Yeah, McConnell Is Concerned About Health -- The Health Of His Senate Majority
Credit: WLKY Screen grab
July 1, 2020

Politico reports that Mitch McConnell is concerned about virus spread.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell reiterated Monday that Americans should continue to wear masks, emphasizing that there is “no stigma” associated with them....

In a floor speech, McConnell said the United States is currently in a “middle ground” between lockdowns and life before the pandemic, and encouraged the adoption of “new routines.”

“We must have no stigma — none — about wearing masks when we leave our homes and come near other people,” McConnell said. “Wearing simple face coverings is not about protecting ourselves. It is about protecting everyone we encounter.”

McConnell added that it’s the responsibility of individuals, small businesses, employers and “all levels of government” to take the necessary public health precautions to prevent the spread of the virus.

McConnell's chief concern isn't the virus. It's his Senate majority. He's seen the numbers:



If even a solid majority of Republicans approve of mask-wearing, then the president's steadfast rejection of them is out of step with public opinion.


Republican presidential candidates typically carry older voters by solid margins, and in his first campaign Mr. Trump bested Hillary Clinton by seven percentage points with voters over 65. He won white seniors by nearly triple that margin.

Today, Mr. Trump and Mr. Biden are tied among seniors, according to a poll of registered voters conducted by The New York Times and Siena College. And in the six most important battleground states, Mr. Biden has established a clear upper hand, leading Mr. Trump by six percentage points among the oldest voters and nearly matching the president’s support among whites in that age group.

Why would many seniors be abandoning Trump? Here's a possible explanation: They're afraid to die. They see Trump's flippant rejection of masks, and the adoption of an anti-mask stance by many Americans in imitation of Trump, as a life-or-death issue.

McConnell is afraid Trump will drag down Republican Senate candidates in November and turn the Senate over to the Democrats. So is Marco Rubio ("everyone should just wear a damn mask," he recently said). So is Lamar Alexander ("it would help if from time to time the president would wear one to help us get rid of this political debate that says if you’re for Trump, you don’t wear a mask, if you’re against Trump, you do"). And even though they're not in the Senate, Liz and Dick Cheney are also desperate to persuade voters that Republicans aren't anti-mask absolutisits.

The president, of course, believes he knows more about politics than people who've spent decades in the business. They'll never persuade him that he needs to change course.

Can McConnell, Rubio, and the rest persuade voters that Republicans aren't hostile to masks? Maybe they need to take that up with Fox News, talk radio, and the key sites of the online right. Maybe they need to talk Mark Zuckerberg into cracking down on Facebook mask skeptics and conspiratorialists.

None of that will happen, of course, so they're doomed -- Trump will never, ever wear a mask, and mask hostility will continue to be indelibly associated with conservatism and the GOP. (Also, mask refusers will be responsible for more and more outbreaks, which will cause continued harm to the economy, and thus to the party that runs most of the government.)

Republicans let this happen. I hope their party pays dearly for it on Election Day.

Posted with permission from No More Mr. Nice Blog

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