By Rawlein G. Soberano, Ph.D.
Germantown, MD (December 16, 2010) – Mitch McConnell is a 26-year veteran of the Senate and longtime member of the Appropriations Committee, a strong defender of earmarks, even in a recent event at the Heritage Foundation, followed by a Sunday Talk Show appearance. Then he argued that earmarks shift too much power to President Obama and couldn’t save taxpayers any money. During that length of time in the Senate, he has garnered over $1 billion in earmarks. Because of the threat from the Tea Party Movement (TPM), the chameleon did not find it hard to change spots. This time his eyes have been opened by their opposition to earmarks, conveniently going with the flow, making his political future is secure when he runs for reelection. What a fink!
Not too fast! Watch McConnell and the new Congress in the coming months. The platform the GOP will run on will disapprove of earmarks. People can call their elected officials till they are blue in the face about what they want, but companies and pension funds, government contracts and entitlements will prevent most of the GOP agenda from seeing the light of day. That’s the reality, and elections are not going to change that. Until this week when it was revealed that he still have earmarks in the 2011 budget for his home state of Kentucky, you’d think he has renounced earmarks! McConnell is in no mood to cooperate on clean energy jobs, oil security or other issues. His focus is power politics. Three sets of clean energy objectives enjoy fairly broad bipartisan support: reducing oil consumption; investing in renewable and efficient energy solutions that create jobs; and new protection to prevent future BP oil disaster.
Mitch McConnell has drawn the line in the sand when he said in an interview with the National Journal that the single most important thing “we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.” He wants his colleagues to look at the midterm elections as the first step in retaking government, an impossible dream if they’re just talking and doing nothing in the process. It is done in the House is another lie, because who hopes to accomplish his agenda by doing nothing and expecting the other side to give him everything he wants? Are his supporters back home blind and dumb not to see the stupidity and limitations of their senator and the games he plays? His continued reelection from this state says something about the intelligence of its voters.
You cannot negotiate with Republicans and their leaders (McConnell and Boehner). Mitch McConnell has been named by CREW (Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington), along with Rep. Charles Rangel of New York as the most corrupt politicians in Washington. Many large corporations own McConnell and he is the dependable servant: Toyota considers him among its main Washington assets, giving him $833k, from RJ Reynolds $150k, from Phillip Morris $450k – they can count on him as a staunch backer of tobacco interests; Yum Inc. – the huge KFC/Pizza Hut/Taco Bell franchise $250k – he sponsored a special interest bill protecting the fast food industry against lawsuits alleging that their products cause obesity, heart disease and diabetes.
The most stinking smell comes from BAE System for whom McConnell got three earmarks worth $25 million. It just settled years-long, transatlantic bribery investigation by paying $450 million fine negotiated by prosecutors in London and Washington. BAE subsidiary, United Defense Industry, gave $500k for the McConnell campaign as a spokesman proudly asserted to the Courier-Journal, “We have a very good relationship with Senator McConnell. We appreciate all he’s done for our company and our employees in Louisville.”
The Tea Party says they stand for an end to corruption. But the people they focus their hatred on are Democrats who are not accused of corruption. Until the Republicans (hypocrites) apply these same standards to their own party, even occasionally, they are all talk and really stand for nothing! The sixth tenet of the Tea Party is to end corruption, but they’ve aligned themselves with the most corrupt party. The first letter – R – of their name stands for renegade, rogue, reptile (snake) when you’re talking of a noun; or racist, raffish, rakish, rapacious, when talking of an adjective. Hateful racists! This model of pretense had the gall to excoriate the Democrats who had urged the same thing. He presented himself as a stout defender of the war and former President George W. Bush, accused the Democrats of advocating a position that would endanger Americans and leave Iraqis at the mercy of al-Quaeda. He did not believe the Iraq Mission was vital to American security. He was more concerned for the fortunes of the Republican Party than the safety of the U.S.
This man changes his position, in the name of unbendable principles (rhetorical crap), whenever it suits him because his only concern is to cling to power. He was publicly slamming the Democrats for their push for a timeline for the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq while he was privately and directly requesting George W. Bush that he remove the US troops, in hopes of retaining control of the US Congress in the run-up to the midterm elections. This sleazy bastard, meanwhile, was accusing Democrats of putting this nation at a national security risk for what he described as their interest in “cutting and running,” “retreat” and “waving a white flag” in Iraq, even as he was privately pleading with GWB to bring the troops home for purely and entirely political gain. He should be impeached and booted out of the Senate for this shenanigan.
One of his local papers, Courier-Journal, thrashed his hypocrisy: “The occupation of Iraq was going horribly, American and Iraqi casualties were rising sharply, costs had mushroomed into hundreds of billions of dollars, and Iraq was teetering on the brink of full-scale sectarian war. Mitch McConnell was concerned… It wasn’t because of bloodshed, destruction, a hemorrhaging budget or a slide towards disaster. He was fearful that the morass in Iraq would cause the Republican Party to take a beating in the approaching midterm elections… He urged the president to ‘bring some troops from Iraq and to lessen the political risks.’” This contemptible double talk and obsessive partisanship have come to mark his time in office.
His one and only message in the past two years in the Senate is tax cuts! One percent of the top Americans own more assets in this country than the 90 percent at the bottom. He got a timid ex-community organizer to buckle under and give in to his party’s demands under his constant attack. He admits that this is a purely political exercise. Ask any business owner in America that the Republicans lumped together with millionaires and billionaires, what they could do to help create jobs and they’ll tell you it’s to give them certainty about their taxes. Wasting time on votes to raise taxes can’t create jobs, thus says Mitch McConnell. It is typical of this jellyfish’s cookie-cutter rhetoric. You’ll read or hear the “same” statement every time you want to hear the reason for the extension of the Bush tax cuts. Poppycock!
The case of Mitch McConnell presents one of the biggest problems in America in that we know very little about our senators/representatives through their reputations or news articles about them. The Tea Party can go on thinking that McConnell is a god simply because the record and file have no clue what this scoundrel is like, or what he actually represents. The Tea Party knows absolutely nothing about their leadership and about the beginnings of the organization they are in. Because of this ignorance, they embrace absolutely corrupt politicians.
The Senate Ethics Committee needs to add McConnell to its investigative list, sooner rather than later. And Fox News Teapublicans need to look at themselves before they start to throw mud at people on the other side of the aisle whom they want to control but cannot. Do what you know is right and stand by the values you claim to hold dear – otherwise you’re all talk and don’t stand for anything. Almost all the rights anyone has lost in this country have come under a Republican regime. If Richard Nixon had his way in the way of one of his little cronies, Dick Cheney, the only right you would have today is the right of making sure that the elite have rights and you don’t. They’re now concocting to deprive certain groups born in this country of their right to citizenship and do away with the right to vote for the poor and those on welfare. If you don’t vote Republican, they’ll try to find a way to disenfranchise you. Expect Mitch McConnell to be a major architect in this malfeasance. He has never been and is not a patriot; his only concern is how to stay in power by exploiting different ways politics has made available to him.
Rawlein G. Soberano, Ph.D. is the President of the Asian American Business Roundtable.