“Seriously, @louisvillemayor?” tweeted Gov. Matt Bevin at Mayor Greg Fischer. “Stop embarrassing the city of Louisville and the Commonwealth of Kentucky by allowing this public disorder… Would you stand for this on your street? Doubt it…”
The source of Bevin’s ire was a nighttime protest outside of U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell’s house during which protesters called for McConnell to break the hold of the National Rifle Association and finally pass meaningful gun legislation.
Fischer was not silent about this random attack from the mini Trump. Fischer gets a medal for standing up against Bevin, for understanding that guns are the problem and for championing the city.
“Seriously, @GovMattBevin,” he replied, “in America we allow for peaceful assembly and freedom of speech. Sorry if that embarrasses you. Let’s get to work to stop the tragic loss of so many lives in our country due to gun violence.”
You would think Bevin would know that peaceful assembly and freedom of speech are bedrocks of American society, whether it involves 25 people or 25,000.
Fischer, being the stable, responsible leader that we deserve, added, “I stand with those calling on @senatemajldr (Senate majority leader) to return to DC and protect our families from more death. Our people deserve that.”
But the Napoleonic governor just doesn’t know when to stop. He responded (complete with two typos): “Do you also stand with those who are chanting death threats and calling for the massacre of the @senatemajldr? Or is there an idealogical limit to the conviction/motivation behind your ‘stand’?”
Fischer responded: “Any such calls are repulsive and obviously condemned. Instead, all of us need to find ways to work together to END senseless gun violence. America, the country we all love, deserves no less.”
Certainly, the chants wishing McConnell ill or harm were not appropriate and, as Fischer illustrated, are obviously condemned. But, to be clear, Bevin once again has a problem with citing details and sources of facts — the chants of “Massacre Mitch” that evening referenced gun massacres that McConnell has enabled by being a puppet of the NRA.
NBC reported that during McConnell’s career, he’s received more that $1.2 million in campaign contributions from the NRA.
Even McConnell’s Senate spokesperson defended the protesters, albeit while taking partisan digs at them: “Liberal activists like the Democratic Socialists of Louisville know how to try to create good street theatre, and as an avid supporter of the First Amendment, Senator McConnell believes that all citizens have the right to express their opinions peacefully. I hope Senator McConnell’s neighbors weren’t too inconvenienced.”
(However, McConnell’s campaign spokesperson went completely in the other direction, invoking Amy McGrath, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, “an angry left-wing mob” and lying about “calls for violence.”)
Bevin, like his mentor Trump, kept counter-punching. He went on the Leland Conway Show on 840 WHAS radio to assert that Fischer “frankly has lost control of the city of Louisville in ways that matter, and it’s not reflecting well.”
Again, Fischer defended himself and the city. “Here are the facts: Louisville is thriving, with $14 billion in investment, 80,000 new jobs, 2,700 new businesses, regular national accolades, and 17,000 families that have worked themselves out of poverty,” he told the Courier Journal in a statement. “Our energy is focused on creating more opportunity for Louisvillians and all Kentuckians, and we certainly welcome the Governor’s assistance.
“What’s good for Louisville is good for Kentucky, and what’s good for Kentucky is good for Louisville. The Governor’s attacks seem to be an attempt to distract from the critical conversation about protecting people from gun violence, and the Governor’s responsibility to lead those efforts. We are always ready to help in this area as well.”
Don’t wait for him, Greg.
Like Trump, Bevin seeks to divide. He knows he cannot win Jefferson County in November, so he uses us as a stalking horse for the rest of the state. Bevin ran an incredible outsider’s campaign to become governor four years ago. Ever since, however, he has proven himself to be an erratic, divisive, ideological crusader who picks and chooses what rights he believes in and to whom they apply.
I stand with Fischer and applaud his willingness to stand up for the city against Bevin’s fitful, embarrassing tweets. •