Thursday, November 4, 2010

McConnell’s “One-term President” Remark has Clear Policy Implications

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has taken heat (1) (2) for claiming that the “single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.” (3)  Some claimed that McConnell’s statement betrayed a partisan agenda concerned only with the achievement of political--not policy--ends.  Yet this criticism does not account for the policy effects of working towards and potentially succeeding in unseating a president with whom one has very real policy differences.

In fact, the root of much of the criticism of McConnell seems to be the suggestion that he is merely concerned with defeating the president--in a vacuum, as it were.  However, the policy outcome of such a political achievement would surely be the obstruction of an agenda that McConnell claims is counterproductive toward the goal of promoting economic growth and protecting the country, to name just two policy objectives.

(1) Sargent, Greg. “Dems rip Mitch McConnell's "one term" remark, but will voters care?” The Plum Line. October 27, 2010.
(2) Miller, Sean J. “Reid: McConnell comment about one-term Obama 'a road to nowhere'.” The Hill. November 3, 2010.
(3) National Journal, "Top GOP Priority is to Make Obama a One Term President." Interview with Senator Mitch McConnell. October 23, 2010.

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