As I do my afternoon surfing I notice some commentators are amazed that Mitch McConnell, without any hope of success, is still going to force a Repeal vote.
Well, let me tell you how it is. Of course this is a capo di tutti story.
By the time I ran for election I’d already been part of a half dozen or so campaigns, some won, some lost, some I managed, others I had a more peripheral role. In every case there was a concession before the final vote, many times before a majority had even been secured after only a particular key local or two declared.
The benefits of concession were that you got to give a humiliating speech and certain vague promises were made and never kept. I even helped write a few.
In my election I picked my brother, the activist, over my best friend as manager despite the fact my friend had more experience. The reason was I had been my friend’s manager during his run and he conceeded, against my advice. At least I didn’t have to endure the indignity of helping to write the speech, that was all him.
The first thing I said to my brother was, “There will be no concession.”
The night before the election my friend (who was actually very supportive and helpful, don’t get me wrong) asked me, “Do you need some help with your speech?” meaning of course the concession. I think I said something diplomatic like “Don’t need any,” or “Got that covered.”
When the doors were locked after the last delegate was recognized I turned to my brother- “There will be no concession.”
As it turns out you get to make a humiliating speech even when you count the last vote (the Secretary pauses so the defeated candidate can make his way to the front) so I wouldn’t have missed much.
It could easily have turned out otherwise, I might have lost and there were many surprises and that really is my point, the reason for counting is so that you know how people stand and how much work you need to do in order to win next time.
So while I think Mitch McConnell is a vindictive, spiteful, asshole it’s not because he’s forcing his caucus into a useless and damaging vote. He’s just finding out where he stands.
And maybe culling the herd a little (Hey, I think Mitch is a vindictive, spiteful, asshole. It’s just that this is not the reason why.).