Now roundly loathed by tea partyers nationwide as an underhanded insider, Mr. McConnell has his hands full with a challenge for his own party’s nomination. Then he must win re-election to the Senate at a time when his favorable ratings are dangerously low. And if he wants to go from being a nearly powerless minority leader to a majority leader who can actually stop the Obama agenda, he and Republicans need to pick up six seats held by Democrats.
Sounds like a pretty full plate, even for a brilliant and determined tactician like Mr. McConnell.
So why is it that he would be so obsessed with mucking up a Nebraska primary race where by all accounts the best, most conservative and most electable Republican appears on the verge of winning? Polls show Ben Sasse close to grasping the nomination after running a clean, positive campaign laying out his vision for dismantling Obamacare.
From early on, Mr. McConnell has been squarely behind Nebraska politician Shane Osborn, who has run a relentlessly negative and dishonest campaign. In an attempt to smear Mr. Sasse, Mr. Osborn’s campaign has spun numerous fantasies about how Mr. Sasse doesn’t really want to repeal Obamacare. Really?
Then reporters at The Omaha World-Herald uncovered a bombshell. Mr. Osborn, a Navy veteran, conspired with some buddies in the Pentagon to forge a document on Navy letterhead in an effort to help out his political campaign. The forged document, summarizing classified information, was distributed to reporters.
Running a terrible and nasty campaign apparently doesn’t bother Mr. McConnell. He ordered the D.C. Republican establishment to get behind Mr. Osborn. Now a Political Action Committee formed by ex-McConnell staffers to advance Mr. McConnell’s interests has gotten in on the lying game.