WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a stinging and likely lasting late night defeat, Senate Republicans watched three of their own — Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and John McCain of Arizona — torpedo their hopes of passing the so-called “skinny repeal” of Obamacare. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, having just watched his party fumble an enormous political football, said on the Senate floor just after he lost the vote 51-49, that it was time for Republicans to move onto tax reform. This morning, a weary looking McConnell was stopped by reporters on his way into the capital building, and he answered a few questions.
“To be honest, this whole mess has really made me question a lot of things,” McConnell said.
One reporter asked him if one of those things is him questioning his own leadership decisions, starting with eight years of obstruction against President Obama, including an unprecedented political maneuver that allowed President Donald Trump to nominate Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch to the bench. McConnell laughed. He wiped a tear from his already extremely wet and large eyes.
“Oh, no, not at at all. But thank you. I really needed that laugh this morning,” McConnell told the reporters, “However, I meant on a much more existential plane. To be perfectly frank with you all, I thought we were doing God’s work, repealing Obamacare and taking insurance away from millions of Americans. But now, I really question if there really is a God.”
Trump registered his disdain via his favorite platform, Twitter, after the vote was held.
3 Republicans and 48 Democrats let the American people down. As I said from the beginning, let ObamaCare implode, then deal. Watch!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 28, 2017
When McConnell was asked about the tweet, he said he understood the president’s frustrations. Majority Leader McConnell said that it’s “understandable to be frustrated when the loss is so personal.”
“I just really wanted to take away health insurance from a few million people because the Democrat and black guy helped give it to them, is that so much to ask,” McConnell wondered aloud, “I just don’t understand how there can be a God when all those people still have access to a doctor.”
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Senator McConnell said that he couldn’t sleep all night after the vote, and he wound up going to two different places.
“An all night deli, so I could get some carrots and leafy greens,” McConnell explained, “to keep my shell firm and shiny like Granny always taught me. And to a church, to pray. I prayed so hard. I got down on my knees and asked God above why he forsook me. And you know what? He still hasn’t answered me. I might just have to issue a senate subpoena if he doesn’t contact me soon.”
A clearly crestfallen McConnell said that while his faith in “the Senate, the Republican Party, America, and God have all been shaken to their core,” he still believes that he can find his faith again.
“With tax reform,” McConnell said with a smile, “if we can take enough money away from vital services so that rich people can have three, maybe four homes? Then I’ll say I believe in God again. Otherwise, well, I don’t want to think about otherwise. It’s like Jesus always said, it’s easier to get a camel through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich man to get into heaven. So to me, that sounds like we need to give rich people all the help they can get.”