Don’t look now, but your second biography is out this week. Unlike the first, “Republican Leader” by John David Dyche, this one scores a direct hit, showing how while America and Kentucky lose, you keep winning. Your campaign predictably dismissed it. “We clearly have not been provided an advanced copy of the book as every left-wing media outlet appears to have been, but our guess is that something written by a partisan liberal 50 days before an election should be filed under fiction and left on the e-shelf,” spokeswoman Allison Moore told the C-J. But this book cannot be dismissed.
Its respectable author, Alec MacGillis, is a senior editor at The New Republic and a former reporter at The Washington Post and The Baltimore Sun. Its respectable publisher, Simon & Schuster, says it’s a “damning diagnosis” asserting that your “ideological calcification” epitomizes “much of this country’s political dysfunction.”
It calls you “the embodiment of partisan obstructionism” and tells the story of “what is wrought when men serve not at the behest of the country, but at the behest of party and personal aggrandizement.”
This detailed examination of your elephantine ass – “based on interviews with more than 75 people who have worked alongside Mitch McConnell” – was foreshadowed by a raft of unflattering press accounts. On June 26, 2011, Ezra Klein of The Washington Post wrote, “McConnell wasn’t lying when he said that Republicans cared more for defeating the president than for anything else,” including “policy issues they had long supported … You beat Obama by turning him into a polarizing, partisan figure ... When McConnell refuses to come to a bipartisan agreement with Obama, he damages Obama’s brand. More than anyone else, McConnell has been responsible for his failure.”
In four days, Klein’s editorial, “Learning from honest cynic Mitch McConnell,” drew almost 100 comments from readers. The last one posted, from kentuckywoman2, stated, “Klein, you’re so full of bullsh!t it’s coming out of your ears. Mitch McConnell is one of the biggest LIARS in Congress! Believe me, for us Kentuckians who are saddled with this maggot, we’d love to see him go.” The next one reads, “A refusal to compromise is not a moral virtue” and quotes McConnell’s beloved Henry Clay: “All legislation, all government, all society, is formed upon the principle of mutual concession, politeness, comity, courtesy, upon these, everything is based.” Another reader equates bipartisanship with patriotism, “McConnell and his brand of politics is exactly what is wrong with this country. They would rather see the ship of state run aground than work with the captain … to keep it afloat.”
Four months later, The Washington Post’s Greg Sargent satirized your not-so-honest “cheerful cynicism” during your Oct. 23, 2011, interview with CNN: “They’re ashamed to mention any of the things they do with Republicans, because it steps on their storyline. Their storyline is that there must be some villain out there who’s keeping this administration from succeeding.”
On May 14, Thom Hartmann cited you among the “real villains” of the nationwide Veterans Affairs medical care scandal: “the Republicans who have repeatedly blocked bills that would have helped out American Veterans and given more resources to the VA.”
“Republicans don’t really care about veterans or the VA, they just care about using this controversy to discredit the president and his Democratic Party,” he wrote. “Republicans, for six years, have been relentlessly working to hurt veterans and then blame it on the Obama administration.”
You’ve been suspiciously silent on the local VA scandal – the congested, cramped and costly site selected for a new VA hospital. “I continue to take no position as to which site is preferable,” you wrote in October 2011. But five months later, you endorsed the selected site (at I-264 and Brownsboro Road) and slammed the dismissed downtown site favored by U of L and the C-J. “This is not an economical development project,” you told local Veterans of Foreign Wars. “This is a veterans’ hospital, for you, located in a space that’s convenient to you.”
Yet a TV ad by the conservative Kentucky Opportunity Coalition says, “McConnell secured money to start a new VA facility, creating job opportunities and helping our vets.” Like you, the extended Team Mitch is one twisted octopus.