Storm Clouds Gather As Trump-MAGA Donors Furious with Mitch McConnell

Contrary to what one would ordinarily consider common sense, Republicans in the Senate just created massive new fundraising problems for themselves. Donors are furious that 19 Republican Senators joined along to vote for a portion of President Biden’s infrastructure bill. The “19” includes Sen. Mitch McConnell and Lindsay Graham, perhaps the two most powerful Republicans in the Senate.

According to a report in Axios, Rick Scott delivered the bad news to a closed-door meeting among the senators yesterday:

Scott was at a donor retreat this month when the House passed the $1.2 trillion measure, allowing Biden to sign it into law. He relayed the donors’ reaction during the Senate Republicans’ closed-door conference lunch Tuesday, the sources said. Scott delivered the news while giving a presentation regarding the latest internal polling from the NRSC.

The GOP Senators are a bit unlucky in their timing here. The Senators cast their vote back in August, when Biden had the full “Build Back Better” infrastructure bill on the table, programs that included care for the elderly and significant investments in a green economy. The GOP  Senators essentially voted for the “roads and bridges” portion that they supported, almost as a protest vote and one that they thought would be popular.

That protest vote became a bill that will be signed into law now that the House has passed the same bill, violating MAGA Rule No. 1, never “give” President Biden anything, especially something that is absolutely considered a win, no matter how much it is needed. By making Trump mad, the Senators made the donors mad:

[Scott] added that some donors had also been paying attention to Trump’s statements, one of the sources said, which have included the former president calling the Republicans “RINOs” who “should be ashamed of themselves.”

McConnell might be very tempted to blame Trump on this one, but he best be very careful. It was McConnell, not Trump, who personally rules that there would not be one compromise with Obama on legislation, ever – thus setting the pattern. Republicans expect a fully dysfunctional government under a Democratic president. The fact that Trump demanded the same “respect” is on McConnell as much as it is on Trump.

Problems arise, however, when the pure MAGA base (those who complained to Scott) abuts the pure business base. The business side knows how desperately the roads/rails/airports of this country need upgrades and because our dilapidated infrastructure costs them money. There is a reason that the 19 GOP Senators voted for the infrastructure bill.

It leaves party leaders like Ronna McDaniel preferring to say nothing rather than address the issue at all:

 During a breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor on Thursday, Ronna McDaniel, chairwoman for the Republican National Committee, refused to answer Axios’ questions about the bill. She also wouldn’t say if it was a mistake for the 32 Republicans to vote for it. McDaniel refused to even say the word “infrastructure,” and instead tried to drive the conversation toward Biden’s separate, more progressive $1.75 trillion Build Back Better package.

There. See? All better now. Just don’t speak.

The reaction to the infrastructure bill symbolizes a much bigger and more dangerous divide within the GOP.

There is Trump. Trump’s platform is Trump, his only priority is Trump, and in Trump’s zero-sum world, anything that helps Joe Biden, hurts Donald Trump. Therefore, the votes on the infrastructure bill were a huge mistake because they handed Joe Biden a victory which means they voted for a Trump loss and are traitors.

And then, of course, there are the Wall Street and corporate Republicans that actually do need something done from time to time and don’t care whether it’s under Trump’s name or Biden’s name, they just need it done.

The fact that the GOP has to find a middle that doesn’t exist among this crowd is a problem that is well and truly earned, one that McConnell owns, every bit as much as Trump. Happy hunting, fundraisers!


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