How much is it worth to wake ourselves from this Republican nightmare? Well, the $700 billion we’ve already ponied up seems to be a good down payment, because a lot of people are pissed.
In Kentucky, where I grew up, people tend to feel economic pressure more deeply, because many of them struggle even in normal times to keep their families at subsistence levels of income. They may be strongly culturally conservative, but they also strongly resent the rich East Coast elites who have controlled much of Kentucky for much of its history.
This has made Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s balancing act a tricky one at times, because McConnell leads his colleagues in being in the pocket of exactly those interests. These are not Kentucky interests, though some may keep their horses on Kentucky farms. They’re the super-rich who don’t want to be taxed, the corporations who don’t want to be regulated, those who think we should consider money as speech and corporations as people.
Unfortunately for Uncle Mitch, this is a sub-prime moment to make that case. Kentuckians may not be ready to vote for a black President, but they’re damn well ready to express displeasure at continuing economic distress. They may even manage to replace the worst member of the Senate with Bruce Lunsford, who’s bound to be a least a little better, will caucus with the Democrats, and has been running the kind of ad the Democrats would win big with.
Lunsford’s ad, his first of the race that homes in on the economy, cites McConnell’s vote in 1999 for legislation that rolled back government regulation of Wall Street banking and investment firms. It also highlights the amount of campaign contributions McConnell has received from the financial sector, as tallied by the Center for Responsive Politics.
“McConnell took more than $4 million from the Wall Street financial industry, got rid of the government regulations they didn’t like and let the billionaires and CEOs stuff their pockets with cash,” the ad’s announcer says. “Now Wall Street is in trouble and taxpayers are getting the bill.”
Another ad from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee that’s airing in Louisville reinforces those same points using an old-time Wild West theme. At one point, the announcer says “McConnell opened the gate and Wall Street went wild.”
Need to hear more of that.