Thoughts on Kentucky Democratic Primary 2020.

Suprisingly, the 2020 Kentucky Democratic Primary for U.S. Senate was probably the major driver for the higher than expected voter turnout (initial estimate of 32% voter participation statewide).  Yes, I know that is still a terrible number for any democracy, but the usual voter turnout in Kentucky is around 20% during the primaries.  Therefore, a 50% increase in voter turnout is very unusual.  We haven’t had such turnout since 2008 when Obama and Clinton were on the ballot.

And as I have stated before, it wasn’t the presidential candidates driving voter turnout.  Everyone and their brother in Kentucky knows that Biden is going to be the Democratic nominee for president.  Any votes for the other candidates still on the ballot are protest votes.

But up to a couple of months ago, Amy McGrath was the favorite to be the nominee for U.S. Senate.  McGrath got an early endorsement and help from Senator Chuck Schumer and the DSCC.  And she raised $41 million dollars for her campaign.  McGrath was running plenty of TV ads against the evil Moscow Mitch, and Mitch noticed.  Moscow Mitch is already running TV ads about how “extreme” Amy McGrath is for Kentucky.

Then a funny thing happened on the way to primary.  The Louisville Metro Police Department ran a no knock warrant on Breonna Taylor’s home searching for drugs.  Taylor was shot eight times by LMPD, and she died.  And with no body cameras and an unacceptable police incident report, the local black community and more than a few whites believe that LMPD killed Taylor for no good reason.  No drugs were ever found.  

Once George Floyd was murdered in Minneapolis, it set off protests in the city of Louisville.  And it focused on what had happened to Breonna Taylor.  Unfortunately, some asshole brought a gun to one of the protests and fired off multiple shots.  This set Louisville further on edge, and the LMPD was not used to dealing with protester.  LMPD tear gassed the protesters, and I cannot remember that happening in Louisville.  During one of those rough days when the National Guard was also called in, a local restaurant owner by the name of David McAtee was shot dead by the National Guard.

With the devastating effects from the cororavirus — health and economic — and systemic racism, it certainly seems that black Kentuckians and some sympathetic whites have had enough.  And the man who was on the streets with them being tear gassed was State Representative Charles Booker, who is challenging Amy McGrath for the U.S. Senate nomination.  And it appears that Booker is the man of the moment in a changed primary.



But did Booker surge in time?  I don’t know.  It is believed that if Booker had another week that he would definitely beat McGrath.  But he didn’t have another week.  

So here we are.  Only a few counties are reporting same day voting.  And they still are not done reporting that.  Most of the other counties will not report anything until the absentee ballots are in.  This means that there will be really nothing to go on until June 30th.  And some believe that the early absentee ballots may favor McGrath.  

As of tonight with only a few precincts (2005 out of 3685) in, McGrath is ahead of Booker by about 5100 votes.  None of the large counties like Jefferson or Fayette will report until next week.  And it is believed that Jefferson and maybe Fayette will favor Booker.  But we will have to wait and see.

OK Merlin.  You voted for Booker.  Correct?  Who are you trying to kid here?

Yes, I switched my support from Mike Briohier to Charles Booker.  I’m sorry Mike.  

As with any nomination process, I will support whoever my fellow Democrats nominate.  If Amy McGrath wins, I will even see if I can give some money.   And she would get my vote.

But I would be a lot happier if Booker won.  

I can hear the groans, gnashing of teeth, and tearing of clothes and throwing of ashes from those outside of Kentucky.  “You voted for a progressive in Kentucky!  There is no way that Kentuckians will EVER vote for a progressive!  Why didn’t you vote for the moderate McGrath??  Kentuckians would give a moderate Democrat a chance to beat Moscow Mitch!!!  You and the other glue sniffing hippies in Kentucky have rotted your brains!!!  You have thrown a perfectly good U.S. Senate seat away to the Republicans!!!”

I’ll let you in on some little secrets about Kentucky politics.  

First, since I was a youngin, there have been three flavors of Kentucky Democrats:  moderate, moderate-conservative, and conservative.  There ain’t no liberal with cookies and cream flavored Democrat or liberal-moderate black raspberry.  Kentucky Democratic politics always picks a Democrat for statewide office that is center or center-right.

Yes, you can find a progressive or liberal state representative or maybe state senator.  The best we have done is Congressman John Yarmuth of Louisville, who is a progressive.  But those are in pockets of the state.  And they rarely ever become the nominee for Governor or U.S. Senate.

I say all that to disabuse folks who will look at Kentucky politics they would if they lived in CA or NY.  We haven’t been losing statewide federal offices because the Democratic candidates are pinko lefties.  No, most of the failed Democratic candidates have been MODERATES who get painted with a the Republican tar brush as extremists who will destroy the Kentucky way of life.

Don’t ask me what the Kentucky way of life is.  I’m too tired to go into all that for now.

So what is your fuckin’ point Merlin?  So glad you asked.

It doesn’t matter what part of the political spectrum the eventual nominee comes from, Moscow Mitch is going to dump a lot of slime and lies all over whoever gets the Democratic seal of approval.  If Amy McGrath gets it, they will lie about her background because they already are!  Booker could be the second coming of Christ, and Moscow Mitch is going to have the crown of thorns, scourge, and cross for a replay of the crucifixion.

And if you want to get personal on both candidates, McGrath will get trashed for being a woman — lots of sexism in KY!, and well, Booker is black.  For every black voter he inspires, there will be a white voter who will give Booker the middle finger.   And that is them being polite.

All of the above is my lengthy way of saying that you might as well vote the candidate you agree with and inspires you.  IF they do not win, go with the other man or women to try and beat Moscow Mitch.  But never kid yourself that you will find the perfect candidate to take on Moscow Mitch in retrograde Kentucky.  In fact, to be honest, I can only think of one candidate who has the best chance to defeat to Moscow Mitch this year.

Unfortunately, Governor Andy Beshear is previously occupied with his new job and the coronavirus.

And no, I am not being facetious.  Beshear would have the best chance to defeat Moscow Mitch.  He’s a moderate who appeals to progressives like myself.  He’s tried to do what is right for the state, and he has taken positions and not run away from them.  And he has an organization that helped get him elected and defeated the odious Matt Bevin.

But Beshear is busy.

Therefore, I will vote for who I want to run and let the chips fall where they may.  Besides, with my luck, I have probably cursed Booker.  Remember, I’m the guy who picks most of the losers running for president going back to 1984.  I’m the Flying Dutchman of the Democratic Party.  I still want all my money back from the Warren campaign.