Team Mitch’s Fatal Abstraction

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It’s not easy to be Mitch McConnell these days. 

Picture this: you are the widely derided Senate Minority Leader, Sen. Filibuster T. McGridlock, himself. Your big, bold promise to God and country was to limit the current President to one-term, at which you have failed spectacularly.  On policy issues, you talk big but cave easily—by proxy, when possible. You have scored one of the all time lowest approval ratings (36%) for a Senator from your own Kentucky constituency.  You are being primaried by your own party of whom many consider you a flip-flopper and RINO of the first order.  Your own campaign manager has admitted that he has to “hold his nose” to do his job of promoting your candidacy.  Not to mention that a high-profile, Democratic woman [of all things] is running even with or slightly ahead of you in early polling.

And now you have to persuade voters that you are a swell fellow, full of integrity, dignity and decorum who has nothing but the good of the country—and, especially, it’s lovely women at heart—uniquely qualified to be a leader of national government.

You’re going to have to lie some, amirite? especially if you want to persuade the wimmenfolk to vote for you.

So it is that Team Mitch officially launched its outreach to women voters in Kentucky by claiming that Sen. Mitch McConnell co-sponsored the original Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).  Which is true . . . at least of the 1991 version which didn’t make much of a splash and died in committee.  By 1993, when VAWA was revived, but no longer all that useful to Mitch, he pulled his sponsorship and voted against it, which didn’t prevent it from becoming law in 1994.

When VAWA came up for reauthorization in 2012 and 2013, McConnell again voted against it claiming that it “could strip Americans of their constitutional rights.”  When asked by local reporters why he voted against reauthorization, McConnell responded:

. . . according to the non-partisan Congressional Research Service, (it) could strip Americans of their constitutional rights.” According to their web site, the Congressional Research Service objection is that it gives Indian tribal courts the ability to prosecute non-Indians who abuse a partner on tribal lands.

The same reporters added that:

Some members of congress have responded by modifying the VAWA in a way that would prevent that constitutional violation. I would like to know why McConnell did not join that effort instead of rejecting the bill outright.

No answer to that one . . . but, how do you spell “bipartisan”?

Lately, though, given the current campaign situation, and sensing which way the wind blows this happened . . . McConnell, attending the fancy doings at Fancy Farms in July, was asked about his vote against VAWA and his only response was a blank stare.  By the following week his evolved response is a thoroughly remarkable [and thoroughly disingenuous] statement that he voted against VAWA because it wasn’t strong enough!

Kentuckians should be insulted by that answer because it assumes that they are gullible, naive low-info knuckleheads who will swallow blatant lies to sway their vote.

McConnell’s wife, Elaine Chao, [a woman herself] was on hand for the Women for Team Mitch event and shared a story about how her husband has secured a large amount of funding for breast cancer research, and fought for legislation and funding for expanded cancer screenings for underprivileged and under-served communities.  Of course that might have something to do with the eponymous McConnell Cancer Center at the University of Louisville . . . and/or the fact that the hospital/nursing care industry is one of McConnell’s top 5 campaign donors for the past 5 years.

But McConnell has also been one of the loudest, most strident voices fighting against implementation of Obamacare which aims to provide thousands of free cancer screenings for Kentucky women as well as expanded access to health clinics.  McConnell did his level best to keep that from happening as well as the Obamacare Medicaid expansion which will provide 600,000 uninsured Kentuckians with access to health care insurance which can no longer charge women more than men and will also provide free contraception.

If McConnell has a soft spot for women voters and intends to do his best to represent their interests, he sure has a pretty peculiar way of going about it.

Posted by Bette Noir on 08/31/13 at 11:44 AM • Permalink

Categories: PoliticsElection '14NuttersTeabaggery

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The campaign ads really do write themselves in this case.  I am of course referring to the post-primary world, because if (1) Mitch wins the primary, then wow, what a treasure trove, and (2) if Mitch loses the primary, then simply pointing out the crazy factor should work just as well.  How about it, Kentucky; how crazy are(n’t)ya?

So it is that Team Mitch officially launched its outreach to women voters in Kentucky by claiming that Sen. Mitch McConnell co-sponsored the original Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).  Which is true . . . at least of the 1991 version which didn’t make much of a splash and died in committee.  By 1993, when VAWA was revived, but no longer all that useful to Mitch, he pulled his sponsorship and voted against it, which didn’t prevent it from becoming law in 1994.

When VAWA came up for reauthorization in 2012 and 2013, McConnell again voted against it

With their willingness to shove history down the memory hole, and their hope that nobody will remember what really happened, the GOP symbol should be a goldfish, not an elephant.

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