Damn You, Mitch McConnell – Part II

Every other November, we go to the polls and we vote.  We vote for people to represent us in both state and federal legislatures.  We vote for the person whose values we believe to be most nearly aligned with our own.  We vote for the person who we believe will make the best decisions for the people in this nation … all 330 million of them, not just the white ones, not just the Christian ones, not just the straight ones … ALL of them.

I am fortunate, for my local polling place is within walking distance if I so choose, but many people must juggle work and family to travel long distances, often using public transportation, in order to vote.  Many decide it’s not worth the effort, but those who do make the effort deserve high fives.  And they deserve to have their votes counted fairly, to have their voices heard.

We, collectively, vote for 100 senators, two from each of the 50 states.  We, the taxpayers, pay the salaries of these 100 senators, an annual total of $17,438,800, but in addition we pay for their travel, many of their meals, and other expenses related to serving in the Senate.  We pay for their medical care.  And I don’t suppose any of us would begrudge the senators their $174,000 salary plus perks … if they did their job.

As it happens … for all the effort we go to in electing them, and for all the money we spend to support them … we in fact have only one senator at this time.  Oh sure, your state has two people you elected, and they go sit in the Capitol most days, sometimes maybe they even come back to their home states and sit in their offices and talk to the media or an occasional constituent.  But … they are senators in name only.  They are collecting their salary, traveling on our dime, and not doing a damn thing to earn any of it, for they have ceded their roles in the senate to one, single senator … and a lousy one at that … Senate Majority Leader Addison Mitchell McConnell, aka Moscow Mitch.

I did not vote for Mitch McConnell, and unless you live in Kentucky, neither did you, and yet our very lives rest in his soiled hands.  Last time McConnell was re-elected, he received 213,753 votes, or less than 6/1000 of the total of the population of the United States.  We did not choose him and he does not represent us!  And yet, in his own words …

“I’m the one who decides what we take to the floor, that’s my responsibility as the majority leader, and we will not be having this on the floor of the Senate.”

Those “this” things he won’t be having on the floor of the Senate have thus far included bills to reopen the government when Trump shut it down over his hideous ‘wall’, bills to fix partisan and discriminatory gerrymandering, bills to protect the Mueller investigation, bills to remove big money from elections, bills on universal background checks, bills to allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices, environmental bills, and much more.  In fact, the Senate has only managed to pass 34 bills all year thus far, for such things as:  changing the name of a federal building in Utah; providing an honourary title to a member of the military; clarifying the grade and pay of podiatrists of the Department of Veterans Affairs, etc.

Meanwhile … McConnell is adamantly refusing to schedule ANY election security bills, many of which have bi-partisan support and have already been passed by the House of Representatives.  Foot doctors are more important to the U.S. Senate than our rights to a fair and honest election!

Now … the thing that many people don’t realize is that the Majority Leader’s ability to control what the Senate will consider to such an unconscionable degree is not … I repeat not … a written rule, but rather a long-standing precedent.  Put simply, party leaders are powerful because rank-and-file senators defer to them to manage the institution how they see fit. This deference is not mandated by the Senate’s official rules. Rather, it is simply grounded in its past practice.  Of the forty-four Standing Rules for the Senate, only ten even mention the majority and minority leaders. And those ten rules do not grant the leaders any real power vis-à-vis the rank-and-file.  Under the rules, all senators are essentially equal. That is, no senator is more powerful than another.

The question, then, is why aren’t the senators that were elected by We the People doing their job?  Why are they content to allow Mitch McConnell to single-handedly declare that it’s okay if Vladimir Putin uses his money and technology to rig the election next year?  What hold does Mitch have over them?  Have they forgotten that oath they took when they were sworn into office?  Have they forgotten to whom they owe their very jobs?  Or maybe the real question is … to whom are they beholden, of whom are they afraid?

Any senator can put a bill on the schedule to be discussed, not only Addison McConnell.  Listen up, Senators Rob Portman and Sherrod Brown … get off your lazy asses and put election security at the front and center of your priority list or answer to your constituents.

I know you are all tired of hearing me say, “write a letter”, “make a phone call”, but this is just too important … what’s at stake here is the future of this nation, for if we cannot have a free and fair election in 2020, my best guess is that we aren’t likely to ever see another in our lifetime.  Take another look at the Reagan quote at the top of this post. Please take a few minutes to either write or call both senators, republican and democrat alike, and let them know in no uncertain terms that you demand they stand up to McConnell.  And then, write a letter to the editor of your local paper and let your community know that your senators are being well paid for sitting on their fat patooties thinking about foot doctors instead of fair elections!  Please … do it for all of us, for your kids, grandkids, puppies … do it for all the people who have fought throughout the history of this nation to give us the right to be heard.

