Weep no more, my lady
Oh, weep no more today
We will sing a song for my old Kentucky home
For my old Kentucky home far away....
A question to ponder for the ages:
If a tree falls in the forest....
....does it make a sound if Mitch McConnell is not there to deny that a sound was made?
I have written before of my Kentucky heritage. Although I have never lived in the place, many of my maternal forebears called Kentucky home. My grandfather Walter L. Clements was a native of Hodgenville, Kentucky, the same small town where Abraham Lincoln was born on February 12, 1809. That's me posing with him in the photograph on the left. It was taken in the summer of 1971 at his home in South Bend, Indiana, right around the time of my thirteenth birthday. This was the last time I ever saw him alive. Grandfather Clements passed away in 1975. Today he and my grandmother Loretta Doran lie side by side in the little rural Catholic cemetery in Hodgenville.
I have spent enough time in Kentucky to know that it is chock full of good, decent, and honorable citizens. Knowing this as I do, another perplexing question forces itself on my consciousness: Why would such wonderful and lovely people consistently send a flaming jerk like Mitch McConnell to represent them in Washington? It just doesn't make any sense!
It hasn't been an easy week for poor old Mitch, that's for sure! Not only was he caught red-handed parroting Frank Luntz's talking point memos - almost word for word - he has now been exposed for all time and eternity for what he truly is, and what the history books a century in the future will remember him as being: a whore for the plutocracy. After the events that have transpired this week, if his constituency have not yet awaken to the fact that their senator is a corrupt political hack who is in the back pocket of a cabal of Wall Street bankers and financiers, then they are utterly beyond hope.
Earlier this week in New York, Mitch had a meeting with the pimps he struts his stuff for - the hierarchy of Wall Street and the banking industry. It was at this meeting that he developed a political strategy for defeating regulatory reform legislation that they could approve of. He knew he had one hell of a tightrope act to perform once he got back to Washington. On the one hand he had to do his pimp/master's bidding - and do it right - or the bitch'll get slapped silly (Don't you go pissin' off those johns, Mitch). On the other hand, he had to make his constituents believe that he was some kind of prairie populist, man-of-the-people! It blew up in his face. He has now found himself walking in a politically untenable minefield. It sure as hell wasn't a good week to be Mitch McConnell. I almost feel sorry for the hideous little freak.
Mitch has been frantically trying to warn us that the proposed regulatory reform bill will harm the American people! He's telling us that it will virtually guarantee perpetual bank bailouts far into the future! That is a lie and he knows it. In fact, the bill is a pathetically watered down piece of legislation that will attempt to end the plunder of America's economy that these bastards have been engaging in for three decades. You see, Mitch doesn't give a crap about his country; he doesn't give a hoot-in-hell about his constituents. All he cares about are the corporate pimps that he is beholden to. Mitch really puts out for these guys, doesn't he? He's their bitch. He's their ho.
The halls of history are littered with the biographies of corrupt politicians: New York mayor Jimmy Walker was as crooked as they come, and yet he had a soft spot for the downtrodden and showed it often. Huey P. Long was another rascal with a heart of gold, at least in some instances. Although steeped in corruption, he really did great things for the underprivileged in Louisiana during the 1920s and 30s. Boston's legendary Mayor James Michael Curley eventually went to prison, and yet his enduring legacy are not the deeds that sent him there - but the municipal hospitals he built to serve the city's poor people.
Mitch McConnell is in a class all by himself. If he has any redeeming common denominators with the aforementioned scoundrels, they have yet to manifest themselves. In fact, you really have to scrape the bottom of history's barrel in order to find someone as thoroughly corrupt and as mean-spirited as our boy Mitch (and if you give me a month or two I might be able to come up with a name). In this one respect, the "distinguished" gentleman from Kentucky has distinguished himself very handily indeed. It makes you wonder what the hell the voters of that state were thinking when they sent him to Washington in the first place. The people he ran against in the primaries and general election must have been awful human beings - or were they? It sure makes me wonder.
In the last year or so I have made a concerted effort not to be as bombastic in my language as I was when I began almost four years ago. When it dawned on me that the children of many of my friends were reading out of curiosity, I felt that I had better start choosing my words a little more carefully. But it is difficult - no, it is impossible - to contain myself when describing a disgusting little piece of crud like Mitch McConnell.
How he is able to sleep at night is anyone's guess. Maybe he doesn't. Maybe he has not had a sound night's sleep in decades; who knows? One would hope there is a sprinkling of remorse for his sins against humanity behind that clueless facade of his. Whenever I see him on television he usually looks a bit uneasy when he is forced to defend what is morally indefensible. In the final analysis it doesn't really matter what (if anything) is going on inside Mitch McConnell's small and incurious mind. What matter most are his deeds.
A final word to my cousins in old Kentucky: Your senator is not working in your best interests. In fact the historical record proves beyond doubt that he is trying to strangle you economically. I'm a New Yorker. I live eight-hundred and sixteen miles from where my grandparents lie in Hodgenville. It's not my responsibility to start a movement to remove Mitch McConnell from office. It's yours.
Tom Degan is a 51-year-old video artist who in 2006 became so thoroughly disgusted at the state of America's national political dialogue, he decided to take time off to become a freaking civics teacher.