The Corner

Politics & Policy

You Know Who Else Had a Pretty Good Year? Mitch McConnell

It looked rocky there for a while after Obamacare repeal went down and Trump started sniping at him. But McConnell is nothing if not disciplined. He kept his head down, ignored the jibes, and finished the year strong with the tax bill (the Senate added the ANWR provisions and individual-mandate repeal). You wouldn’t think McConnell, a patient and tactically shrewd institutionalist, is a natural partner for Trump. But it was McConnell’s stalwartness on the Scalia seat that created the predicate for the Neil Gorsuch confirmation, and he’s been focused on judges since the election, one reason that a record number of circuit-court judges have been confirmed.

It was possible earlier this year to see Trump at war with his own congressional leadership and trying to govern with Chuck and Nancy. Instead, yesterday we got this:

We’ve heard a lot from Steve Bannon about supporting Trump’s agenda, which for him seems to mean running as many fringey Senate candidates as possible. In contrast, McConnell and other congressional leaders have supported the Trump agenda this year in the much more meaningful sense of trying to make much of it law. They are ending on a high note.

Rich Lowry — Rich Lowry is the editor of National Review. He can be reached via email: comments.lowry@nationalreview.com. 

Most Popular

Elections

Democrats Are Dumping Moderates

The activist base of the Democratic party is lurching left fast enough that everyone should pay attention. Activists matter because their turnout in low-turnout primaries and caucuses almost propelled leftist Bernie Sanders to victory over Hillary Clinton in 2016. Last month, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez unseated New ... Read More
Culture

Questions for Al Franken

1)Al, as you were posting on social media a list of proposed questions for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, did it occur to you that your opinion on the matter is no more relevant than Harvey Weinstein’s? 2) Al, is it appropriate for a disgraced former U.S. senator to use the Twitter cognomen “U.S. ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Strzok by a Farce

An investigation is one of two things: a search for the truth, or a farce. The House is conducting a farce. That fact was on full display during ten hours of testimony by Peter Strzok, the logorrheic lawman who steered the FBI’s Clinton-emails and Trump–Russia probes. The principal question before the ... Read More
Film & TV

Stalin at the Movies

Toward the end of The Death of Stalin, two Communist Party bosses size up Joseph Stalin’s immediate successor, Georgy Malenkov. “Can we trust him?” one asks. “Can you ever really trust a weak man?” his comrade answers. Good question. Last week brought the news that the head of Shambhala ... Read More