for handgun purchases as well as a federal ban on semi-automatic firearms. In 1998, McConnell voted for Barbara Boxer's Trigger Lock Amendment 3230 (see U.S. Senate Roll Call Vote here), an unfunded mandate requiring the purchase of a trigger lock with the sale of each handgun. Firearms dealers who do not comply to force the private transaction are guilty of a federal crime and face revocation of their Federal Firearms License and civil fines up to $10,000 for each omission.
McConnell is also well known for his opposition to campaign finance regulation on First Amendment grounds. He argues that regulations reduce participation in political campaigns and protect incumbents from competition. He spearheaded the movement against the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (known since 1995 as the "McCain–Feingold bill" and from 1989–1994 as the "Boren–Mitchell bill"), calling it "neither fair, nor balanced, nor constitutional." His opposition to the bill culminated in the 2003 Supreme Court case McConnell v. Federal Election Commission and the 2009 Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.
In August 2007 McConnell introduced the Protect America Act of 2007, which allowed the National Security Agency to monitor telephone and electronic communications of suspected terrorists inside and outside the United States without obtaining a warrant.
In 1996, Senator McConnell demanded that President Clinton allow White House aides to testify under oath. On April 1, 2007, Chris Wallace claimed that McConnell's stance on Karl Rove and Harriet Miers testifying under oath in relation to the Dismissal of U.S. attorneys controversy was contradictory. Wallace asked, "In 1996, you were saying those White House aides should testify in open hearing. These were White House aides of Bill Clinton, in open hearing under oath. Why shouldn't the same rules apply for the Bush White House and people like Karl Rove?" McConnell replied, "And what I’m telling you is the president's going to make that decision."
Senator McConnell was the writer of the Gas Price Reduction Act. The GPRA calls for more offshore and domestic oil exploration, to try to curb rising gas prices.
On April 21, 2009, McConnell delivered a speech to the Senate criticizing United States President Barack Obama's plans to close the Guantanamo Bay detention camp in Cuba. During the speech, he suggested that Obama's closure plans might result in the release of "murderers" into the U.S. He also claimed that the Department of Defense had identified 18 former Guantanamo prisoners who allegedly returned to battle, whom he called "recidivists", and he predicted that the closure of the camp would result in additional former captives returning to the battlefield.”