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Joe Biden’s Naive Insistence That Mitch McConnell Is a ‘Rational Republican’ Isn’t Helping Anybody

A group of gun control advocates yell and plead during a protest.

Joe Biden told reporters this weekend that he believes “rational Republicans,” and specifically Mitch McConnell, might be open to negotiations over gun control laws, because he just refuses to stop begging to have the political football pulled out from under him.

According to Axios, Biden told reporters that in the wake of the Uvalde elementary school shooting, “I think things have gotten so bad that everybody is getting more rational about it.” He added, “At least that’s my hope” because he also noted that he hasn’t actually discussed this with any Republicans, saying, “But my guess is … they’re going to have to take a hard look.”

Biden’s naive idealism about Republicans finally having a change of heart and deciding they want to stop being America’s villains is nothing new, and it’s as exhausting as ever. Throughout his presidential campaign, Biden repeatedly told donors and voters that once Donald Trump was out of office, Republicans would have an “epiphany” and stop being so “obstructionist.” When Biden finally took office and that didn’t happen, he seemed genuinely shocked.

This feels like that exact same naivete on display. Axios writes: “Biden said Monday he would welcome congressional action gun control. He specifically called McConnell ‘a rational Republican’ and that [Texas Sen. John] Cornyn may be one, too, and there is a ‘recognition on their part that they can’t continue like this.'”

In addition to stating openly that his biggest goal is to block the entirety of Joe Biden’s legislative agenda, Mitch McConnell has an A+ rating from the NRA and has, over the course of his career, received $1.3 million in NRA funding. As The Washington Post writes, “The Senate Republican leader has spent his career working to delay, obstruct or prevent most major firearms restrictions from being approved by Congress.”

Cornyn has reportedly been in talks with Democrats about bipartisan legislation but he’s also said that he can’t even support something as basic as background checks, choosing instead to focus on “access to mental health treatment” and other approaches that don’t “infringe the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens.”

Despite Biden’s insistence that these Republicans have the ability to be “rational” on gun control or pretty much anything else, the rest of us, who exist in reality, remain skeptical.

(image: Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

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Vivian Kane (she/her) has a lot of opinions about a lot of things. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri with her husband Brock Wilbur and too many cats.