Keep Bevin in office, Mitch’s good work… ?

How was gai Parie?

It was a delight to spend the festive season in a city with more culture than you can shake a stick at, where nobody’s heard of college sports or believes in God, where the average person’s weight is 100 pounds less than it is here, and that’s thousands of miles away from you. Vive la France, cul de lard!

So you picked up a little of the lingo, did you, Molière? Then, perhaps you’d consider doing us all a favour next time you go there: not return. We’ve been short on good news around here — although not as short as you, of course — and your permanent exile would give the city a substantial morale boost.

I’m considering it, especially since Brexit now seems marginally less likely to fuck my future up in that respect. Anyway, I feel like hanging around here a bit longer to see what happens. Like seeing Bevin’s Braidy boondoggle unwind. That ought to provide some solid entertainment.

I won’t even start hectoring you about your naiveté when it comes to Brexit, but I’ll tell you this for nothing: We’ve been way too soft on Bevin for this. I mean, this shady deal’s nothing like the scale and ambition of Scott Walker’s Foxconn, but by Kentucky’s standards, it’s a doozie. Even the briefest perusal of the details reveals more red flags than at a communist party rally in a Chinese labour camp.

Multiple-yet-never-quite-blue-chip sources of capital; constantly moving goalposts and deadlines; raising money through online crowdfunding platforms. All earmarks of a high-quality investment! Seriously, if you took this punt to any half-decent investment advisor they’d start blasting ‘Run to the Hills’ by Iron Maiden and show you the front door. Not to say it couldn’t be legit. But as a suitable investment for public money? I’m no Gordon Gekko but I wouldn’t touch this with a 15-foot barge pole.

Not that we’re suggesting for one second that our esteemed governor might have more skin in the deal than meets the eye, natch.

Oh no, of course not. That would be unseemly and unfounded speculation.

Personal enrichment through public office is not the GOP’s brand.

Delight in casual cruelty and the suffering of others — that’s the GOP brand. How about James Comer for governor?

I can see Bevin accepting a job at Trump’s Shite House. He spends plenty of time there, and he’s just the kind of cocky-thicky, unctuous grifter who’d fit in. Like we’ve said a million times before, he can’t stand Kentucky; it’s as plain as the beard on his weasely face. But I think I’d prefer to keep Bevin if Comer’s the alternative.

You’re an unfathomable, contrarian bastard sometimes. What an odd thing to say. Why?

Because Comer’s competent, well-liked in the GOP legislature and far less likely to balls up everything he tries to do. The last thing anyone with an ounce of integrity wants is a GOP governor who can actually get things done. It’d be a disaster for the politically enlighteneds’ brand.

Fair point. But there’s a lot of reasonably bipartisan legislation on the cards in Frankfort this year. If Bevin really wants the job, he’d be best advised to leave the pension stuff alone for a minute or two and concentrate on getting a load of good laws passed. Bail reform, medical malpractice reform, sports betting, making sure victims of crime don’t lose their jobs, making the torture of dogs and cats illegal. You know, try to drag Kentucky into the 20th century and stuff.

I’m probably more in favour of Comer on the basis that it might be better for the state if we aren’t plagued by arguments over the competence of the governor. Just like it would be better for the country if the president were vaguely sane, even if he is a Republican.

We should be thankful McConnell is keeping out of harm’s way in the Senate. He’s one of the few on the right who’s competent.

Which reminds me, I’ve always had a bone to pick with you about him and never really got around to it.

Oh, what’s that then?

You almost admire him don’t you? You think he’s good at his job and, therefore, has qualities that make you reluctant to criticise him. That’s worse than unseemly. That’s unconscionable.

Is it bollocks. I admire anyone who takes his job seriously — and who’s good at it. And McConnell is bloody good at politics. There’s no denying it. He’s one of this state’s very few professional success stories.

I’ll bite on that. He’s inveigled his way into a position of power, which effectively makes him unbeatable in his own constituency, no matter what the truth of his achievements is. Which is what exactly? Your average Kentuckian is no better off than when he became a senator, and, for the most part, his base is significantly worse off. And that doesn’t even scratch the surface of the untold damage he’s done to politics nationally. You can’t be good at politics while simultaneously being terrible for politics.

We’ll have to agree to differ then. I can admire his acumen if not its results — and I think you’ll find your hero Joe Gerth might agree with me. He recently compared him to Henry Clay. “The most skilled legislator in the history of the United States,” or something like that.

Absurd. No different to saying Hitler was good at politics, but the outcome was unfortunate. Just so you know, when McConnell’s own downfall comes I’ll never stop reminding you of this.

If we’re going to start reminding each other of questionable statements from our past then we’re not going to have room for much else.

Absolutement, Napoleon. It’s our stock in trade.