Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell wanted to share his long-repressed feelings about a traumatic event. "It was," Mitch confided, grim-faced, "the worst day of my political life."
Was it the day of the 9/11 attacks on America? No, much worse. It was the day 12 years ago when the McCain-Feingold law was approved by the Senate, imposing some limits on campaign donations by super-rich corporate interests. While the vast majority of Americans enthusiastically support such restrictions, Mitch is not one to be swayed by what The People want, so this June, he shared the shame he felt that fateful day at a group meeting in Southern California.
It was a very sympathetic group — more than a hundred right-wing billionaires convened by the Koch brothers to fund a plutocratic takeover of this year's Congressional elections.
McConnell was the featured act at the three-day Koch-a-palooza, held at the posh St. Regis Monarch Bay resort in Dana Point, and he titillated the elites with the changes that would result from a GOP takeover of the Senate. For one thing, he exulted, "we're not going to be debating all these gosh darn proposals." Like what, you ask? "Like raising the minimum wage," explained the senator from Kentucky, a state with tens of thousands of minimum-wage workers desperately needing a raise.
Poor Mitch. For once, he was being honest, thinking his candor would not be heard outside this closed-door enclave of Koch-heads. But — oops — a recording was leaked to The Nation magazine (tinyurl.com/njgnv3n), and now the voters of Kentucky are learning how put-upon their nearly $200,000-a-year senator feels for just having to talk about those "gosh darn proposals" to lift the roughly $15,000-a-year poverty pay of his minimum-wage constituents.
Keep talking, Mitch — such stuff is what makes politics the Greatest Show on Earth. Or is it the funniest? Or saddest? You choose.
Jim Hightower is the best-selling author of Swim Against the Current: Even a Dead Fish Can Go With the Flow, on sale now from Wiley Publishing. For more information, visit jimhightower.com.