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell ceremonially swears-in to another term as Vice President Joseph Biden reads the oath of office in the Old Senate Chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington

Addison Mitch McConnell takes the Congressional Oath of Office, January 2015

41 thoughts on “Damn You, Mitch McConnell – Part II

  1. Vote my brothers and sisters in the USA. Vote.
    Never mind the fact that they may fool about with boundaries. Never mind that the hate mongers such as Limbaugh and Bannon will pump out filth and ignorance. Ignore the guy with the masturbation fetish on his Tweetorgasms. Get out there and vote. Vote and let the world know how you voted. The numbers will not lie no matter how they try and work them.
    If there are 60% against them and they still ‘win’ they are going to look all kinds of stupid for the World to see
    VOTE!!
    And let them know you voted.
    Bring the whole rotten, creaking façade of lies and hatred crashing down. Bring them their own Berlin ’45.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jill, calling Senators to asking them to push for a debate and vote on an election security bill is a must. It amazes me two of the three leaders of our country refuse to address in a strident manner the attack on our country. I do not like namecalling, but a headline saying “Why won’t you act Messers. Trump and McConnell?” is a fair question. Keith

    Liked by 2 people

    • The problem, Keith, is they are acting, just not the way you, and many others, want them to act! They are acting in their own interests, and they don’t care who knows it. (This is another sign the fix is in, and Donnie and Mitch do not expect to lose. Russia has their backs, and the Electoral College’s is in their pay. Nothing can go wrong.)

      Liked by 2 people

      • This is why, good friend. No Voting is no longer an option. They may and probably will try and juggle boundaries, they may win elections, the trouble is they will look damn foolish if say 60% of the electorate voted against them. This is the only non-violent way people can take the struggle right out there into the streets and the media, by voting. The simple numbers in this case will be the evidence. The vote is the weapon, by not voting a person supports the forces of Intolerance and Ignorance.
        These tragic days it is a voter’s duty, for those followers of Fear, Intolerance and Ignorance in their fanatical devotion will vote for sure. The fight back begins at the ballot box. There is no alternative in this War, for a War it is.

        Liked by 1 person

        • But who does one vote for? There is still no good choice, especially where I am. All a politician wants is to get paid for not working. I am sorry, but voting is for suckers. Democracy is really proving itself to be a farce, especially these days. It was doomed from the beginning, and now we have reached doomsday, and it is too late to do anything about it.
          Yes, I am cynical, but I am watching my worst-feared predictions coming true. The election of Pierre Elliott “Hole of Water” was my first big election, and while he was a good stateman, it was his charming nature that got him elected for the first time. And once charm starts becoming a voting factor, citizenship has lost all meaning.
          I know you, and many others, will disagree with me, but I don’t mind. I refuse to play the voting game under any circumstances. It favours the “wannabee.”

          Liked by 2 people

          • Maybe it’s being European and the history of the wars, the religious intolerances of all sides, the struggle to tear power away from someone who happened to be born in the right place, the more wars, the rise of the simple solution populists. In short the ease in which freedoms can be snatched and slipped away.
            Maybe it’s all these things which breeds into me the harsh reality that sometimes you just have to go for the Least, Worse, Alternative. Yes I will be disappointed and I will be let down, but let it be gently and not in the screaming chaos of a populist and their hateful agenda.
            Remember this.
            ‘THEY’, the hatemongers, the bigots, the ones who will send the young off to war, the ones who will use the language of division will always be looking for a way to get in. They and their bully-boy followers.
            And they will come looking for us all.
            From a European perspective of our history if you can’t stop them at the ballot box then you have to stop them at the battlefield. This is a fact. There is no other option.
            Unless they are stopped there, they will come.
            Trust me on this. We have at least 2,000 years experience of this.

            Liked by 1 person

            • I trust you, Rog, but I don’t accept it. 2000 or more years has taught us we need something totally different. You are being a pragmatist, try for the best of what is availauble. I am an idealist, if it doesn’t work the way it is, throw it out and start over from a brand new direction. Let’s get rid of government!
              Where I come from, there is ALWAYS another option.

              Liked by 2 people

              • But rg … perhaps we DO need something different, but do you realize what happens if people take your path and just don’t bother to vote? Yeah, we get something different … we get to start saluting “Heil Trump”!!! THAT is our only other option at this time.

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                • Luckily I’m not American, so I don’t have to struggle with whatever conscience I still have left. That would be an epic battle!
                  But I am Canadian, and the parties I might vote for (NDP or Green) will not be elected federally for a long time yet. All our elections are decided in the East, that’s where the numbers are. Roger lives in a very different political climate from us. But really that would not affect my philosophy one bit. Democracy is a dead duck, just like religion. It just doesn’t know it yet. I made my mind up some 40 years ago, and have seen no reason to change it.

