Voters in Kentucky can’t seem to help themselves. They can’t stand Mitch McConnell, but they keep sending him back to Washington where he puts a wrench in every Republican plan to reduce spending, shrink government, control the border and defund the nation’s largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood.
It would be nice if Republican Party senators would simply oust McConnell from his post as majority leader. That would go a long way toward solving the problem in the Republican-led Senate, but perhaps that is expecting too much. If you are going to kill the king, you have to make sure it is with the first, decisive blow. If not, he will hoist you on your own petard and make you wish you were never born.
By the time a politician gets to the United States Senate, they are overwhelmed by the office: the status, the power and the celebrity. The last thing senators want to do is lose their lofty positions. They may have run for this office with the best intentions, but by the time they get to Washington, they are consumed with holding onto these posts. They also feel beholden to party leaders who endorsed them in their races and hold the purse strings.
Therefore, it falls to the good people of Kentucky to do the deed. You can’t say they didn’t try in 2014. The Senate Conservatives Fund, the Madison Project and FreedomWorks spent more than a million dollars backing Matt Bevin, who was a perfect candidate: former Army captain, successful businessman and father of 10 children, four of whom were adopted from Ethiopia. McConnell spent a small fortune to defeat him, smearing Bevin with last minute lies or half-truths.
By the time the election was over and McConnell was safely back in the Senate, the public had a clearer picture of Bevin and elected him governor of the state. Little wonder there is no serious primary challenge to McConnell this time around. Would-be challengers have seen what the majority leader can do to demonize an opponent.
If voters in Kentucky wish to do us a favor and get rid of McConnell, they will have to hold their noses and vote for Democrat Amy McGrath, who is a heavy favorite to win her party’s nomination. On the surface, she appears to be a dream candidate. The former Marine fighter pilot and mother of three paints herself as a fiscal conservative. She opposes taking away private health insurance as well as subsidizing health insurance for immigrants living in the country illegally. She supports the Second Amendment, even though she recently dropped her membership in the National Rifle Association for political reasons. She also attempts to straddle the fence on abortion as “I am personally opposed to abortion” but believes “current restrictions on abortion (there are none) are appropriate.” Nice try McGrath.
It doesn’t hurt that she is married to retired naval Lt. Cmdr. Erik Henderson, a lifelong Republican. In a recent interview McGrath said she would have voted to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court even though earlier she said she found his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, a creditable witness. After being taken to the woodshed by party leadership, she took to Twitter to walk back those remarks.
Some have discounted her as a formidable candidate due to the fact that she lost her 2018 challenge to Rep. Andy Barr. Not so. In that race she did not have the name recognition she has now or the backing of her party in the primary. She won anyway and ran a surprisingly close race in the general.
The Democratic Party is now all in for McGrath, having learned a valuable lesson. Run military veterans with conservative leanings in red or purple states. After they win, they can and will be, brought in line by liberal party leaders. You can bet on it.
Conservatives in Kentucky who vote for McGrath must do so with that in mind. She will be one more vote in the Senate to uphold former President Barack Obama’s health care law, abortion on demand, big government liberalism, open borders, an activist judiciary and special rights for those who practice all forms of sexual deviancy.
They must weigh that against the possibility of ridding Republican senators of a leader who is more concerned about keeping the status quo than doing what is right for the country. We can only hope that they will use this opportunity to rid the Senate of this impostor who has ruled the upper chamber with an iron fist. Putting up with McGrath for the next six years is a small price to pay.
Jane Chastain is a Southern California-based broadcaster, author and political commentator. Despite her present emphasis on politics, Chastain always will be remembered as the nation’s first female TV sportscaster, spending 17 years on the sports beat. Chastain writes a blog at www.JaneChastain.com.