On November 4, 2008, I sat and watched as the election results rolled in like so many others. Actually I was doing a BlogTalk Radio Show with anti-racist expert, Floyd Cochran. As the results of the Senatorial election in Kentucky were revealed, I just shook my head in amazement and asked “What the hell were the people in Kentucky thinking?” You see, ReBiblican extraordinaire, Mitch McConnell had garnered nearly 53% of the vote. Outrageous!
Yes…I know that Kentucky has historically been a red state – but, Mitch McConnell? Get serious!
On November 6, 2012, I was live blogging and in lively discussion over at God’s Own Party as the election results rolled in. Rand Paul took 59% of the vote in Kentucky – OMG! All I could think of was that the good people of Kentucky who constituted the 41% who had the good sense to vote for someone other than Paul had better put on their wading boots, their flack jackets, and buckle their seat belts because the ride was fixing to get bumpy – and UGLY!
I do love it when I’m right…usually. But, in this case, I so wanted to be wrong! Maybe the Rapture would come after all and take them both to the Pearly Gates. But…that’s only for the righteous…or so they say.
Well, in less than a year and a half, Kentuckians will have an opportunity to begin redeeming themselves and gaining some credibility as a knowledgeable and informed electorate – or not. On November 14, 2014, there will be 33 Senate seats up for grabs and one of them belongs to Mitch McConnell. He’s already laying the groundwork and bringing his brand of douche-baggery into the campaign arena. After pretty much ruining a young reporters life, McConnell is already under investigation for ethics violations during this campaign.
And to top everything off, McConnell is now courting the Tea Party!
So who is this miscreant and what is his nefarious agenda? Let’s pull back the proverbial covers on Mitch McConnell and see what he is all about.
Mitch McConnell was born on February 20, 1942, in Tuscumbia, Alabama and raised in Louisville, Kentucky. He took office in 1985. He has been referred to as “The most powerful Republican on the Planet,” and is considered a “Kingmaker” in Kentucky Republican politics.
He is certainly the consummate conservative with strong religious beliefs: Opposed to abortion; opposed to same-sex marriage and gay adoptions; opposed to Affirmative Action; Opposed to the separation of church and state; in favor of prayer in public schools and faith-based initiatives; in favor of an absolute right to gun ownership; opposed to raising taxes on the wealthy; in favor of privatizing Social Security; and, of course, in favor of expanding the military.
On January 2, 2013, the Public Campaign Action Fund, a nonprofit group that backs stronger campaign finance regulation, released a report highlighting eight instances from McConnell’s political career in which a vote or a blocked vote (filibuster), coincided with an influx of campaign contributions to McConnell’s campaign. Progress Kentucky, a SuperPAC focused on defeating Mitch McConnell in 2014, hosted a press conference in front of the senator’s Louisville office to highlight the report’s findings.
McConnell, in 2010, was ranked the 10th wealthiest member of the U.S. Senate with a personal fortune somewhere in the neighborhood of $45 million.
Now for the really good stuff. Mitch McConnell is an alumni and speaker for the Leadership Institute. The Leadership Institute, in spite of calling itself bipartisan, is a right-wing training ground for young conservatives founded by Morton Blackwell.
An excellent report on the Institute can be found at Salon Magazine.
With a $9 million annual budget, the Institute has trained over 40,000 conservatives in the last 25 years and is still counting. Among those alumni are Karl Rove, Grover Norquist, Mike Pence, Ralph Reed, and James O’Keefe, to name a few.
The mission of the Institute is “to increase the number and effectiveness of conservative activists” and to “identify, train, recruit and place conservatives in politics, government, and media.” And that is exactly what they achieve.
In 1997, Mitch McConnell founded the JamesMadisonCenter for Free Speech – a legal defense organization in Washington, D.C. Among other things, the Center supports the recognition of the Ten Commandments as one of America’s founding texts, and opposed a measure proposed by the Federal Election Commission to ban non-profits from expressing views on public policy.
McConnell’s General Counsel for the Center is James Bopp. James Bopp was an advisor to Mitt Romney’s campaign, and has served as the General Counsel for National Right to Life since 1978, and as special Counsel for Focus on the Family since 2004.
According to his resume, the following are some of his clients: National Organization for Marriage; National Right to Life Committee; Focus on the Family; Susan B. Anthony List; The Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice; Catholic Answers; Christian Broadcasting Network; Salem Radio; Priests For Life; Traditional Values Coalition; Homeschool Legal Defense Association; Vision America; Common Sense America; Life Issues Institute; Christian Coalition; Christian Life Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention; Concerned Women For America; National Right to Work Legal Defense and Education Foundation; Club for Growth; Citizens United; Fereation of American Immigration Reform; National Federation of Independent Business; Republican Governors Association; The Libertarian Party; and the Republican National Committee.
So…it would appear that all of the Dominionist and ReBiblican bases are covered, not to mention that the majority of the entities listed are major contributors to the campaigns of right-wing zealots who promote and perpetuate a far-right religious agenda.
It is also worth noting that Bopp was a legal advisor to Citizens United leading up to their victory in the Supreme Court that labeled businesses as people. Because of this and some of the other groups and causes that he has represented, he has earned the label “Public Enemy #1 for fair elections.”
The very fact that Mitch McConnell has been in office for 28 years and is seeking another term should send up a lot of red flags to Kentucky voters. His affiliations, associations, and voting record should certainly sound some alarms. The fact that they are stuck with a looney-tunes poster child in Rand Paul until 2016, should send all of them scurrying to the polls next year to eliminate at least one of these reprobates. But ‘should’s’ and ‘will’s’ are two different things, I realize.
I would ask Kentuckians to remember that these are National Senators, notState. Consequently, while the decisions made by those in the U.S. Senate may reflect the values or the wishes of their constituency in the home state, they definitely conflict with those of sane and lucid Americans who would prefer not to be subjected to the backwoods whims of theocratic ignoramuses who wish to take America backward. You see, forward motion is the goal.