The Identity Of The Villain Appears Obvious...


After Mitch McConnell's appearance on State of the Union this Sunday, Steve Benen wrote a great piece about McConnell's doublespeak on the obstruction we've seen from the Republicans who's main goal, as McConnell has stated, is to make President Obama a one-term president.

If the villain shoe fits... (emphasis mine):

As far as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is concerned, the White House has a “storyline” that isn’t true.

“Their storyline is that there must be some villain out there who’s keeping this administration from succeeding.”

The comment comes almost exactly a year to the day after McConnell conceded on the record that defeating the president in 2012 is his “top priority,” adding, “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president…. Our single biggest political goal is to give our nominee for president the maximum opportunity to be successful.”

As Jonathan Cohn explained, “I wasn’t that shocked by McConnell’s original statement. Heck, I even appreciated the candor. But if you’re going to make the president’s failure your top goal — and if you’re going to brag about it — you really can’t get upset when the president blames you for it.”

Greg Sargent added, “[T]here’s simply no longer any doubt that — whether for principled, ideological, or cynical reasons — Senate Republicans are denying Obama support for his policies partly to damage him politically.”

It’s worth pausing, from time to time, to appreciate just how unambiguous this record is. There “must be some villain out there” undermining the White House’s ability to succeed? There’s no reason to pretend that Mitch McConnell hasn’t earned the label. [...]

“Their storyline is that there must be some villain out there who’s keeping this administration from succeeding.” The storyline appears to be accurate and the identity of the villain appears obvious.

Much more there with a long list of examples of McConnell doing his best to make sure it's been impossible for Democrats to govern.

Full transcript from the CNN interview below the fold.

CROWLEY: Senator, I want to move us on to some politics here. I had a discussion with Senator Joe Biden earlier in the week, and he had something to say about Republicans I want you to listen to.


BIDEN: This is not your normal Republican Party. It doesn't mean it's good or bad, it's a different Republican Party in the House of Representatives. It's different, with a very different view than mainstream Republicans have had going into this. (END VIDEO CLIP)

CROWLEY: Now, Senator Biden has nice things to say about you, about Speaker Boehner, about Majority Leader Cantor, but he's talking here about the Tea Party. Has the Tea Party made your job more difficult?

MCCONNELL: No. You know, what the vice president ought to be talking about is the things that we could do together. You know, Candy, they had the signing of the trade agreements that passed by an overwhelming bipartisan agreement, that the signing of the bill basically in a room without any cameras.

They're ashamed to -- to -- to mention any of the things that they do with Republicans because it steps on their storyline. Their storyline is that there must be some villain out there who's keeping this administration from succeeding.

Look, he's -- the president's been in office now almost three years. We've had a chance to -- to look at his performance. The vice president said this election was going to be a choice. It will be a referendum, a referendum on the president and his performance. And I think they have concluded that the economy's not going to look a whole lot better a year from now, Candy, and so they're looking around for anybody else to blame other than themselves for the place that they find them.

And they got everything they wanted from Congress the first two years. Their policies are in place. And they are demonstrably not working.

CROWLEY: Polls that we keep looking at show that most people, 69 percent say that Congress is not addressing the people's problems. And those same polls show that they mostly blame Republicans. Can Republicans in 2012 withstand this kind of blowback from the public, if it holds?

MCCONNELL: Well, the president's trying to convince everybody that somebody else, anybody else is responsible for the fact that he hasn't done a very good job. It must be those millionaires. It must be those people in Congress. By the way, he owned the Congress for most of the time he's been in office. It must be people on Wall Street. It must be anybody but him.

Look, he's the president. This election will be a referendum on his performance. There are 1.5 million fewer jobs today than when he took office. The national debt has been increased 35 percent. Federal regulators are crawling all over the private sector, keeping us from coming out of this recession. This will be a referendum on his performance as president of the United States.

CROWLEY: Part of what is being said out on a campaign trail by the Democrats is using a quote from you that you said two years ago about, "The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president." Are you sorry you said that? You've explained it many, many times. It's a two-year-old quote. But nonetheless, the idea is, look, the Republicans' main aim here is not to help you get jobs. It's to defeat this president. Are you worried that that is catching hold?

MCCONNELL: I'm amused by that, because, obviously, as a Republican leader of the Senate, I would like a new president, but that won't happen until next year. The question is, what could we do together now? We passed trade agreements. Last week, I offered part of the president's stimulus bill, what he calls a job bill, part of it that we agree with, and the Democrats in the Senate voted it down.

They are picking unnecessary fights. There are plenty of things we can do together. The trade agreements are a good example of it. They don't want to talk about trade agreements because it steps on their storyline that Republicans won't cooperate with them to pass legislation. We will.

CROWLEY: Senator, I need a one-word answer to this, if I could get it. Will Republicans take control of the Senate in the 2012 election?

MCCONNELL: I hope so.


That wasn't one word.

CROWLEY: And any -- what are your odds at this point? I'll take it. I would assume you hope so. Senator McConnell, thank you so much for joining us. We appreciate it.


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