Politics can be a nasty field, where you need a strong backbone if you’re going to make it. Every action made by politicians is criticized on all sides. The mainstream media seeks to make money, the internet seeks to create outrage, and everyone is looking for the next scoop to make headlines on a day-to-day basis.

Politicians Need Thick Skin

Politicians in leadership are especially vulnerable to various attacks on all sides. The last few years have seen these negative attacks ramping up, particularly in light of challenges that have been seen in the differing houses of Congress.

Source: Wikimedia/Office of Speaker Mike Johnson

The House of Representatives has seen attacks on their different Speakers of the House, Biden has been attacked by medias of all political bends, and the Senate has seen more than its fair share of scrutiny, largely looking at the Republican party.

McConnell Under Scrutiny

Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell has found himself under significant scrutiny since President Biden took office, especially in the wake of the events of January 6 and his actions regarding that.

Source: Wikimedia/Gage Skidmore

McConnell hasn’t been the biggest fan of former President Donald Trump for quite some time, and has made this clear in his own way. While McConnell didn’t vote to impeach the former president in either of his Senate impeachment hearings, McConnell has made clear that he would prefer that the party move beyond Trumpism and bring things somewhat back to center.

Endorsement of Donald Trump

This attitude is one that has been recently challenged, though. After announcing that he would be stepping down from the leadership of the Senate – while not stating that he would retire from the Senate altogether – McConnell then followed up with an endorsement of Donald Trump in a statement.

Source: Wikimedia/Gage Skidmore

This endorsement came after Trump’s significant wins on Super Tuesday, the day when 15 states hold their presidential primaries in the United States. Trump dominated on Super Tuesday, bringing his total delegates for the nomination to over 1000, and making him the clear pick for the Republican party’s nomination this summer.

Trump’s Republican Support

In his endorsement, McConnell acknowledged Trump’s support of Republican voters. “It is abundantly clear that former President Trump has earned the requisite support of Republican voters to be our nominee for president of the United States,” he said.

Source: Wikimedia/Gage Skidmore

He went on to finish, “It should come as no surprise that, as nominee, he will have my support.” This statement endorsing the former president makes McConnell the highest-profile Republican to endorse Trump, and makes clear where the party stands regarding the former president.

Mainstream Media Attacking McConnell

Many media outlets, in the days since, have attacked McConnell for his support of the former president. McConnell made clear in the years since Trump left office that he would prefer that the party move beyond the MAGA crowd, and that he didn’t wish to see Trump in office again.

Source: Wikimedia/Office of Senator Mitch McConnell

Now that it appears that Trump could be the only way for the party to stay in power, though, it seems that McConnell has turned that opinion on its head. The mainstream media has pointed out the hypocrisy of McConnell’s endorsement, with some significant voices rising to the top of the criticism.

Comments on Morning Joe

Joe Scarborough, the host of Morning Joe, lambasted McConnell in a recent show. He pointed out McConnell’s past comments about the former president, pointing to McConnell’s condemnation of Trump after the January 6 riot.

Source: Youtube/MSNBC

Additionally, Joe addressed the racist comments that Trump made in the past about Elaine Chao, McConnell’s wife who once served as the secretary of transportation under former President Trump.

Other Republicans Under Attack Too

In his critique, Joe lumped McConnell in with other Republicans who have been relentlessly attacked by Trump, only to turn about and support him when things turned in Trump’s favor. It’s a pattern that was seen in former Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy, and now apparently with McConnell too.

Source: Youtube/MSNBC

Joe didn’t stop with his criticism of McConnell, though. Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) were also pointed to as members of Congress who had criticized Donald Trump in the past before making a turnabout to support him.

Trump’s Criticism of Heidi Cruz

Regarding Cruz, Joe said, “If Donald Trump had ever attacked Ted Cruz’s wife, if he ever called her ugly, ever, ever struck out at her in the most personal of terms…that is Texas tough right there, man.”

Source: Youtube/MSNBC

Joe’s criticism comes from comments that Donald Trump made regarding Heidi Cruz during his 2016 campaign, implying that she was ugly. This was before he branded Cruz with one of his signature nicknames, calling the senator, “Lyin’ Ted.”

Graham’s Former Condemnation of Trump

Joe had similarly unflattering things to say about Lindsay Graham. “That guy is a profile in courage. Enough is enough, I’m out. And then three rednecks and a hound dog chase him around Reagan National and he’s like, ‘I’m in, I’m in!'”

Source: Wikimedia/U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Chad J. McNeeley

Graham, to Joe’s criticism, is a senator that has seen a significant amount of flip-flopping regarding the former president. He is famously quoted, ahead of Donald Trump’s 2016 election, as saying, “If we nominate Donald Trump, we will get destroyed. And we will deserve it.”

Two Points Where Trump Came Back

Joe went on to point out that there are two notable moments in American politics that have allowed for Trump to make a comeback after the events of January 6. The first was Kevin McCarthy condemning Trump in the aftermath, but then going to Mar-A-Lago to visit with him a mere few weeks later.

Source: Wikimedia/Ali Shaker/VOA

The second point argued is McConnell’s refusal to convict Trump in his second impeachment trial. Pushing the trial beyond President Biden’s inauguration was the first mistake, because impeaching a man who was no longer president was pointless, but then choosing not to convict only made things worse.

McConnell Making the Right Choice…Sometimes

In his conversation with the other panelists, Joe does point out that there have been many things that McConnell has done that he personally has praised on his show. McConnell has, in the past, stood up to Donald Trump at various points when his support, or lack thereof, made a difference in the tide of American politics.

Source: Wikimedia/Gage Skidmore

However, endorsing Trump now, when McConnell is objectively at the end of his political career, is a commentary not only on Trump and the current state of the Republican party, but also of McConnell himself. Showing leadership means making difficult decisions at times, and this endorsement shows that McConnell isn’t willing to make that difficult choice.

Making Way for New Leadership

In this, it’s likely a good thing that McConnell is stepping down from Senate leadership this fall. While he still has several years left in his Senate term – if he chooses not to run for an eighth time – it means that there’s the opportunity for others to step up to Republican leadership.

Source: Wikimedia/Senate Democrats

Joe concluded that McConnell’s endorsement appears to be simply about power, and that it’s entirely shameless. The panel concluded that, among others, McConnell’s flip-flopping regarding Trump is one of the reasons that the American public are so cynical and disenchanted with the current state of American politics.

Republicans Will Vote With Power

McConnell’s endorsement of Trump is disappointing, but unfortunately not surprising. While Joe and others have criticized his support, it is well in line with the current trajectory of the Republican party.

Source: Wikimedia/Gage Skidmore

A second Trump and Biden matchup is coming this November, if all current factors remain the same. The challenge between a four-times indicted former president and the oldest leader that America has ever seen is one that many Americans didn’t want to see again, but unfortunately, it’s the choice we have. Republicans like McConnell will, unfortunately, continue to vote with Republican power, and that means aligning themselves with Donald Trump.