And now, the end is near. And so, the final curtain. For Bevin?
It’s appropriate that among the most prestigious company LEO can muster, you open this column with predictable banality and drivel. And it was banal drivel when Sinatra sang it too. But no matter what happens next week, I very much doubt if this’ll be Bevin’s final curtain.
To honour the moment we might try to write something mildly sensible this week. Controversial, I know, but it’s now or never. I can say with some degree of certainty that Bevin also wants this over with one way or another every bit as much as everyone else does. Have you ever seen anyone enjoy a job less?
Me perhaps, when I hired you. But that’s nothing compared to how miserable Bevin looks — as if he’s trying to explain tying shoelaces for the umpteenth time to a ginger stepchild. And the only time he looks genuinely happy is when he’s trying to lick Trump’s jackboots. So Matt Jones’ prediction that if he wins the governorship again, which looks probable, he’ll fuck off to a job in the White House looks reasonably solid.
Kentucky is and has only ever been a stepping stone for Bevin. It’s a weirdly low-key fight campaign compared to Conway’s stab at it last time around. Maybe Bevin had more energy then — and I know how he feels; even writing about him twice a month is draining. It could be because I don’t watch much local telly, but my son seems to have seen far more Bevin ads on than I have. Aside from the exhaustion of scribbling this on a napkin and the sea of Beshear signs in the bleeding heart liberal Highlands, much of this election has passed me by.
Me too. It’s laughable how people over here get lathered up about elections months — and years — ahead of them. What a sad commentary on a once-robust system— reduced to entertainment and whinging from delusional and powerless peanut galleries. As for the campaigns, I don’t think many care as much as we’d like to think they do. If you don’t like Bevin, you’re not going to change your mind over a televised knees-up. Same for Beshear. We learnt nothing new about them — anyone with a passing interest knew that one’s an insufferably arrogant boor and the other is an over-cautious policy bore.
I think Bevin’s struggling to understand why he isn’t 20 points up and strolling it, hence his permanently irritated demeanour. He considers people who won’t vote for him to be ignorant ingrates, and he’s pretty open about that. Imagine being married to a git like that.
Since we’ve seen nothing of his Missus on the trail, it appears that she likes his company just as little as everyone else does. The desperation of his bizarre impeachment stunts; his mealy-mouthed appeals to Trump to come and back him up; his thuggish, erratic behavior; the flights to nobody-knows-where… the Appalachian Trail perhaps. Whatever it is, Bevin has never failed to unimpress. Despite it all, I suppose he feels pretty sure he’s going to win.
I hope we’re both wrong about him winning, obviously. To be fair, we’re consistently wrong, so this would be a good time to keep that record going. But Bevin’s where the smart punters’ money’s going. He has Sam Brownback’s second term in Kansas written all over him. An unpopular, supply-side Jesus freak looking as if he might go down, only to be rescued because voters will stick to the devil they know until he has really fucked their lives up. And for all his efforts, he hasn’t really fucked Kentuckians lives up enough yet.
Presumably, he’s saving that for his second term when he can really prove that he hates the people here every bit as much as he hates the job. Even more than any regular reader of this column might think we do. So if given the opportunity to have another crack at it — this time with a Republican yes-man in the AG’s office — Bevin will really go to town. He’ll destroy public education, destroy affordable healthcare, ramp up tax on the poorest Kentuckians while reducing it on his mates and himself and whatever else Trump tells him to.
As we’ve also said before, the only way to defeat people like that is to let them do what they keep on threatening to do. It’s the same with Brexit and your old Primrose Hill chum Boris. The only way to reverse it is to let it happen. Take the pain just like Kansas did. Otherwise, it all stays just theory, and theories are harmless until put into action. This state will keep on electing people like Bevin and McConnell until they realise just how stupid their ideas are in practice, so they’ve got to be put into practice.
That’s utter bollocks. It’s taken three years to not even *do* Brexit — if they ever pull it off, it’ll take decades to undo it. You might as well say we have to have a world war every 50 years or so to appreciate what a dreadful idea they are.
Perhaps. But I don’t see how else to do it: Words aren’t persuading anyone. Beshear has run a decent enough race, no matter what, but appealing to people’s better judgment is pointless if their judgment is what got us Bevin and Trump in the first place. If Kentuckians are determined to vote against their own best interests time after time, Beshear probably isn’t the person best equipped to stop them.
Of course. This state — hell, this country and Britain — all deserve the misery they’ve brought on themselves. No election’s going to undo the decades of selfishness and provincialism that got our countries where they are. Trump is the perfect leader for what America has become; so, obviously, is Johnson. In the meantime, to your point, we’ll both be stuck with a bunch of deplorable cock-wombles in office.
You’re a right ray of sunshine. But there’s still time for us to be catastrophically wrong. And if we are and Beshear wins?
Then our work here is done. We did what we had to do and saw it through without exemption. We did it our way. •