In a piece published at Vox this Thursday, Ezra Klein writes that GOP Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will go down as one of the most consequential Senate leaders in history due to his "transforming the United States Senate into a different institution, reflecting a different era in American politics."
"Under McConnell, the Senate has been run according to a simple principle: Parties should use as much power as they have to achieve the outcomes they desire," Klein writes. "This would have been impossible in past eras, when parties were weaker and individual senators stronger, when political interests were more rooted in geography and media wasn’t yet nationalized. But it is possible now, and it is a dramatic transformation of the Senate as an institution, with reverberations McConnell cannot control and that his party may come to regret. Indeed, McConnell’s single most profound effect on the Senate may be what he convinces Democrats to do in response to his machinations."
Klein then cites what he calls the McConnell rule: "What parties have the power and authority to do, they should do."
"The singular lesson Senate Democrats learned from the Obama years was McConnell simply wouldn’t let them govern if they retook the majority," Klein continues. "The hope that their cross-aisle friendships, technocratic compromises, open committee processes, or informal 'gangs' could break McConnell’s obstruction had dissolved. And with the world warming, and the virus raging, and millions unemployed, they knew that if they retook power, they would have to govern."
"In the long run, McConnell may reshape the Senate more completely through what he compels Democrats do than through what he himself does."
Read the full op-ed over at Vox.