The Widdershins

Archive for October 14th, 2014

Sometimes, just like the confluence of rivers, events roll out just like well-choreographed troops presenting themselves for review. Last night was one of those times.Fox photo

Last evening was the one and only debate between Mitch McConnell and Alison Lundergan Grimes. It was an hour — sixty whole minutes — where the two candidates, who have subjected the good citizens of Kentucky to over $100 Million in ads, got to speak for themselves.

The event itself was lackluster for the most part — akin to anticipating a beautifully wrapped Christmas present and finding socks. Over and above the novelty of actually having a debate, what was noteworthy?

The race is symptomatic of the larger political affliction in the post-Citizen United world. It is a world where the message can be as corrosive and fantasy-infused as anything ever oozed from the addled brain of Hunter Thompson, but it is world where the messenger paying the freight on the manure haul is never identified and forever remains slithering under the rocks of a tax-exempt charity. A tax-exemption where the cost is footed by the rest of us for the privilege of corrupting the political process.

The cavalcade of organizations taking part in the Kentucky senate race would take up a good-sized phone book. There’s the NRA, the national Realtors, Crossroads, Americans for Prosperity, Bankers’ Association, sundry “Leadership” councils, Senate PACs, and the Brothers Koch masquerading as anything but what they are. To hear these purveyors of political poppycock tell it, Alison personally smuggled about 48,000 Latinos across the border in the trunk of her car and drove them to the nearest welfare office. Well, not all 48,000 — she had to drop off the ISIS terrorists and those with Ebola at daycare centers, Starbucks, or Churchill Downs.

She then drove the getaway car for thousands of home invasions where she had, just days before, personally confiscated all their guns. With her being a particularly talented multi-tasker, after she finished the home invasions, she foreclosed on their mortgages. And this is the really amazing part, Alison Lundergan Grimes is Barack Obama in drag! You might ask how, but it isn’t that difficult these days for the President to get away from D.C. for extended periods of time given the narcolepsy afflicted Secret Service.

Of course I am exaggerating — except for the part about Alison being Obama in drag. No one can prove me wrong since the two will never be seen together on the campaign trail. There have been more pictures of Obama in anti-Grimes ads than there have been pictures of her.

KET photoYou have to hand it to McConnell though. With 69 billionaire contributors and only 3% of his donations coming from contributors under the $200.00 watermark, it takes some mighty serious political danglies to have as your campaign positions: Against the minimum wage, against reducing student loan costs, against paycheck fairness, and against mortgage refinancing legislation. And what is he for: Reducing food stamps affecting 850,000 Kentuckians (1 out of 5) and eradicating “root and branch” the health insurance for over 500,000 citizens who have never before enjoyed the experience or the well-being of going to a doctor outside an emergency room.

Given the particularly rough and tumble of this year’s midterms, these ads are pretty “run-of-the-mill” stuff, but the political environment in which they run is what makes this post-Citizen United world so apocalyptic. The playbook is delegitimization. Virtually all of talk radio and Fox News, inexplicably the most watched cable channel, are 24/7/365 engaged in the systematic delegitimizing of the presidency. I don’t for a moment believe their actions can be limited to just the occupant of the Oval Office, it is atrophying the presidency itself. It was done to Bill Clinton, it has been done to Obama, and it will be attempted upon Hillary.

Woe be to us all if the Senate race in Kentucky is prophetic, we will all be drowning in the river of money unleashed by the Supreme Court in their ill-conceived and activist decision in Citizens United. In one way it has come full circle since Mitch McConnell has been at the forefront of opening the flood gates of unlimited contributions since his election in 1984.

Here’s hoping your Tuesday is a good one — take the conversation wherever you like since this is an open thread.

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