This Bloomberg piece offers a peek at the profesional bio of majority leader Mitch McConnell that probably explains an awful lot:
[…] The Senate majority leader didn’t begin his career as an archconservative. In a then-predominantly Democratic Kentucky, he rose through Republican Party ranks in the late 1960s and early ’70s as a moderate. According to a recent biography by journalist Alec MacGillis, he named his cat Rocky after Nelson Rockefeller, the generally liberal Republican governor of New York. (An aide says the cat belonged to McConnell’s ex-wife.) McConnell opposed Ronald Reagan’s first two bids for the GOP presidential nomination, supporting President Ford in 1976 and George H.W. Bush in 1980.
He began changing direction in 1984, when, under the tutelage of consultant Roger Ailes, now the head of Fox News, McConnell won election to the U.S. Senate. He rode the Reagan revolution, supporting arms for the right-wing Contra guerrillas in Nicaragua, “tort reform” that restricted consumer lawsuits, and conservative judicial appointments. […]
A Nelson Rockefeller fan? Bush over Reagan? Ford over Reagan? *Ooof.*
(Holy Bob Dole, Batman.)