When President Ronald Reagan and Soviet Union Leader Mikhail Gorbachev worked on nuclear disarmament treaties in the mid to late 1980’s, the 40th President liked to borrow the Russian proverb “trust but verify” in describing his attitude in dealing with his Soviet opposite number.

Fast forward 35 years and Americans can use a variation of that phrase when reacting to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell apparent (at least public) willingness to enter into gun control negotiations with Democrats following the horrific school shooting in Texas last week.

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McConnell has selected Texas Senator John Cornyn to be the lead Republican in dealing with Senate Democrats.

President Biden, who along with First Lady Dr. Jill Biden, went to Texas yesterday to pay their respects to the victims of the school shooting and offer support to the survivors and their families with the President saying “we will” in response to pleas to act on gun control, told journalists on the White House lawn today that he considered McConnell and Cornyn “Rational Republicans” who see the need to pass some gun control legislation.

While it is understandable that the President of the United States has to project the voice of optimism to the families and survivors in Texas, everyone should remember who Mr. Biden is dealing with and be very skeptical.

Mitch McConnell has made his political fortunes by obstructing virtually any meaningful legislation that would move the country forward and lift people up.

This is the person that stole a Supreme Court seat and would not support President Obama publicly going after Donald Trump and his Russian connections in 2016.

This is the person that has repeatedly attempted to do away with the Affordable Care Act and has stopped measures like expanding voting rights and going after domestic terrorists.

He is a Machiavellian that would make Machiavelli look like a political choir boy.

He has rightfully earned the nick names (Obstructionist in Chief, Political Prince of Darkness) bestowed on him.

It is very probable that McConnell, seeing support for gun control increasing in its intensity, is publicly stating his willingness to negotiate some legislation and engaging in political theater in the hopes of dragging these negotiations as long as possible and then blame Democrats for not compromising with Republicans.

When dealing with McConnell and his apostates in the Republican Senate Caucus, President Biden and the other Democrats would be wise to remember that Russian proverb, except in Moscow Mitch’s case, it should be Distrust but Verify.

 

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