The decades of the jagged thorn in the side of Democrats that is Mitch McConnell are coming to an end an just a few short months, according to one of the many candidates seeking the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate in Kentucky. Charles Booker, a Kentucky State Representative who is among the 10 Democrats vying to face-off against the Senate Majority Leader on Election Day, made the bold prediction this week as McConnell remains one of the president’s most loyal soldiers on Capitol Hill.
The 35-year-old upstart politician who was only elected to statewide office last year has no shortage of confidence, something he’s made very plain and clear on his Twitter feed. That’s where he doubled-down Wednesday on the bold prediction of victory in the state’s primary that he made back in January when he first declared his candidacy. Booker not only stated he would emerge victorious in the Kentucky primary in June but in the process, he also vowed “to beat” McConnell. But it wasn’t the words he tweeted so much as it was the accompanying imagery — the familiar photo of the man also known as “Moscow Mitch” posing with a smile in front of a Confederate flag — that apparently underscored the conviction of Booker, who is Black.
Confederate-sympathizers notwithstanding, if there ever was a time to challenge McConnell — who was first voted to the U.S. Senate in 1984 and has been re-elected five times — it was now. He’s the same person who the New Yorker recently referred to as “Trump’s enabler-in-chief” has gone above and beyond the call of duty to prevent Democrats from making any policy progress, including and especially when Barack Obama was president.
Most recently he’s even defied the president’s suggestion to hold off on confirming judicial picks during the coronavirus pandemic. But McConnell, ever the Party man, has resisted those calls to adjourn Congress and instead wants to move forward with federal appointments, the National Review reported.
It was probably precisely that type of disregard for real-world problems that should take precedence to politics — problems like the coronavirus — that prompted Booker to tweet again on Thursday how “weak” McConnell has been back home in Kentucky, especially when it comes to poverty, one of the main issues the state representative has been working to bring attention to.
McConnell, who played a primary role in successfully preventing witnesses from testifying at Trump’s Senate impeachment trial that ended in acquittal, has also figured prominently in the country’s flawed coronavirus response. That includes when he tried in 2017 to “gut” a program run by the Centers for Disease Control that detects infectious disease outbreaks, Business Insider reminded readers. He was unsuccessful at the time, but it will be tough to convince Democrats that McConnell wasn’t responsible for giving Trump the idea to successfully disband the pandemic response team that Obama previously put in place. Effectively shutting down that team arguably contributed to the ignorance that fueled Trump and his advisers’ response to what eventually became the world’s most devastating public health crisis in modern history.
That’s not to say anything about how hard McConnell worked to prevent Merrick Garland from having a confirmation hearing after Obama nominated him for the U.S. Supreme Court. McConnell’s stalling tactic paved the way for Trump to nominate Neil Gorsuch, who was ultimately confirmed.
McConnell has also been accused of turning a blind eye to the insider-trading scandal involving multiple Congressional Republicans that unfolded as the coronavirus crisis was hitting.
All of the above, and then some, has likely inspired Booker to run for the Senate to unseat McConnell, something he alluded to in a recent interview with the local NPR affiliate.
“Yes, we all want to get rid of Mitch McConnell,” Booker said last month. “But the bigger issue is, how do we win our future?”
To learn more about Booker’s candidacy, visit his campaign website by clicking here.