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Add classless to the list of apt descriptors for Mitch McConnell.

The Senate majority leader skipped Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Friday memorial service in the Capitol. (House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy was a no-show, too.)

Historically, common decency and respect for the deceased beat out partisanship at state funeral rites. But bare-knucks partisanship is always front and center with McConnell.

Anyway, his refusal to attend the Ginsburg memorial is more proof, as if it is needed, that McConnell is as classless as he is cynical, hypocritical and vindictive. 

“My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed,” Ginsburg had said on her deathbed. "President Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate,” McConnell announced just hours after she died. 

His refusal to attend the Ginsburg memorial is more proof, as if it is needed, that McConnell is as classless as he is cynical, hypocritical and vindictive. 

McConnell had blocked even a hearing for Merrick Garland, President Obama’s high court nominee, in 2016. "We think the important principle in the middle of this presidential year is that the American people need to weigh in and decide who's going to make this decision,” the majority leader declaredthen. 

McConnell's volte-face, though predictable, was too much for Louisville Courier-Journal columnist Joseph Gertha frequent critic of his fellow Louisvillian: “McConnell, with his hypocrisy, guile and cynicism, has broken the American system of government. He has supported an outlaw president throughout his administration who has broken laws and norms….No one should count on McConnell to do the right thing, the ethical thing or the honest thing. The only thing he craves and respects is power.”

Gerth's verbal broadside reminded me of the Louisville Journal's take on pro-Confederate Congressman Henry Cornelius Burnett of Cadiz. The rabid rebel was a frequent object of the paper's disaffection.

Like McConnell, Burnett was a right-winger who was stuck on himself and who pandered to the worst in the body politic. (While the pro-slavery Burnett was flat-out for white supremacy, McConnell blows the dog whistle, and the white folks hear it loud and clear.)

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The Journal, Kentucky's leading pro-Union paper, poured it on Burnett, the First District’s guy in Washington in 1861: “He may console himself with the reflection that no one can retort by calling him a dog, for he is ‘A creature / Whom ‘twere base flattery to call a dog.'” (Burnett hated the Journal. McConnell’s hometown Courier-Journal is not his favorite read.)

The Journal conceded that Burnett could “pride himself in the consciousness that although he may not wear a dog’s collar, he has brass enough in his impudent forehead to furnish all the dogs in creation.”

Kicked out of Congress as a traitor, Burnett is little noted nor long remembered.

Besides the all-but-forgotten Burnett, McConnell puts me in mind of Sen. Joseph McCarthy, the lying, reckless, demagogue who falsely accused dozens of loyal Americans of being communists or “com-symps” and helped lead a second Great Red Scare after World War II.

McConnell likes to dabble in red-baiting, too. He knows Amy McGrath, the Democrat and retired Marine jet pilot who wants his job, is a moderate. He knows the Democrats aren't really socialists. But McConnell never lets the truth stand between him and a slime job on the opposition. 

"Kentuckians already know that Extreme Amy McGrath is in lockstep with the socialist agenda supported by Washington Democrats like Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, and Chuck Schumer," says Team Mitch.com "The fact that Amy McGrath 'literally' wants to transform America into a far-left socialist country shouldn’t be surprising since she called herself' 'more progressive' than anybody in Kentucky." 

“Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last?” attorney Joseph Nye Welch famously asked McCarthy when the senator accused the Army of being "soft" on communism.

McCarthy didn’t. McConnell doesn’t.

McCarthy ended up disgraced and censured by the Senate. “The Kentucky senator’s guiding principle of 'might makes right' will soon be turned against him, and all his hard work destroying political norms in the U.S. Senate will be for naught,” MSNBC host and former Republican Congressman Joe Scarborough wrote in The Washington Post.

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I just did my bit to make Scarborough's prediction come true. I mailed in my absentee ballot marked to Ditch Mitch and Dump Trump.

Berry Craig