Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Kentucky, you've failed us

Polls are in, and the establishment is breaking out the champagne with a McConnell sixth-term win in the bluegrass state tonight. However, I'm sorry to say this says more about Kentucky voters than anything...so, why has Kentucky failed us? Well, this may contain a two-fold explanation...

Following the polls over the past week, The Courier-Journal has shown McConnell besting Bevin, while being tied with Grimes.
U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell still holds a commanding lead over Louisville businessman Matt Bevin as the Republican primary race enters its final weekend, but his potential match-up this fall against Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes remains a toss-up, according to the latest Bluegrass Poll.

The poll found that 55 percent of likely GOP voters support McConnell, while 35 percent favor Bevin. Three other Republican candidates split 5 percent of the vote, with the remaining 5 percent undecided.

But the poll found that McConnell is in a statistical dead heat with a November showdown looming, with 43 percent favoring her and 42 percent backing McConnell, a five-term incumbent. McConnell would do slightly better in a head-to-head match-up with Grimes than Bevin would.
Grimes, but not Bevin? I know...WTF, Kentucky? Well, apparently Republican Kentuckians have not only bought into McConnell's propaganda of being conservative, as well as bringing home the bacon at the expense of the rest of the country, but they're obviously also panicked that the Democrats have a serious threat to the five-term Republican-turned-RINO incumbent. Which should give reason enough to refresh the field, but such rationale is not the case.

Also, there seems to be a shift occurring in the state. Although McConnell wins tonight, the King of Kentucky's reign is no longer viewed as the defining element of Republicanism in the state...
NationalJournal: The headquarters of the Republican Party of Kentucky occupies the corner of a leafy neighborhood about a half-dozen blocks north of the Capitol. There are two signs out front. One, in gold lettering, identifies the facility as the party headquarters. The other reads: “MITCH McCONNELL BUILDING.”

And so it has been. For three decades, Mitch McConnell, the Senate minority leader and the state’s senior senator, has been the face, heart, and brains of Kentucky Republicanism. And although he is expected to dispatch his tea-party primary opponent, Matt Bevin, with ease on Tuesday, the campaign has put on display a simple fact: McConnell is no longer the singular force here he once was.

“There’s a change of the guard taking place now in Kentucky,” said James Comer, the state agriculture commissioner and front-runner—though he is still technically undeclared—for the GOP gubernatorial nomination in 2015. “It’s still McConnell’s Republican Party, but it’s edging toward being Rand’s Republican Party.”
Ok, this could be viewed as a positive or a negative. The positive is change from the establishment that McConnell represents. However, the problem lies in what that change is towards. Aside from Rand's squishy record thus far, particularly in upholding a foundational rule of law (Voter ID, immigration, Obamacare, etc.), if such a transition occurs, the Republican field likely splits with libertarianism, while the Democrats rout the elected offices (no offense to the conservatives among libertarians, it's just what happens). Of course, that's a problem with any split, which is why so many have advocated for a revitalized Republican Party, meaning core conservative (squish-free)!

In the end, if Republican voters in the state can't see the big picture in sending a conservative to D.C. in place of The Crony of establishment cronies, then perhaps they deserve what they get when the Democrat trounces the Senate Minority Leader. And if that's the only way to shake Mitch out of Washington, then woe to Kentucky...but so be it.

Levin may be hesitant in such a strategy, but the pain needs to happen now, so the future can be brighter. Otherwise, the status quo keeps dragging our status low, state by state.

Kentucky Republicans could have gotten rid of McConnell the easy way with the election of an actual conservative. Instead, now the state's GOP voter base will be asking themselves how they could've been so blind when they lose him the hard way to a modern Democrat.

Related links: Matt Bevin: McConnell pretending to be conservative to trick his way back into US Senate
Mark Levin: I’m troubled by Rand Paul’s position on Voter ID

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