The Message for Democrats: Mitch McConnell

It's time to do to Mitch McConnell what the GOP did to Tom Daschle - make him the symbol of everything that is wrong and get rid of him in a Presidential year.  That's very possible, as McConnell is not popular in his home state though he is very powerful.  Grassroots progressives hate him, and he is captive to the same far-right interests that the GOP allowed to sink them in 2006.  McConnell is in fact a combination of the worst of all worlds - the arrogance of Bush, the social conservatism and lunacy of Rick Santorum, the hypocrisy of Mark Foley, the corruption of Tom Delay.  He's the perfect representation of the GOP.  If there's something wrong in modern politics on a Federal level, there's a good chance that it's because of McConnell directly, or through his octopus-like money machine indirectly.  Everyone on the right takes cash from Mitch, and everyone in corporate America (as well as foreign governmetns) gives cash to Mitch.  I mean his wife is Elaine Chao, the Secretary of Labor.  This is a machine guy to his very boyish bones.

So when Reid can't get anything through the Senate, like, oh, the minimum wage or a vote on Iraq, the reason is Mitch McConnell.  Any legislation that can't go through is because of Mitch McConnell.  But that's not all - Ernie Fletcher, McConnell's boy - is one of the least popular governors in the country, and is immensely corrupt.  He came through Mitch's machine, though McConnell is now working to disavow Fletcher.  McConnell is not well-liked locally, even among Republicans, because he is understood to be a corporate plutocrat in an increasingly populist state.

McConnell's strategy is to put out Republican talking points on Iraq, health care, public financing, or anything else while obstructing progress in the Senate.  The current talking point on the rewrite of the AUMF is that Democrats shouldn't try to 'micro-manage' the war because it's not Constitutional, so watch for that to emanate outward.  He's also arguing that if Democrats were serious about ending the war they would cut off the funding, and that if Lieberman were to switch parties, the Republicans would then control the Senate.

Reid's strategy in response should be based on communication AND Senate dynamics.  Right now, I'm not sure what Reid is after, but he failed to get a resolution through, which isn't just a loss but a test vote on every other vote he wants to win.  And the Republican brand might have taken a small hit, but no individual Republican is responsible.  What Reid needs to do, and what we ought to help with, is pin the Iraq mess, corruption in government, and support for George Bush against the public will on Mitch McConnell from this point forward, directly, and by name.  The DNC and all party committees, and all liberal groups, should start calling opponents 'McConnell Republicans'.  He should become an epithet.  If they are blocking debate in the Senate, well that's what 'McConnell Republicans' do, now isn't it?

The national narrative will be that McConnell is supporting Bush in Iraq against the will of the public, and that he's doing it because he's prisoner to the same corrupt Tom Delay machine that lost in 2006.  The local narrative will be about Ernie Fletcher and the McConnell money machine, and will tie very nicely into McConnell's behavior in DC.  Mitch, like many Republicans before him, can't survive real scrutiny from being in the national limelight.  So put him there, and force him to obstruct votes in the Senate while hitting him at home and in the national media.

Democrats have no message on Iraq right now because it's not clear who's obstructing an honest debate.  Well now it is clear.  It's Mitch McConnell.  Reid should be subtly asking the American people consistently to help him force Bush to change course, and point to McConnell as the obstacle.  If you're in Kentucky, what you should do is clear - volunteer and vote against McConnell in 2008.  If you're not, press your member to give back McConnell's money, and push Republican candidates to disavow McConnell's person.  We need a debate on Iraq and on the future of America.  

If you want more war and corruption, Mitch McConnell is your man.  If you want a change, then it's time to get rid of him and his ilk.

Tags: George Bush, Harry Reid, Iraq, Mitch McConnell (all tags)

Comments

19 Comments

Re: The Message for Democrats: Mitch McConnell

It's certainly worth doing.  

by RickD 2007-02-24 10:15AM | 0 recs
Re: The Message for Democrats: Mitch McConnell

McConnel is Steve Forbes.

by need some wood 2007-02-24 10:20AM | 0 recs
Re: The Message for Democrats: Mitch McConnell

This is one of the smarter suggestions I've seen.  The GOP is going to try to rhetorically disavow both Bush and corporate corruption in the coming election -- McConnell is a living symbol of their slavish devotion to both in practice.  And there's going to be plenty of popular legislation coming out of the House that McConnell is going to at least try to stop.

by DaveMB 2007-02-24 10:27AM | 0 recs
No Comments on the Culture of Corruption?

