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Matt Bevin Departs

Matt Bevin and Donald Trump

At least outgoing Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin is consistent.

"Mad Matt" has "always been a crass, classless, recalcitrant man ruled by demagogic tendencies and no respect for democracy. So, why stop now?" the University of Louisville's Dr. Ricky L. Jones musedin the Louisville Courier-Journal when Bevin first cried foul over his close loss to Democrat Andy Beshear, whose inauguration is Tuesday.

Why indeed?

Trump's toady is at it again. His time nearly up, Bevin has taken to the radio to dog whistle to the GOP faithful and bash Beshear.

Bevin insists that he got beat because liberals are "very good at harvesting votes in densely populated urban areas,” meaning Louisville and Lexington.

(Beshear's a flaming moderate like most Kentucky Dems. Calling him and his party "liberal" only shows how deep in right-wing la-la-land Bevin and his party dwell.)

It's not clear what Bevin meant by vote harvesting. But, Trump-like, he's obviously implying Team Blue cheated. He claimed voter fraud in Jefferson (Louisville) and Fayette (Lexington) counties before he conceded the election.

There's not a shred of evidence that the election was anything but honest in Louisville, Lexington and everywhere else between Jordan and Jenkins.

Voter turnout was off-the-chart statewide, not just in Louisville and Lexington. A tad more than 42 percentof Kentucky registered voters went to the polls—11 percent more than Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes's forecast. Less than 31 percent of signed-up voters cast ballots when Bevin won in 2015.

Bevin lost for two main reasons. First, the state Democratic party and pro-Beshear organizations—including unions—ran impressive GOTV campaigns. Secondly, Bevin is a one-termer "because he is a jerk."

Bevin lost for two main reasons. First, the state Democratic party and pro-Beshear organizations—including unions—ran impressive GOTV campaigns. Secondly, Bevin is a one-termer "because he is a jerk," wroteJoseph Gerth, Jones' fellow C-J pundit.

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Democratic activist Daniel Hurt was a skosh kinder and gentler in his assessment of the election. "Beshear won because his message was more in line with a majority of Kentucky voters. Bevin lost, so now he's going to try to be as sore a loser as he can—no grace, no humility, no leadership."

Anyway, "urban areas" is stock right-wing Republican dog-whistling to fire up conservative white voters, especially in rural areas, according to Dr. Brian Clardy, a Murray State University history professor.

"Any time you hear terms like 'urban areas' or 'inner city voters' or 'urban special interests,' that's code for black and Hispanic," he added.

Clardy wonders why Bevin opted for a parting philippic against Beshear. "Is he angling for something else at some point? Is he angling for the Senate in 2022 or maybe 2026? Is he trying to curry more favor with the Trump administration?"

Trump and VP Pence stumped for Bevin. In addition to his thinly-veiled pandering to racial and ethnic prejudice, the fiercely anti-abortion Bevin demonized Beshear over abortion. “I am pro-choice — I believe in Roe v. Wade," Beshear said before the May Democratic primary, according to Paducah WPSD-TV.

("Most Republicans are pro-birth, not pro-life," Hurt said. "They don't care if a child lives in direst poverty after he or she is born.")

Bevin charged that Beshear made a "deal with the devil" to "slaughter unborn children for political contribution," the Courier-Journal also reported. Bevin, too, waxed apocalyptic, vowing that "you're going to see abortions being performed all around this state, in Planned Parenthood clinics and others, because that's the devil." Not even when hogs fly, and Bevin knows it.

(Well-heeled, right-wing Republicans find it all-so-easy to rail against "baby killers" and demand abortion be banned because they know they can always sneak away to Canada or Europe for a safe and legal termination of a politically embarrassing pregnancy.)

Anyway, Bevin was Kentucky's proto-Trump. He was elected a year before the president.

Bevin lost no time in boarding the Trump train. His radio ranting could hardly be more Trumpian.

You can bet Bevin's pique presages a ten-megaton Trump tantrum should the prez lose next November. Meanwhile, Clardy wonders what's next from Mad Matt. "But he is not going to go quietly into this sweet goodnight," the prof predicted.


Berry Craig