In strong editorials, the two largest newspapers in Kentucky have both endorsed Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes over Sen. Mitch McConnell in the Kentucky Senate election.
The Lexington Herald-Leader’s editorial board wrote,
McConnell does have power. He commands a perpetual-motion money machine; dollars flow in, favors flow out.
The problem is how McConnell uses his power. He has repeatedly hurt the country to advance his political strategy.
McConnell has sabotaged jobs and transportation bills, even as Kentucky’s unemployment exceeds the nation’s and an Interstate 75 bridge crumbles over the Ohio River. He blocked tax credits for companies that move jobs back to this country while preserving breaks for those that move jobs overseas. He opposed extending unemployment benefits, while bemoaning the “jobless” recovery. He brags about resolving crises that he helped create.
The Senate may never recover from the bitter paralysis McConnell has inflicted through record filibusters that allow his minority to rule by obstruction.
Kentuckians can’t do much to stop a Supreme Court majority that’s enabling the corrosion of our democracy by unlimited, secret contributions, in court cases bearing McConnell’s stamp.
Kentuckians can send a powerful message on Nov. 4 and carve out a better future by retiring McConnell and making Grimes their senator.
The Courier-Journal editorial board’s endorsement of Grimes was significant, because that is where the “scandal” over her refusal to disclose who she voted for in 2012 blew up.
More discouraging — and most important to voters — is that he appears lacking a vision for Kentucky or the country as a whole. Rather, his decades-long drive to increase his power and political standing has resulted in this campaign based on his boast that if he is re-elected and Republicans win a Senate majority, he would become Senate majority leader. Some voters believe Kentucky will benefit from keeping Mr. McConnell in such a national leadership position, but we believe that alone is not a reason for giving him another term.
Both candidates have failed the voters through limited access, rote talking points, slickly packaged appearances and a barrage of attack ads that at best are misleading and at worst, outright false.
But Ms. Grimes has laid out positions on a number of issues that matter to voters, ones that separate her from her opponent.
Kentucky needs a U.S. senator who sees a higher calling than personal ambition and a greater goal than self-aggrandizement. For those reasons and for her evident potential, we endorse Ms. Grimes for election on Nov. 4.
Both of the endorsements of Grimes are particularly stinging for McConnell because they represent a rejection of his strategy that was designed to make the Kentucky election all about President Obama. The editorial boards made it clear that in their view, this contest is a referendum on Sen. McConnell. The incumbent’s naked lust for personal political power has been the motivating force behind his campaign.
McConnell has no agenda for Kentucky. The thirty-year incumbent has no plans to do anything for the state. Kentucky is nothing more than the vehicle that Mitch McConnell is using in his quest to become Senate Majority Leader. The two endorsements cut right to the heart of the matter. Kentucky has a chance to elect a candidate who has a vision for the future of her state. At age 72, Sen. McConnell’s only visions are of himself as Majority Leader.
Sen. McConnell has amassed a huge amount of political power. He could have used that power to help Kentuckians. What he chose to do with that power speaks volumes about his priorities. Instead of working with Democrats to help the people back home, McConnell put every ounce of his energy and effort into turning the once formidable Senate into a machine of dysfunction that is nearly incapable of working in the manner that the Founders intended.
The national political media have been blinded by McConnell’s power and longevity. They are refusing to see what is happening on the ground in Kentucky. McConnell’s money and influence may be enough to keep him hanging on, but both editorials echoed the feelings of millions of voters in the state who are ready for a change.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association