I covered an election in Kentucky in the early ‘70’s. I don’t remember who won. Obviously, it didn’t matter. I only remember somebody from the winning side blurting the above statement, unabashed.
I was reminded of that party functionary when I read the excellent essay by Juliet Lapidos in the Times, about the senatorial race in the state where I lived for a while (and which I love for a lot of reasons, if not the politics.)
Allison Lundergan Grimes is running against one of the more unpopular and unpleasant members of the Senate (a huge accomplishment right there), Mitch McConnell.
She is also running against the President of the United States, who happens to be in the same party as Grimes. She will not even discuss her vote in the past two presidential elections, which is disgraceful.
McConnell has taken very few stands in his squishy career, but one of them was telling the folks that his prime duty from November of 2008 was to sabotage the presidency of Barack Obama. His sly lisping voice sounds like some of the old Dixiecrats of mid-century who, by innuendo and tone, used to let their constituents know where they stood on race.
The political posture of the past six years has been a winking referendum on race. People feel comfortable saying they “just don’t like” Barack Obama. And leading the pack has been Mitch McConnell.
Now, somebody who calls herself a Democrat is marching lock step with McConnell.. Lundergan is speaking up for Big Coal, which, as I understand it, accounts for 7 percent of the Kentucky economy, but vastly more of its brute influence.
Nothing subtle about Allison Lundergan Grimes. The Democrats need every Senate seat they can win in November, so they have to accept somebody who says she is a “Clinton Democrat,” whatever that means.
What Lundergan could say right now is: “The Republicans have tried to downsize government, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Now in a time of crisis, they cry for government action.” Instead, she marches with Mitch McConnell in the Big Coal parade.
Some people who now identify as Elizabeth Warren Democrats may celebrate the grand diversity of the party, which allows people with principles and people without principles to co-exist under the big tent. How democratic is that? The Grimes message is: Mitch McConnell is odious – no surprise there – but now it is the Kentucky Democrats’ turn at the trough. Oink.