Some Biden supporters who didn’t like my latest diary about Joe Biden got me thinking.  One commenter in particular thought it would be better if I focused on Andy Beshear’s electoral victory in the Kentucky governor’s race instead of running down Joe Biden.  I’m not entirely sure what Beshear’s race had to do with Joe Biden, and while I was trying to puzzle this out, I was struck by the fact that moderate Democrat Andy Beshear did not run the type of campaign that many of the moderate presidential candidates are running.  The only time Andy Beshear every really talked about reaching across the aisle and working with Republicans was AFTER he won the race.  Before that, Beshear focused on the issues of healthcare, education, and the indecency of Matt Bevin. 

What?  Isn’t the winning formula for moderates to stress their great abilities to reach across the political divide and unify people?  It is what I have heard from centrists like Hickenlooper, Ryan, Bennet, Bullock, Klobuchar, Buttigieg, and Biden.  Only that message can propel Democrats to electoral victory, especially in red states.

But there was Beshear pointing out that Bevin’s healthcare policies were going to throw 400,000 Kentuckians off their health insurance.  And Beshear pointed out how Bevin was trying to screw over teachers and other state workers on their pensions.  And how Bevin had denigrated teachers.  An generally, Bevin was a liar and an all around asshole.  

Bevin and his fellow Republicans threw the kitchen sink at Beshear.  According to Bevin, Beshear was a baby killer for his support of a woman’s right to choose when it came to obtaining an abortion.  Beshear was turning Kentucky into a haven for illegal immigration.  Hell, Beshear was going to give away your hard earned money to provide healthcare to illegal immigrants!  Beshear was also a member of the resistance to Trump and supported a radical government takeover of healthcare!  He was a socialist!!  And Beshear supported impeaching Trump!!!!

I don’t recall Beshear stressing how warm and fuzzy Republicans were during this shit storm of lies thrown at him.  And Bevin’s campaign is a dry run for what we will see out of Trump next year.  Bevin tied himself to Trump and pushed many of the same policies.  

And if you have not heard it by now, Trump won Kentucky by 30 percentage points.  And the odds were in Bevin’s favor to win.  The divine dear leader had shown up at fundraisers and held a rally for Bevin.  To be honest, I thought Bevin would be reelected.

But Beshear proved me wrong.  And he did it without stressing that he was some kind of great political unifier.  Beshear is a moderate and not some progressive firebrand.  But he fought back against Kentucky’s version of Trump.  And Bevin was Trump before Trump ran for president.  However, Beshear did not feel the need to explicitly genuflect at the altar of bipartisanship that national Democrats and other Establishment members worship at.

In fact, I would argue that the person who seems to have united Democrats and some Republicans is Matt Bevin.  While there have been reports that some Bevin allies want to steal this year’s election, it is now coming out that even state House and Senate Republicans want to let the election results stand.

Republicans in Kentucky's legislature have expressed skepticism about Gov. Matt Bevin's dispute with Tuesday night's election results, saying the governor should back up his claims of “irregularities” and not drag the outcome beyond next week's recanvass.

“If there is evidence of fraud or illegalities, as was alluded to last night, Governor Bevin should state his claim immediately and let the evidence be reviewed,” Rep. Jason Nemes, R-Louisville, wrote in a Facebook post on Wednesday. “But this is not an opportunity for a fishing expedition or a chance to overturn the election result.”

Except for a few Bevin allies, most of the Republicans in Kentucky do not want to stick their necks out for Bevin.

I want to stress this is a state that has become Republican.  I was born and raised in Kentucky, and I have witnessed the sea change from when it was a moderate to conservative Democratic state to now a conservative Republican state.  If ever there was a place to push the line about “reaching across the aisle” to work with Republicans in order for Democrats to win office, Kentucky should have been the testing ground for that premise.  Beshear didn’t feel the need to do so.

Might be a lesson for national Democrats and the party Establishment.

  • November 8, 2019