For those not in Kentucky, I will give you a lay of the land when it comes to Senator Mitch McConnell and this despicable Trump government shutdown. Most of us on Daily Kos agree that McConnell is all about power and protecting Trump to keep Republicans in power. And McConnell does not give a damn who he hurts, except himself and his fellow Republican senators. And McConnell feels no political pressure in Kentucky, so he is able to give the middle finger to the rest of the nation. In other words, McConnell is one evil snapping turtle.
And it is easy to be an evil snapper if you face no consequences for your actions.
First up, there is no little to no local or state news coverage of the government shutdown and McConnell’s role in it. I have been monitoring the radio, TV, and the internet, and the government shutdown is covered maybe every other fourth or fifth day. There are not any daily stories about how government workers are going without pay and facing dire choices between paying food or medical bills.
It probably doesn’t help the spread of information about the government shutdown when approximately 40% of Kentuckians are functionally illiterate either.
McConnell relies upon the ignorance of Kentucky voters to allow him to 1) do nothing to help or 2) pass bills that negatively impact Kentuckians. You are aware that McConnell gave a press conference in November of 2016 in which he said he was not going to obtain any increase in funding for Appalachia? This from the man who blamed Obama for the losses in the coal industry, even though the same industry has been shedding jobs since McConnell was first elected to the Senate in 1984.
As for bills that hurt Kentuckians, McConnell has tried to repeal the ACA numerous times. He has vowed to rip up the ACA roots and all. Never mind that this will throw 500,000 Kentuckians off their health insurance, which they got through a Medicaid expansion. Kentuckians, at least up to recently, supported repealing the ACA.
That’s because it was passed by that evil Obama.
Anyway, you can see that the lack of any functional media to challenge McConnell helps him out. But what about the Democrats in Kentucky? Shouldn’t they be kicking up a fuss and giving McConnell shit?
If we had a robust state Democratic Party it would make some difference.
But we do not. The GOTV effort has been left to whither and die because the good old boy system in Kentucky placed hacks in charge. The political hacks did nothing but pick up a pay check for years. I am not kidding about this. It’s one of the main reasons that Amy McGrath did not beat Republican Congressman Andy Barr in the KY-6TH last year. A decent possible pickup, and McGrath had to do all the work herself.
Want to know when I last saw a canvasser at my door? YEARS ago! And I live in the most Democratic area of the state. No one bothers to show up to ask for my vote.
This lack of GOTV effort has lead to a Republican takeover of virtually all statewide offices. The state legislature is now controlled by the Republicans. This means our bench of Democratic candidates is now at a low ebb.
Consequently, McConnell has no strong Democratic candidate to fear come 2020.
And the Democrats we do have that are eager for higher office are eyeing to go after Republican Governor Matt Bevin this year. Bevin is highly unpopular. It is so bad for Bevin that other Republicans are starting to talk about challenging him in a primary. In other words, blood in the water and some sharks are cruising.
But in case anyone got any ideas about challenging McConnell, remember that bastard is great at finding corporate donors for his campaigns. In fact, McConnell admits that is part of his political strategy. McConnell claims that the media is against him, so he has to have all that cash to buy radio and TV ads to defend himself.
It’s a grim situation here in Kentucky, at least for Democrats. But I hope that others here can see the reality of it and understand why McConnell behaves like some Game of Thrones villain. For now, he is in no political danger at home.