I was shocked at something that occurred after Mitch McConnell announced on the Senate floor yesterday that he’ll step down as Minority Leader in November.

Naturally, several Republicans went over to pat his back, as you’d expect. But then a bunch of Democrats from Chuck Schumer on down smiled as they shook McConnell’s hand, as if they were all friends on the same side. This is not like a Little League game where both teams take the field afterwards so the losers can congratulate the winners, who then sing, “Two four six eight, who do we appreciate?”

This is the US Senate, where McConnell has done severe damage for decades, including — as Senate Majority Leader in 2016 — blocking consideration of Barack Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court. McConnell then essentially revoked the sixty-vote rule against filibusters of SCOTUS appointees so he could push through Trump’s three appointees (Gorsuch, Barrett, and Kavanaugh), creating a lopsided conservative majority on the court. Previously, he had opposed the nominations of Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor, and put up a near blockade of Obama’s other federal judiciary appointees.

He also pushed through Trump’s tax cuts for the rich, tried to repeal Obamacare, and opposed expansion of Medicaid. On top of all that, McConnell claimed immediately after the 2020 presidential elections Biden hadn’t won, refusing to contradict Trump’s claims of voter fraud until six weeks later. And despite Trump saying heinous things about McConnell’s wife, Elaine Chao, he never responded. In fact, McConnell voted to acquit Trump during both of his impeachments.

Don’t chalk up the Dems’ actions to manners and politeness. This kind of bullshit bonhomie reminds me of when Joe Biden awarded John McCain the Presidential Medal of Freedom and said nothing but good things about him. As I wrote at the time, liberals have to get over their impulse to say thank you to every “elder statesman” who spent their entire career kicking them in the rear and stepping on their throats.

By the way, McConnell giving up his leadership position does not mean his reign of terror is ending. He plans to keep his seat in the Senate, which means he has until 2026 to cast lots of votes that have a negative impact on all of us.

That doesn’t deserve a handshake or even a head nod from Democrats.

P.S. Don’t forget that once McConnell does vacate his seat, Kentucky is such a red state his replacement will likely be some MAGA Moron who’s markedly worse.