A new poll out Tuesday morning finds Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell even with one of his potential Democratic challengers.
The poll, conducted by the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling for Senate Majority PAC, found McConnell and Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes tied at 45 percent with 10 percent undecided.
McConnell’s approval rating stands at 44 percent in the poll, compared with 47 percent who disapprove.
Note: A few days ago, I mentioned far-left moonbats “demanding freedom and US citizenship for the Gitmo inmates.” I hope everyone realizes I made that up and I have yet to find any such moonbats. Gitmo student loans are probably next on the outrageous hoax list.
Is the Obama Administration preparing to give prisoners at Guantanamo Bay GI Bill benefits as part of a plan to “completely crush their souls with bureaucracy?” Wired Magazine reports that Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office asked the Pentagon that very question after a constituent sounded the alarm.
The problem? That far-fetched notion came from a story on the satirical site “The Duffel Blog,” a military-focused answer to The Onion. (Wired posted the constituent’s letter and the query from McConnell’s office on its top-notch “Danger Room” blog on national security).
“I am writing on behalf of a constituent who has contacted me regarding Guantanamo Bay prisoners receiving Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits,” McConnell wrote. “I would appreciate your review and response to my constituent’s concerns.”
What triggered the unnamed Kentuckian’s worries? This post.
“By allowing the detainees to use the Department of Veterans Affairs, we hope to completely crush their souls with bureaucracy,” a (fake) Pentagon spokesman says in the piece.
Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki is then quoted as saying: “Because most ‘guests’ at Guantanamo Bay have been there nearly a decade and there is no end in site for their ‘visit,’ the Department of Veterans Affairs is ready to have their claims processed in 12-15 years as per standard operating procedure.”
This is, as Danger Room reporter Spencer Ackerman points out, an attempt “to send up the inadequate, mollasses-slow [sic] benefits the government provides to the nation’s veterans.”
No word on whether any lawmakers have expressed outrage about this Duffel Blog post: “Study: Infantry Battalions Commanded By Females More Likely To Stop For Directions, Arrive Late.” But it only went up Wednesday morning.
FLASHBACK: In 1990 Campaign Ad, McConnell Said ‘I Think Everyone Should Pay Their Fair Share, Including The Rich’
Today, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) named three Republicans to the fiscal super committee that was created by the debt ceiling deal. All three have taken the Americans for Tax Reform anti-tax pledge and support a cockamamie constitutional balanced budget amendment. “What I can pretty certainly say to the American people, the chances of any kind of tax increase passing with this, with the appointees that John Boehner and I are going to put on there, are pretty low,” McConnell has said.
But McConnell has not always been so virulently anti-tax. In fact, in a 1990 campaign ad, McConnell said that “everyone should pay their fair share, including the rich,” prompting the Associated Press to say that he sounded like a “populist Democrat”:
“Many Republican candidates are, in fact, holding fast to the no-new-taxes position that Bush embraced and then abandoned, even as they try to portray themselves as friends of senior citizens and the disadvantaged. Others are sounding more and more like populist Democrats. ‘Unlike some folks around here, I think everyone should pay their fair share, including the rich,’ Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., says in a campaign ad.” [Associated Press, 10/28/90]
“A twist of untraditional Republicanism is added to McConnell’s message when he says, ‘Unlike some folks around here, I think everyone should pay their fair share, including the rich. We need to protect seniors from Medicare cuts too,’” wrote Roll Call reporter Steve Lilienthal. “After proclaiming his independence from the President and Congressional leaders, McConnell reassures voters that he will back a ‘fair deal for the working families of Kentucky.’” [“Democrats Flood Airwaves Charging GOP Party of Rich,” Roll Call, 11/5/1990]
If McConnell truly believes this, he should be appalled by current conditions. Tax rates on the richest Americans have plunged in recent years, and millionaires today pay tax rates that are 25 percent lower than they were in 1995. Meanwhile, income inequality is the worst its been since the 1920s, with the top 1 percent of Americans taking home 25 percent of the country’s total income.
This confirms the train of thought I predicted the GOP might eventually have to board. It was likely Boehner’s and McConnell’s hope that this message of political exigency would be transmitted by individual Members of Congress to their constituents. That McConnell has had to come out and say publically that the GOP will be doing itself no favours by being seen as the standard bearers of sovereign default, rather than this responsibility falling to individual Representatives and Senators, is one more indication that the extremists have irrefutably taken over the Republican Party. McConnell and Boehner were probably told by Cantor, Bachmann et al that the leadership was going to be the ones sticking their necks out on this one, not the Teapartiers and affiliated extreme elements.
A deal with the White House will be reached, but the new right evangelists are not going to be the ones taking the “blame” from the radicalized GOP base. This is a very interesting development; it shows that the perception we have of the GOP’s radical elements as having moved the party’s centre massively to the right is a correct one. The antics of the TP endorsees are not posturing, but rather are reflective of the radical political current coursing through the party of Lincoln, Rockefeller and Reagan.
Speaking on the Senate floor this morning, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) offered what may be the most concise summary of conservative constitutionalism ever spoken — America must rewrite the Constitution to force conservative outcomes because we the people consistently elect lawmakers who disagree with McConnell:
The time has come for a balanced budget amendment that forces Washington to balance its books. If these debt negotiations have convinced us of anything, it’s that we can’t leave it to politicians in Washington to make the difficult decisions that they need to get our fiscal house in order. The balanced budget amendment will do that for them. Now is the moment. No more games. No more gimmicks. The Constitution must be amended to keep the government in check. We’ve tried persuasion. We’ve tried negotiations. We’re tried elections. Nothing has worked.
[think progress has the video]
It’s worth noting just what McConnell is asking the American people to choke down. Senate Republicans’ so-called “balanced budget amendment” does far more than simply requiring federal spending to equal federal revenues. It makes it functionally impossible to raise taxes by imposing a two-thirds supermajority requirement — a provision closely modeled after the California anti-tax amendment that blew up that state’s finances. It would also require spending cuts so steep that it would have made Ronald Reagan’s fiscal policy unconstitutional. Ezra Klein rightfully labeled this plan the “worst idea in Washington.”
So there really isn’t any question why the American people refuse to elect a Congress that will force this agenda upon the nation, but McConnell simply doesn’t care. If the American people won’t vote for the kind of government he wants, then we must strip away the people’s ability to choose their own government. Elections haven’t worked.
Tell me a story again! That one about how there are no racists in the teaparty and this Mark Williams chap was a mysterious aberration? I love that one, I can always guess the ending:
Today on CNN’s State of the Union, host Candy Crowley asked Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) about the NAACP’s resolution calling on the Tea Party movement to condemn the “racist elements” in its ranks. McConnell, however, brushed aside accusations of racism, saying he’s “got better things to do”:
CROWLEY: Well, as you know, this weekend, NAACP said that the tea — there are racist elements in the tea party.
MCCONNELL: I am not interested in getting into that debate. What we are interested in is trying to have an election this fall that will respond to what the American people are asking us to do, which is to have some checks and balances here. […]
CROWLEY: Nothing that you have seen on TV, including some of the signs that we’ve seen, albeit the minority at some of these tea party rallies, some of the posters that have been put up in the name of some factions of the tea party make you the least bit uncomfortable?
MCCONNELL: Look, there are all kinds of things going on in America that make me uncomfortable, both on the right and on the left. I have got better things to do than to wade in to all of these disputes and discussions that are going on out in the country. What we are trying to do is to make the president a born again moderate. We are trying to send enough conservatives to Congress this November to move him in a different direction.
Yeah, right, left, who is to say where there is racism? Can’t we all get back to talking about how Obama is destroying the country?