Sen. Mitch McConnell makes long-overdue announcement: he's finally stepping down (video)

Senator Mitch McConnell made an overdue announcement today: he will be stepping down in November.

"One of life's most under-appreciated talents is to know when it's time to move on to life's next chapter," the Kentucky lawmaker stated, clearly lacking said talent himself. "So I stand before you today … to say that this will be my last term as Republican leader of the Senate." (See video below, posted by Aaron Rupar.)

McConnell, who underhandedly helped Trump pack the Supreme Court with alt-right justices, became a senator in 1985, and has been the Republican Senate leader since 2007 — holding the position longer than any other U.S. Senate leader in history. After helping to create King Trump, he stood in opposition to Trump's 2020 election lies (too little, too late). Then in the last year, at age 81, his health took center stage when he publicly froze up mid-sentence a couple of times, once for a full 30 seconds, which occurred after a fall-related concussion.

According to AP News:

McConnell, who turned 82 last week, was set to announce his decision Wednesday in the well of the Senate, a place where he looked in awe from its back benches in 1985 when he arrived and where he grew increasingly comfortable in the front row seat afforded the party leaders. …

His decision punctuates a powerful ideological transition underway in the Republican Party, from Ronald Reagan's brand of traditional conservatism and strong international alliances, to the fiery, often isolationist populism of former President Donald Trump. …

The senator had been under increasing pressure from the restive, and at times hostile wing of his party that has aligned firmly with Trump. The two have been estranged since December 2020, when McConnell refused to abide Trump's lie that the election of Democrat Joe Biden as president was the product of fraud. …

McConnell and Trump had worked together in Trump's first term, remaking the Supreme Court and the federal judiciary in a far more conservative image, and on tax legislation. But there was also friction from the start, with Trump frequently sniping at the senator.

Their relationship has essentially been over since Trump refused to accept the results of the Electoral College. But the rupture deepened dramatically after the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol. McConnell assigned blame and responsibility to Trump and said that he should be held to account through the criminal justice system for his actions.