LA Progressive

Mitch the Enabler

Mitch McConnell might be the most consistent politician in the history of Kentucky, where I’ve lived all my 67 years.

He never swerves from his two top priorities: fattening his wallet and political gain.

The Senate tax bill is a trifecta for McConnell: It would boost his bank account, ingratiate him with President Trump and overjoy the Koch sibs and the rest of the GOP’s deep-pocket donors.

The Senate tax bill is a trifecta for McConnell: It would boost his bank account, ingratiate him with President Trump and overjoy the Koch sibs and the rest of the GOP’s deep-pocket donors.

Millionaire McConnell lives on Easy Street. Most of us don’t. Too many of my fellow Kentuckians are what the Good Book calls “the least among us.”

Oh, McConnell and Trump swear that the tax bill is a boon to ordinary Americans like us. Trump even claims it’ll cost him money.

Baloney. (I can think of a stronger word that starts with a “B.”)

“For his part, Mr. Trump has repeatedly asserted with a straight face that the tax bill would hurt him,” said a New York Times editorial. “In fact, it will give him and his family a windfall.

“….You can expect the lies to become even more brazen as Republicans seek to defend this terrible bill. But no amount of prevarication can change the fact that Congress and Mr. Trump are giving a giant gift to their donors and sticking the rest of the country with the tab.”

The Times headlined the editorial “A Historic Tax Heist.” It is, and the truth hurts. So Trump and McConnell are trashing the truth as “fake news.”

Trump and McConnell lead the league in cynicism. Alec MacGillis titled his book about Kentucky’s longest-tenured senator The Cynic: The Political Education of Mitch McConnell, which was published in 2014.

McConnell, according to the author, ultimately concluded “that his own longevity in Washington trumped all — that he would even be willing to feed the public disillusionment with its elected leaders if it would increase his and his party’s odds of success at the polls. In the contest of cynical striving versus earnest service, Mitch McConnell has already won.”

And we workaday Kentuckians and retirees have lost, big time.

Anyway, McConnell’s pet bill will have to be reconciled with a measure from the GOP-majority House that also lavishes big tax breaks on plutocrats and short-changes everybody else. (Every Democrat opposed the House and Senate bills.)

McConnell and Speaker Paul Ryan predict that the differences will be ironed out; and if so, Trump will get his victory.

McConnell doesn’t have to face the voters again until 2020. Meanwhile, he and Republicans evidently think tax “reform” will be a winner in next year’s elections.

Democrats think otherwise. “Bring it on,” is the battle cry of Bluegrass State Democrats heartened by the election results in Virginia, Kentucky’s parent state.

Skeptics of the bill include an editorial writer at the Lexington Herald-Leader (a prime Kentucky purveyor of “fake news” according to the Kentucky GOP).

“If President Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress had set out to caricature their own worst instincts, they could not have outdone their proposed tax overhaul,” the paper editorialized.

“It’s a bonanza for their political donors and — how tacky is this? — for Trump and his family. It will balloon the federal deficit, widen economic inequality and give Republicans an excuse to take an ax to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.”

None of that should play in Peoria—or, closer to my old Kentucky home, in Paducah.

I was taught that it’s not polite to crow, “I told you so.” But by word and deed, Trump keeps proving he’s what we union folks said he was when we endorsed, volunteered for and voted for Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Trump is a demagogue, union-despiser, fraud, crook, bigot, lecher, hate-monger and Putin puppet. McConnell is his enabler.

Berry Craig