                  Liked by 1 person

              • I agree with you there rawgod, and I can also see where the basic Anarchist ideology comes from.
                Maybe, maybe in time if the forces of Hate and Ignorance are defeated and then eradicated off of this planet there will be the space and the opportunity for the kinds of systems you care about to evolve.
                Right now, it is The Grim Time and a war is being fought.
                We have still not evolved beyond the ‘Ugh. No like you. Throw rocks.’ stage. This war takes time.
                Sadly the true opposition to these evils at this stage is The Pragmatist.
                Keep your faith burning bright. If we make it, future generations will need your ideas and visions.

                Liked by 1 person

                    • Think on a higher level, Roger. I discovered the more I understood about life, the more I was learning about being responsible for the things I do, the more I was taking on responsibility for all living beings. It came naturally, to be responsible for all life!
                      Of all the things I have learned in my life, this, I think, is the most important: Life is responsible to, and for, life. There are a lot more things involved than I can list here, but unless we take responsibility for the way the world is, we are not being kind to ourselves…

                      Liked by 2 people

                    • As we can read from the latest sickening and heart-breaking news out of El Paso, Humanity is a deeply flawed species.
                      Thus the responsibility of the enlightened few is to try and spread the word.
                      Thus Humanity from the Pragmatists and Social Technocrats like me, our solution is effective but it has cold and sharp edges and the individual takes second place to the Stability of the Whole and the survival of Society.
                      I try and be honest about my views.… I appreciate they will seem ugly to many.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Not to worry, sir. Your views are not ugly to me, they are just short-sighted IMO. One big problem with democracy is that it is self-perpetuating. All it takes is one voter to declare a winner! It is next to i possible to hold an election and have no one vote. No matter how many people realize the inefficacy of democracy, someone else thinks it works. Do you notice electoral results no longer mention how many people do not vote. They do not want the voters to know that for whatever reason potential voters do not partake in elections.
                      When I first came to my realizations about democracy, they did. They even used to announce how may spoiled ballots there were. I would actually go to a polling station, go into a voting booth and write comments on my ballots, to let them know my feelings. My anti-vote at least said something. But it wasn’t long before all they would show were positive votes, taking that option away from people like me. So I stopped spoiling ballots. My voice was taken away from me. Now I don’t even allow my name on the voting list, I am not a participating Canadian. Neither is my partner. She feels about the same way I do, only for her own reasons.
                      I am not out to make big changes in the world, that is no longer possible. But I like to give people other options, to make them thnk deeper about what they believe. That is where it started for me. I asked myself questions. The answers were a surprise even to me.

                      Liked by 2 people

                    • Thanks for giving me an insight into the mindset of those who take the choice of Not Voting to their very heart. This makes a changes from those ‘who can’t be bothered’ and the ones who think it is ‘cool’ not to vote.
                      I wouldn’t argue that I am short-sighted, although in true technocrat fashion I would change the meaning to ‘Short-term viewed’.
                      Whereas it would be hypocritical of me to argue the case for Canada as my knowledge of the political history and set up is sketchy I would continue to argue my point for the UK, USA and also the majority of European states.
                      When we look at the first two in particular we have unashamedly right-wing governments who pronouncements only serve to stoke the fires of Hatred, Ignorance and Prejudice. The citizen who cares for their neighbour, colleague or simply fellow citizen cannot stand by and let rampant hate-mongers point to the leaders as examples. We are in wars for the very fabric of our nations. If we do not fight back through the ballot box then the nations will go down the road of civil strife and possibly fall apart into small and often bitter little states re-writing histories into self-serving warped romances.
                      For us there is either taking up the fight or ending up in some allegorical Germany of 1945, the true inheritance that these hate-mongers would find.
                      For me, History teaches there are no ‘they’ in governments. Governments are comprised of individuals will their jealousies, fears, and other flaws. They never work in true unison as works of fiction would have you believe. There is no table around which a group of hard faced folk think as one. That does not happen in Humanity. The flaws show through every time.
                      I do not have a great faith in democracy myself, because it does allow creatures such an the current incumbent in the Whitehouse and the present elitist in Number 10 Downing Street. It is however the least worst option.
                      How am I sure. Because I know what I would be capable of if I were to be in power and what sorts might follow me. And it would be ugly.
                      The vote is the only hope is these transitory times as we emerge from the eras of Kings and Emperors.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • The vote is what caused the vote to be your/our only hope. Canada had a long run with a conservative government before this liberal bit, but I suspect we will go back to the tories this coming election.
                      Some reactionary weirdo told an American tourist to go back where she came from on the weekend, and she was lily white but had an accent. More and more people are doing such acts, trying to save us from ?????. Hatred abounds here too.

