Friday, January 1, 2010

McConnell Gives GOP Weekly Address

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell gives this week's Republican address. It is revelatory in several respects.

First, as the highest-ranking Republican in Washington, McConnell could avail himself of the platform of giving the Republican weekly address as often as he wants. And yet this is the first time he has chosen to give the address in who knows how long. Instead, he routinely uses the weekly address as an opportunity to promote rising stars within the party. This is a testament to McConnell's innate modesty and love of the Republican party: he puts the party above self-aggrandizement.

Second, by focusing on the second battle of Trenton (conducted this day in 1777), McConnell reveals his love for history and its influence on his statesmanship. This is a man who studies history for clues on how to better lead his state and his nation. That, too, underscores his modesty. Even though McConnell is now the longest-serving U.S. Senator in the history of Kentucky, he still seeks to learn, particularly from those great men who founded our nation.

Third, contrary to what the Courier-Journal likes to spin, McConnell is by nature an optimist. As a result, he views the partisanship in Washington as an opportunity to make real progress on important issues like health care. But he does not view the GOP's minority status as an excuse to capitulate (as many would).

He looks to the battle of Trenton and sees that courage and the will to fight do not come from the number of troops one commands but rather the principles for which one fights.

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