Issues & Insights

Stopping Lisa Murkowski From Playing Lady Macbeth

KTUU

I&I Editorial

The Trump Administration and the Republican Party got a troubling sign Christmas week that all of their number might not be willing to stand together come an impeachment trial.

Alaska Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski on Tuesday told KTUU-TV in Anchorage she was “disturbed” that her leader in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, would be coordinating with the White House in the coming trial – assuming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will send over the articles of impeachment passed by the House earlier this month to the Senate.

Widely viewed as the quintessential “Republican In Name Only,” the Senate Energy and Natural Resources chairwoman and senior Alaska senator, first elected in 2002, said, “we have to take that step back from being hand in glove with the defense” and charged that McConnell “has further confused the process” after House Democrats rushed to get the president impeached before Christmas.

“Hell is murky!” exclaimed Lady Macbeth, suggesting she was well-acquainted with the environs beneath the earth, as she washed off phantom blood after driving herself insane with guilt. “What, will these hands ne’er be clean?”

It can be a murky business dealing with Lady Murkowski, who in the past has been willing to magnify her one vote in the U.S. Senate, acting as a kind of RINO empress. When Barack Obama was president, she used her Senate floor votes to support his position over 70% of the time.

This year she refused to sign a Senate resolution opposing House Democrats’ Trump impeachment inquiry. And most notably, last year Murkowski was the only Republican senator to vote against the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, despite being recorded as voting “present” thanks to a technical maneuver on the floor. Alaska’s state GOP opposed her opposition to Kavanaugh.

Would Murkowski play Lady Macbeth and help and encourage Democrats in their campaign to remove Donald Trump? She certainly is letting Republicans know they would be unwise to relax and expect her to fall in line and support a Republican president, and almost all of her fellow Republican senators.

The Republican leadership would do well to take a page out of the strategy manual of Lyndon Johnson, who as Senate majority leader, and later as president, knew how to keep senators in line, using threats, flattery, a talent for reading his fellow man, and plain hard work.

“I do understand power, whatever else may be said about me. I know where to look for it, and how to use it,” LBJ once reflected.

Early this year, a Democrat explained how his party doesn’t tolerate Murkowski-style dissidence. “We are a team,” northern California Rep. John Garamendi, a Pelosi ally, said of the speaker’s willingness to punish House Democrats who opposed her too strongly or too publicly, like New York’s Kathleen Rice and Anthony Brindisi. “If 99 of us are going in one direction and the other person is going in the other direction, we’ve lost 1/100th of our potential,” he told The Hill.

According to Garamendi, “if you don’t want to be on the team, then you can sit on the bench,” pointing out that “In the NFL, if you’ve got a quarterback who doesn’t want to work with the team, they’re not getting on the field.”

The stakes are too high in next year’s election for Republicans to be too full of the milk of human kindness to stop those within their ranks who are intent on conjuring toil and trouble.

— Written by Thomas McArdle


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30 comments

  • Just another scam she learned from her Senator father. How Alaska gets its Bridges to Nowhere.

  • The Republicans have nobody to blame but themselves for Murkowski. The party held a primary in Alaska and Murkowski lost to Joe Miller. The GOP not only refused to support Miller in the election for the Senate seat, they funneled money to Lisa Murkokwski and supported her independent challenge to Joe Miller, winning her the Senate seat.

    Republican voters in Alaska did not support Murkowski — she won the Senate seat with the support of Democrats, and Republicans are now reaping what they sowed. The biggest threat to the republic always has been the Republicans.

    • Absolutely. Only the Republican party has ever tried to buy an elected position in any government. Only Republicans have ever tried to influence federal elections by supporting opposition candidates. Please ignore the histories of New York and Massachusetts as well as several Eastern cities since those histories may not comport with my point – that Republicans are scoundrels while Democrats are the finest supporters of truth, justice and the American way.

    • Is anyone confused about the treachery of the RINO faction of the GOP? Democrats are always in lock step with each other. Republicans had McCain who tried to stab Trump in the back as he was headed for the grave. Mitch McConnell is the ringleader, Richard Burr is his 2nd in command.

  • Senator Murkowski was appointed as senator by her father when he became governor of Alaska. He chose her to replace him! She is supported by the Alaska Native community, crony capitalists and moderate Democrats. She lost her primary race in 2016 to Joe Miller. She vowed to support the primary winner. Then one week later she rolled out her senate write-in campaign. She only won through support of the Alaska Native community and now she rewards them with pork–quid pro quo.