In the next 10 days alone, Democratic fundraisers will feature the chairmen of the House's financial services panel and the House and Senate tax-writing committees. Senate Democrats also plan a fundraising reception during a major gathering of Native Americans in the capital Tuesday evening, an event hosted by lobbyists and the political action committee for tribal casinos, including those Jack Abramoff was paid to represent.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/con tent/article/2007/02/23/AR2007022301978. html

and from that great progressive Barney Frank:

"Frank said, however, that those donating "understand, and others do, too, that there are no guarantees of my doing what they want"

by brutus1 2007-02-24 10:31AM | 0 recs
This is a great idea.

   We're done with the executive branch.  It's over, and there's not much else we can do - we always have to react to what Bush does.  You're absolutely right, we have to start taking the fight to the Senate.  

by cilerder86 2007-02-24 10:34AM | 0 recs
Re: The Message for Democrats: Mitch McConnell

Off-topic - Matt, you removed an item from Breaking Blue about the Facebook co-founder being jilted by David Axlerod. What gives?

by PsiFighter37 2007-02-24 10:37AM | 0 recs
Re: The Message for Democrats: Mitch McConnell

I didn't get that sourced well-enough so I took it down.

by Matt Stoller 2007-02-24 10:38AM | 0 recs
He is the face of what's wrong with Republicans.

literally.
Rich, corrupt white dude, in a suit.

I'm totally game, what does the bench look like?
let's get to recruiting now.

-C.

by neutron 2007-02-24 10:40AM | 0 recs
Re: The Message for Democrats: Mitch McConnell
I live in KY & sadly not one Democrat has come out to run against him on 08.
He will be hard to beat unless a good Democrat steps up soon.
by CKBlue 2007-02-24 10:40AM | 0 recs
Re: The Message for Democrats: Mitch McConnell

Don't worry, a good candidate will emerge.

by Matt Stoller 2007-02-24 10:50AM | 0 recs
Re: The Message for Democrats: Mitch McConnell

Is there a candidate against him?  Kentucky isn't exactly as hostile to Republicans as South Dakota was to Dems.

by Valatan 2007-02-24 10:41AM | 0 recs
Re: The Message for Democrats: Mitch McConnell

No Democrat has announced yet & no Republican in this state will challenge him.

I'm not saying a Democrat can't win here, they often do, but somebody good will have to announce soon to have a chance at unseating him.

by CKBlue 2007-02-24 10:50AM | 0 recs
Re: The Message for Democrats: Mitch McConnell

Count the cloture votes.  Republicans made a huge deal about "no up or down vote" but seem on track to stop many more votes than the Democrats have done of late.  We have a do-nothing congress that will not take an up or down vote when the interests of middle class/working people come up for a vote.

Republicans are all about defeating Democratic symbols whether it was beating Al Gore in his home state of Tennessee in 2000 or bumping off Daeschle in South Dakota.  Since Bush will not be on the ballot in 2008 and McConnell will be, this is a good choice.  

by David Kowalski 2007-02-24 11:00AM | 0 recs
Re: The Message for Democrats: Mitch McConnell
McConnell is in fact a combination of the worst of all worlds - the arrogance of Bush, the social conservatism and lunacy of Rick Santorum, the hypocrisy of Mark Foley, the corruption of Tom Delay.
Don't forget the creepy face of Conrad Burns!
by andgarden 2007-02-24 11:15AM | 0 recs
Re: The Message for Democrats: Mitch McConnell

Good post.  This guy really is odious.

by vachon 2007-02-24 11:26AM | 0 recs
Re: The Message for Democrats: Mitch McConnell

Somebody snoop out all the "nooners" he used to get when he was County Judge Executive for Jefferson County, KY. There was also some talk of sexual harrasment, too.  This would have been in the early 80s.  

by Marq 2007-02-24 01:17PM | 0 recs
Make him really filibuster

A great way to give Mitch McConnell the kind of national exposure he'll hate is for Harry Reid to really make Mitch filibuster -- not just another disappointing cloture vote, but hours and hours of defending this corrupt regime.  It would make for great CSpan, YouTube, Daily Show, and Colbert Report.  

Sunshine and exposure are toxins to the right!

by TeddySanFran 2007-02-24 01:51PM | 0 recs
Re: The Message for Democrats: Mitch McConnell

I would be happy to help out. What do I need to do?

by hejtak 2007-02-24 02:34PM | 0 recs
Re: The Message for Democrats: Mitch McConnell

[what can we do?]

Can ActBlue form a "Mitch McConnell's Democratic Opponent" campaign fund to be awarded to the winner of the primary?  It doesn't sound any more complicated than the Presidential draft funds.  I don't know if we could generate any serious money but it would be something of a symbol.

Beyond that, there's a lot that Kentuckians can do, like letters to newspapers about each new disgrace Mitch comes up with.  And as Matt said in the original post, anything we can do to identify the party's stupidity with Mitch's person helps move this along.

by DaveMB 2007-02-24 05:24PM | 0 recs

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