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I’m one of those “liberal national Democrats” that conservative Kentucky Democrats sometimes scorn.

McConnell Grimes Close

I know some Kentuckians of my persuasion are less than enthusiastic about Team Switch. They say Alison Lundergan Grimes is merely the anti-McConnell.

I beg to disagree.

This union card-carrying Hubert Humphrey Democrat is voting for Grimes. As far as I can tell, so are all of my left-leaning buddies here in deep western Kentucky, where I was born, reared and still live.

Anyway, when Grimes revealed her not-exactly-liberal policy agenda early in her campaign, blogger Joe Sonka suggested it might “cause enough Kentucky liberals to totally check out from the race and sit at home next November and drag away thousands of potential votes in Louisville and Lexington to affect the outcome in a close race.”

I especially worried he might be right after Grimes declined to tell the Louisville Courier-Journal editorial board if she voted for President Obama.

I cringed at her unartful dodge. So did a lot of us left-leaning Kentuckians. (Okay “a lot” is a relative term. We are an endangered species in the Bluegrass State.)

But the hedge didn’t shake my support for the captain of Team Switch.

Oh, the captain of Team Mitch would love for loads of lefties to stay mad at Grimes for her less-than-liberal platform and for her less-than-forthrightness on whom she voted for.

I wouldn’t bet the farm that will happen.

“DEMOCRATS WHO STAY HOME ELECT REPUBLICANS,” warns a Texas sign, a photo of which appeared on Daily Kos, one of my favorite blogs. Kentucky liberals know that opting not to vote is, in effect, voting for McConnell.

This two-time Obama voter will be among the first in line at my precinct come Tuesday. I’ve cast an enthusiastic vote against McConnell every time he’s run for the Senate. Here’s hoping this time will be the charm.

This two-time Obama voter will be among the first in line at my precinct come Tuesday. I’ve cast an enthusiastic vote against McConnell every time he’s run for the senate. Here’s hoping this time will be the charm.

To be sure, some liberals might call me less than a real McCoy lefty for sticking up for Team Switch. I call it living in the real world.

I dwell in a state where Obama’s popularity rating is close to rock bottom. (Let’s not kid ourselves. A lot white folks, and not just in Kentucky, don’t like the president because he’s not white.)

I’d also bet the farm that Obama won’t hold Grimes’ evasion against her, especially if she ditches Mitch. The president lives in the real world, too.

Anyway, the headline on Sonka’s story in LEO (he has since switched to Insider Louisville) proclaimed “Alison Lundergan Grimes’ website reveals Blue Dog policy agenda.”

I’ve looked at her agenda. If she is a Blue Dog, her hue is closer to azure than to midnight, at least to me.

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Grimes is solid on union issues. The Kentucky State AFL-CIO endorsed her last year and for good reason.

So did the Courier-Journal, whose editorial page generally leans to the liberal side.

Grimes is also sound on other issues important to me. “Ms. Grimes supports abortion access, describing it as ‘a personal choice between a woman, her doctor and her God’ and she believes all couples, regardless of gender, should be able to make the commitment of marriage,” the C-J endorsement editorial said.

I’m with her on all of that.

McConnell, on the other hand, shamelessly panders on the so-called “social issues.” He is a master at dog whistle politics.

I like the Affordable Care Act, though I would prefer a single-payer, Medicare-for-all system. “Grimes is for the Affordable Care Act and Kynect, Kentucky's version of the federal health law that now provides about 520,000 Kentuckians with health coverage and access to care,” the C-J editorial said. “While Ms. Grimes says she would work to ‘streamline’ and improve the law, she does not seek its repeal.”

McConnell wants to get rid of the Affordable Care Act “root and branch.”

I’m for boosting the minimum wage and for reducing gender inequality across the board. McConnell is not.

“Ms. Grimes supports an increase in the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. She supports eliminating the wage gap between men and women. And she supports federal help making child care more affordable to working parents,” the editorial said.

I’m a retired public community college teacher. My wife (also a Grimes backer) has been a public high school librarian and teacher since 1980.

“Early childhood education including pre-school and Head Start is a priority for Ms. Grimes who says the U.S. must invest more in such programs that reduce poverty and improve opportunities for children,” the C-J editorial said. We agree.

McConnell’s ideal America is a country where rich, right-wing white guys like him rule the roost. He gets an “F” rating from the NAACP, by the way.

Simply put, McConnell is a millionaire, bare-knucks, Social Darwinist union-buster. His definition of free enterprise means free of unions, free of government help for people who need help, free of laws designed to safeguard workers on the job, to shield the environment against polluters and to protect consumers against shoddy and dangerous products, and free of business and industry owners’ moral obligation to help promote the general welfare of their communities and their country.

berry craig

McConnell is a high priest of the gospel of greed. His politics are meaner than a junk yard dog.

Even so, in my heart, I pined for movie star Ashley Judd, whose politics are a lot closer to mine than Grimes’s are, to come home and take on McConnell. In my head, I’m glad she didn’t.

I couldn’t get elected dog catcher in Mayfield, where I was born, reared and still live. Judd probably couldn’t have come close to getting elected senator.

Berry Craig

I know the polls don’t look good for Team Switch. But here it comes. It’s trite but true: The only poll that counts is the one on Tuesday.

Berry Craig