  • Murkowski has never been anything approaching a team player. She should change parties for a touch of truth in advertising.

  • Let us not forget that Murkowski became a senator because of a DOJ hatchet job on Senator Ted Stevens. Yes, even then the Deep State was at work.

  • She won as an Independent. Republican officeholders, if asked to comment should point that out.
    She’s an Independent who caucuses with Republicans like Bernie Sanders who caucuses with Democrats.

  • If she doesn’t want to be a member of the Republican Party then next time she runs she needs to run as a Democrat – our politicians need to remember that they are there to represent us not themselves – if a majority of folks in Alaska want the President impeached then she can vote to remove him as a member of her new party – Democrat – if she can get elected as a member of that party – based on what we are seeing the Dems will be voting to impeach Trump for the next 6 years so she will have plenty opportunity

  • Murkowski is the poster child for repeal of the 17th amendment. The Senate was designed to be the States’ representative to congress, not the Peoples’ -that’s what the House is for. The more scattered and divided the power centers of the federal government, the less cohesive the entire edifice, and as Will Rogers said, “Thank god we don’t get all the government we pay for.”

    Alas, these days we get all the government we can pay for, hock our grandchildren’s future to pay for, borrow from the Chinese to pay for, and extort bribes from the Ukrainians to pay for (and blame it on the president who wants to investigate).

  • I suspect Lady Murkowski has finally met her match.She will not prevent an acquittal and this President will make sure she, and unfortunately her state, pays a price for cooperating with a coup attempt. Methinks she may find Mitch is no longer as lenient with people getting out of line as he has been in the past.

  • I’m not surprised by Murkowski letting out a little steam. She can’t appear to be so much in the tank for the GOP that voters hold it against her in the next election. Same with Collins and Tillis and McSalley. Each will issue statements in their own way that provide the media just enough fodder to suggest McConnell is losing his Caucus but what they’re really doing is playing 3D chess. Sacrifice a couple of pawns (by issuing statements that really mean nothing) and then voting to acquit. It’s the same as the moderate Democrats being opposed to impeachment and being on record against that process..until they were for it. They’ll spin it their own way as they always do, for if there is one thing that is certain..it is death…taxes..and politicians doing politics.

  • She is a bitter, ugly, vindictive witch and hasn’t done our state a bit of good. We loathe her. She’s a liberal in sheeps clothing.

  • I’m not even a resident of Alaska, but I’ll be donating to whoever primaries this swamp-dwelling ass-hat in a couple years. Can we bring back Joe Miller for a do-over? Betcha he could get a Trump visit boost at a campaign rally in Anchorage in 2022.

    • She lost the primary and the GOP did not support the winner. She did a write in campaign and the dems voted for her.

  • How dumb can she be, Alaska depends on energy for it’s existence. The Democrats want to abolish all existing sources of energy and rely on wind and solar. Then Alaskans can wait until June & July for solar power.

  • This article is massively disingenuous as it does not even raise the constitutional concerns, the oaths Senators took when elected and will have to take before the trial. Senators are supposed to serve the people and the constitution not “toe the party line” Trump is guilty and has been impeached. History will judge these republicans harshly. Did the support the republic or a immoral man baby?

    • You seem to be the poster child for Democrat party propaganda victims. Your ignorance is weapons grade. Recommend you read original documents and not progressive lies about them.

  • Murkowski would rather use treachery to get her way than a well fashioned argument to convince others to see her position. She has no moral base, and her slippery voting on the Kavanaugh appointment was telling. She will not become a Dim because she would never get re-elected if she did so she will continue to mess all over the inside of her own party tent.

  • Murkowski, who got her Senate seat from her Daddy and refused to accept Alaska Republicans’ decision to dump her in 2010, is a thorn in everyone’s side. Haven’t you had enough of her yet, Alaska?

  • Firstly Murkowski is not a Republican. She lost her primary last election and then ran as an Independent write in on the general election ballot. She won but caucuses with the Republicans.

    Were I Mr. McConnel, I would strip her of her committee assignments and let her spend time sitting around the office wondering what is happening from day to day

  • I would still like someone to ‘splain to me how she got elected. She was a write in candidate. How did the low info voters manage to spell her name correctly?

  • [print-me target="#post-%ID%"]

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Issues & Insights is a new site formed by the seasoned journalists behind the legendary IBD Editorials page. Our goal is to bring our decades of combined journalism experience to help readers understand the top issues of the day. We’re doing this on a voluntary basis, because we believe the nation needs the kind of cogent, rational, data-driven, fact-based commentary that we can provide. 

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