Kentucky U.S. Senate Candidates Dragging Contest Down Rabbit Hole: China and Rioters Oh My!

No, I am NOT being Chuck “Bothsiderist” Todd, but I need to tell you all about the descent into the rabbit hole that the U.S. Senate race in Kentucky has taken.  I’m pulling for Amy McGrath.  I really am.  But I’m not the only one who has noticed the blatant racism of Moscow MItch and McGrath’s misfire on this issue.  To wit:  we are talking about rioters and China in Kentucky political ads.

A coronarivus pandemic that has altered how we live and literally die and an economic catastrophe stemming from that, and we are letting Moscow Mitch dictate terms of political debate.  Here is what is going on.  And I am going to probably be violating copyright issues, but this is all behind a subsciber’s wall.  And I feel it is too important not to let you all know what the Hell is going on in Kentucky.

First up, McConnell’s ad about “The Mob!”

Isn’t this fun.  Hugging Confederate Statues and claiming that “The Mob” is destroying America.

Then, when McGrath defended peaceful protest in Portland, guess who popped his ugly head out of his shell with another ad?

Protests against racism vs. law and order

This round of attack ads began with one McConnell’s campaign released in early August criticizing McGrath for calling recent protesting in Portland “peaceful.”

“Does this look like a peaceful protest to you?” McConnell asks in the ad as images depict protesters setting off fireworks around law enforcement officers. “Vandalism, assault — and worse?”

“I believe we have a duty to protect Americans from the violence that’s devastating our communities,” he says, as graphics about gun violence appear onscreen. “It starts with having the courage to say: ‘This isn’t a peaceful protest. It’s a violent attempt to destroy our communities.'”

Widespread, ongoing protests against racism and police brutality began in May, including in Louisville, where local police officers’ fatal shooting of 26-year-old Breonna Taylor, a Black woman, in March has sparked local and national outcry.

  This is vile shit in my opinion.  I’m old enough to know what Moscow Mitch is up to.  All protestors are RIOTERS.  What are the protests about?  Black Live Matter!  Rioters = Black Americans = Destroying America.  It’s an old racist trope.  Blacks = CRIME.



And like I said, I’m not the only one who noticed how fucking obvious this is.

Shawnte West, an affiliate of Black Lives Matter Louisville, said she saw the McConnell ad — as well as an earlier one his campaign released that criticized “mobs” for tearing down statues of America’s Founding Fathers — as an attempt to negatively depict nationwide protests against racism.

“There’s a number of ways that people protest. He just chose to focus on the most violent ones,” West said. “It’s a scare tactic.”

The protests in Portland intensified last month when Trump sent in federal law enforcement agents after he said local officials had failed to protect federal property.

The demonstrations included thousands of peaceful participants, but it also included protesters who threw fireworks at officers and vandalized buildings, according to news reports.

Federal agents likewise used aggressive tactics against protesters, injuring individuals and pulling people into unmarked vehicles…

But West said she sees McConnell’s recent ads as part of a narrative by conservatives that aims to “paint all protesters as violent so that America no longer is standing with us for our calls for racial justice.”

The message she took from McConnell’s ads was: “They’re coming for your neighborhood, too.”…

Louisiana State University political communication professor Kathleen Searles said many politicians historically have used ads that focus on crime to trigger an implicit bias among voters that associates crime with people of color.

McConnell’s ad seems to fit that playbook, she said. And the back-and-forth attack ads between McConnell and McGrath represent an enduring strategy.

“There’s scholarly consensus on this idea that universally people say they hate attack ads, but they work,” she said. “There’s an arms race with it.”

How did McGrath respond to the McConnell ads?

You noticed that part about China not stopping the spread of the coronavirus  Right?  Yes, it is true that the Chinese government ignored the coronavirus initially.  They did what all dictatorships do when a crisis hits:  they silenced those who tried to warn about the upcoming crisis.  If you don’t acknowledge a problem, it ain’t there.

Trump learned that lesson and is still trying that here in the U.S.  If we just close our eyes, the nasty coronavirus will magically go away…

But Trump’s first impulse is to always blame others for his fuck ups, and Trump does this with China, after first kissing Xi’s ass earlier this year.  Now, it is all the “Chinese virus” or “Wuhan Virus.”  And McGrath is skating up to that kind of charge with this ad.

And, once again, I’m not the only one who noticed that:

Both ads were released on TV — the first by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and the second by his Democratic opponent, Amy McGrath — to tilt public opinion in Kentucky’s closely watched U.S. Senate race.

And both, experts say, exploit racial stereotypes and undertones that are derogative toward people of color in an attempt to lure red-state voters.

“I think both of these kinds of messages sort of are on the borderline of, like, what’s racist and what’s not,” said Kyle Kondik, who analyzes elections at the University of Virginia Center for Politics….

History professor Ellen Wu of Indiana University Bloomington said there are examples of both political parties invoking longstanding and more recent fears about China on issues such as the global economy and COVID-19.

“It kind of trips certain wires in Americans’ thinking, Americans’ worries,” she said. “Those worries obviously are very real. We have a real global pandemic — we’re living with that.

“But I do think that many Asian Americans worry, and I think rightly so, that … Asian Americans may end up being at the receiving end of some of those fears and anxieties. And that’s been happening.”

Some of you will think that I am being unfair to McGrath or blowing this way out of proportion.  But this is not the first time a Kentucky Democrat tried to appeal to racist rednecks here.   Allison Lundergan-Grimes did this in 2014 against Moscow Mitch.  She ran a radio ad about being against “illegals” when everyone was going on about immigration.  And she could not run fast enough or far away enough from Barack Obama or the ACA.  She wouldn’t admit to voting for Obama in the previous elections.  And she wouldn’t defend the Medicaid expansion in Kentucky.  She left that to then Governor Steve Beshear to make the case for the ACA.

In the end, she handed Moscow Mitch a landslide victory.

I know that Moscow Mitch is a racist asshole, and he has always made that known to Kentuckians.  It is one reason why he keeps getting votes.  But I know when Kentucky Democrats try to compete with McConnell on being a good old boy, it fails.

While it is ALWAYS A SLOG to run against Moscow Mitch, I think that Amy McGrath would do better to focus on how Moscow Mitch is falling to provide unemployment compensation, letting the USPS get destroyed, and not protecting Kentuckians from the coronavirus.  She did initially focus on some of McConnell’s handouts to his corporate friends, so why not at least try that some more?

But one thing I think she really needs to do is stress WHAT SHE WILL DO THAT IS DIFFERENT FROM MOSCOW MITCH WITH REGARDS TO SPECIFIC POLICIES AND NOT TONE.  Sorry for shouting, but I am only vaguely aware of what McGrath is for, and I read up on politics.  There are way too many Kentuckians who just don’t know shit from shinola.  McGrath needs to focus her energy on telling Kentuckians these are the positive good things I will do for Kentucky, especially while McConnell is going on vacation while people are going hungry and being evicted.

Anyway, I know that some on Daily Kos are wondering if things are so bad why do Kentuckians still vote for Moscow Mitch.  One reason is that Democratic candidates let McConnell dictate the terms of the debate instead of going for his jugular.  McGrath cannot go down this stupid rabbit hole about rioters and China if she wants to beath Moscow Mitch.