                      Liked by 2 people

                    • We, The Nations of The West have forgotten the lessons of the 20th Century which gave rise to the myriad of wars based on race hatred.
                      Say this for most Kings all they wanted to do was accumulate wealth and land, never mind where it came from (that’s sardonic by the way…I add that because someone once took me literally…..a fellow UK socialist; can be a notoriously humourless bunch)

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Every nation has its loonies, just like every other. We cannot pretend we are blameless, or without fault. Whatever the point of his tirade, it sounded like Trump to me…

                      Liked by 1 person

    • The same thing amazes me, but what also amazes me is that while two of the three leaders have their heads stuck in their … well, you know … 40% of the people in this country are still cheering for them!!! I’ve shaken my head so hard over this one that there’s a new rattle in there!

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      • Jill, Roger, Rawgod, all interesting comments and perspectives. Let me say something very obvious and cut to the chase. Donald Trump is a clear and present danger to the United States and the planet. It is that simple. He is not make the world better. He is making it more dangerous and chaotic.

        He is also a bully. And, the only way to beat a bully, is to punch him in the mouth, in this case proverbially. Rawgod, people who do not vote are playing into the hands of people like Trump, the Brexit movement, and GOP whose playbook to win is to get you to stay home. If you stay home, then you are the sucker. I recognize fully the other option may not be great and will not be perfect.

        What Trump is afraid of is an informed electorate. That is why is anti-information, science and data and wants to control it. The way to punch him in the face is to tell him you are wrong to say what you say and how you say it. And, back it up with civil and large protests. And, then vote against him. But, even when he loses, we will have to drag him out of the White House, as he won’t leave on his own. He will cry foul – take it to the bank.

        This person’s history has been recorded in five biographies and by good reporting to be one of untruthfulness, bullying, false bravado, and denigration. He lacks accountability and does not take responsibility for his actions. That is why I believe the Republican party needs to join in with the Dems to impeach and convict him and put his hind-end out of the White House.

        So, we must tell people in leadership this is not right and get out and vote. If you don’t vote, then the right to protest is compromised. The Brexit vote is the same deal. What the UK fails to realize is Brexit will make their country a lesser country, which is why Putin did his best to promote. And, for a person in a position of leadership like Boris to say a no deal Brexit should happen is malfeasance. Keith

        Liked by 1 person

        • All good points, Keith! Thanks for weighing in. Frankly, I’d like to punch him in the mouth literally, rather than proverbially, but then I would need to have my hand amputated, for no doubt it would become contaminated. Anyway, you are so right … we must remain a thorn in the sides of our members of Congress until they finally hear us, we must protest where we can, and the vote is the most crucial way in which we can bring about change. Your last point, that he will have to be dragged out, is one which has concerned me for some time. It’s a bridge we cannot cross until we reach it, but certainly we must be prepared and hope that our system of law and justice will, indeed, drag him out.

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  3. Moscow Mitch is so appropriate. Whatever you do Jill, please do NOT under any circumstances go on Twitter and tweet out that hashtag because it gets him really, really upset!! LOL….Seriously though, he’s an abomination to the Senate and after four decades, it’s time for his ass to retire and go watch some Kentucky bluegrass grow. But, he’s so addicted to power, he’s still going to run. Amy McGrath is a wonderful candidate/veteran who would represent that state so much better. I may have to send her a few bucks just to help out, even though I’m about 2300 miles away. I don’t care. Mitch has got to go!!!

    Liked by 4 people

    • I live in a state next to Kentucky, which polls show has a very unpopular Republican Governor and an increasingly unpopular Senator, namely Mitch McConnell. It may be a longshot, but if ever there was an election year when he can be defeated, 2020 is that year.

      Liked by 3 people

      • It’s funny, but Matt Bevin came closer to beating McConnell in 2014 than anybody had in a long time, maybe ever. But now, he’s unpopular. I don’t like him because he is a bigot and has taken an extreme stance against same-sex marriage, against women’s rights … but I do wish he had beaten McConnell. I’m doubtful that McGrath can beat him, for Kentuckians seem dead-set on shooting themselves in the foot rather than electing a democrat. Sigh.

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    • Ooopsie … I fear your warning is too late, for I’ve already tweeted that hashtag … and right on his Twitter feed, too! I do hope I haven’t hurt his itty bitty feelings! Yes, I’ve said before that he is the poster child for why we need term limits. I like Amy McGrath … I plan a post about her soon … but I’m not sure I can believe that KY will ever vote for a democrat. Yes, Mitch has got to go, but think about this … what if he gets re-elected next year, but the Senate swings to a democratic majority? Picture Mitchie, stripped of the power of Senate Majority Leader, having to accept the whims and wishes of a Democratic Leader … 🤣🤣🤣 (Such visions are my equivalent of a bedtime story!)

      Liked by 1 person

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