WashPost: McConnell Pledges to Avoid 'Scary' Excesses and 'Strident Stands' of 'Far Right'

The Washington Post is positioning the Senate conservatives as “scary” in Monday’s editions. Online, the headline was “New Senate majority leader’s main goal for GOP: Don’t be scary.”

Liberal congressional reporter Paul Kane relayed that Democrats think that appeasing “far-right conservatives” will lead to Republican defeats in 2016:

Democrats are dubious of McConnell’s pledge to avert edge-of-the-cliff moments. They believe he will run into the same problems that have bedeviled House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) during the past four years — including the inability to corral rabble-rousers such as Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) to support an agenda that conservative critics will probably view as not bold enough in challenging Obama. Appeasing those far-right conservatives will lead to an agenda that Democrats hope to exploit in 2016.

Kane began the story this way: “Mitch McConnell has an unusual admonition for the new Republican majority as it takes over the Senate this week: Don’t be ‘scary.’”

McConnell’s declaration to the Post that he wants a “responsible right-of-center” majority seems designed to avoid the liberal media freakout over his previous declaration that the main Republican goal was to limit Obama to one term.

It’s a far cry from his defiant declaration in 2010 that his “single most important” goal was to make President Obama a one-term president, an antagonizing oath that Democrats frequently invoke to embarrass the GOP leader — Obama won reelection comfortably in 2012, and McConnell’s party lost seats.

Now in charge at both ends of the Capitol, Republicans aim to avoid the worst excesses of the past four years and make sure the public isn’t fearful of the GOP’s course....

Restraint has been hard to come by in this political era, particularly because a small army of conservative groups has made it a mission to push Republicans to the most strident stands, even if it means shutting down the government or risking default on the national debt.

Obama doesn’t have any “strident stands” or “worst excesses” to badly disguised Democrats like Paul Kane.

On page 2, in Chris Cillizza’s “The Monday Fix” column, the “far right” labeling continued. Cillizza explained that  “at least two tea party conservatives have offered themselves as replacements” for Speaker John Boehner, showing “the lingering frustration with Boehner among some far-right conservatives even after banner midterm elections in which Republicans expanded their House majority.”

Cillizza added that the tough Senate picture for Republicans in 2016 – defending 24 out of 34 seats – means they can’t “alienate the political middle. The challenge they face is keeping tea party conservatives such as Sen. Ted Cruz (R.-Tex.) From moving that agenda too far to the right."

Congress Washington Post Paul Kane Chris Cillizza Mitch McConnell
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