FEATURED PHOTO: SENATE MINORITY LEADER MITCH MCCONNELL
TheRoot.com, By Candace McDuffie, Posted September 7th 2023
After freezing in front of reporters for the second time, it’s time to put ol’ Mitch out to pasture
For the second time in weeks, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., appeared to have frozen during a press conference Wednesday. The incident happened in Covington, Kentucky, where McConnell was unable to respond to questions from reporters after he suddenly stopped speaking and needed help from the folks around him.
When asked about running for reelection, the senator froze in place and didn’t speak for nearly 30 seconds. McConnell also didn’t answer when a member of his own staff asked if he had heard the question. “All right, I’m sorry, you all. We’re going to need a minute,” the aide said during that awkward moment.
Mitch, take as many minutes as you need. Just take them at home, away from us, where your obstruction and enabling of anti-black policies can’t hurt us anymore. To be clear, whatever’s going on with McConnell’s health isn’t the business of Black America. It doesn’t take much to have compassion for an elderly man who’s clearly and publicly in decline.
It’s just that as far as many Black folks are concerned, McConnell’s retirement day just can’t come fast enough.
McConnell has served as the GOP leader for 16 years, the longest in the history of the Senate. During his tenure, he has gone out of his way to disenfranchise Black people by opposing police reform, health care reform and almost any legislative change Black folks have favored.
At the helm of the Senate GOP, McConnell refused to confront or vote to convict Trump in either impeachment. He’s also served as a mentor to Daniel Cameron, the Black attorney general who refused to charge the cops who killed Breonna Taylor. McConnell also blocked President Obama’s effort to appoint a justice late in his term but allowed Donald Trump to do so.
McConnell has consistently stated he plans on finishing up his job, which doesn’t end until the end of 2024 as the 118th Congress comes to a conclusion. In March, he fell and suffered a concussion—an injury that could account for his recent concerning moments. A similar episode happened on July 26 in Washington, D.C., where he didn’t move and was temporarily unable to talk during a news conference.
McConnell has managed to avoid the question if he will run again, though that possibility should be null and void since he obviously cannot do the job now. While it’s jarring to see the 81-year-old Senate leader struggle behind podiums, for Black folks—who McConnell infamously referred to as being different from Americans—it’d be optimal if he retires sooner than later.