Just a couple of regular ol’ dudes who hold the balance of American government in their hands.
There’s a prevailing sense out there that Washington, D.C., is a snake pit of partisan sniping where the only reliable product is a steady stream of self-promotion and acrimony. And, y’know what? Sure, okay, that’s largely true. But there are rare exceptions to the rule — cases where the luminous power of friendship manages to burst through even the heaviest clouds of legislative opprobrium. And when those moments occur, it’s important to call them out and celebrate them as proof positive that the system still works!
For instance, take the inspiring bromance between Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a committed Republican, and de facto Senate Majority Leader Joe Manchin. While Mitch is very outspoken in his tireless efforts to stymie President Biden’s faltering domestic agenda, Manchin, ostensibly a Democrat from West Virginia, is only slightly less obvious about his desire to do the exact same thing. And this, dear reader, is the stuff of friendship. (Cue the “awwww”s from the live studio audience!)
In fact, it’s that shared goal of being as frustratingly obstructionist as possible that brought these two old, wrinkly white men together Thursday for one of their regular power chats, where they presumably talk about how great it is to be old, wrinkly white men in power.
“As you know, he likes to talk,” McConnell told reporters after his tet a tet brodown with Manchin. “It would not surprise you to know that I’ve suggested for years it would be a great idea, representing a deep-red state like West Virginia, for him to come over to our side.”
Wow! Folks, that’s friendship. Just a guy that wields unimaginable political power, humbly pressuring his pal, who wields marginally less political power, to simply do the one thing he could do to give them both even more political power. It’s inspiring, really! Humbling, even. I mean, when’s the last time you and your extremely wealthy friend got together and thought “hey, here’s the quickest way to make life even better for specifically the two of us, and fuck everyone else!” Truly brings a tear to my eye, and not simply because I’ve been slamming my hand in a firedoor to keep the boiling sense of rage I have at these two obstructionist ghouls at bay.
“I don’t think that’s going to happen,” McConnell quickly added, in a stirring reminder that true friendship means allowing for disagreements without letting them come between you. Besides, even if Manchin stays put right where he is, he and McConnell will always have the one thing that truly matters in life: enough money and power to forget that the rest of the world even exists.