Monday morning, any doubts about where the “establishment” of the Republican Party stands on the issue of disgraced former judge Roy Moore’s predilection for dating teenage girls were erased, by none other than Mitch McConnell himself, the leader of the Republicans in the Senate.
Surrounded by reporters, McConnell said in no uncertain terms that he thinks Moore should step down. Pressed on the exact reasoning, a reporter asked him, “Do you believe these allegations to be true?”
In the very first instance in at least two years in which I thought something a Republican said was actually decent, Mitch responded in the affirmative — but not just a simple “yes.” Very importantly, he specified that he believes the women making the accusations.
— Nick Storm (@NStorm_Politics) November 13, 2017
Reactions to the Senator’s statement were, to say the least, mixed. I can’t stress how hard it is to actually believe something good could come from a Republican Senator, let alone the guy who publicly stated that his number one goal a few years back was to make Barack Obama a one-term president.
But for now, I believe him. And it’s got me all kinds of confused. Some of Twitter felt the same:
“I believe the women.”
– Mitch McConnell
(pinch and wake me up)
— Amy Siskind (@Amy_Siskind) November 13, 2017
Wow!! Mitch McConnell you coming out against Roy Moore gets you a notch in my book
That puts you at notch one
— S D (@realBigBalls) November 13, 2017
Some people shared my view of The-Rest-Of-His-Career Mitch McConnell:
Imagine being so awful that you temporarily push Mitch McConnell to the right side of history.
— Aaron Fullerton (@AaronFullerton) November 13, 2017
Others shared my skepticism and cynicism:
my favorite Mitch McConnell is scared af Mitch McConnell pic.twitter.com/4eHkm96A8M
— shauna (@goldengateblond) November 13, 2017
when Roy Moore wins Mitch McConnell will host a lunch welcoming him to the Senate
— Simon Maloy (@SimonMaloy) November 13, 2017
Mitch McConnell has calculated after a week of plotting that 2 years of Roy Moore isn’t worth a lifetime of being called pedophilia enablers. It took him a week to make the calculation. #courage
— Infantry Vet (@ericgobucks) November 13, 2017
The bottom line is that if Mitch really believes the women, and honestly thinks that Roy Moore should step aside despite the fact that it almost certainly means giving up a Senate seat to a Democrat, he has something he can personally do about it.
Mitch McConnell can refuse to seat Roy Moore in the Senate, even if he wins.
Featured image via Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images