Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I'm not a lawyer, but when Willard Romney says Miss Mitch McConnell's opponent "will be a reliable vote for the Democrats," is that legally binding?


"[Miss Mitch's] opponent was handpicked by Chuck Schumer and will be a reliable vote for the Democrats. And as we face the very real possibility of an Obama presidency, that's the last thing we need."
-- Willard Romney, in an e-plea for moolah to help reelect
the despicable Senate minority leader

by Ken

This morning, when I found (mercifully failed) presidential contender Willard Romney lurking in my e-mailbox as the sender of an e-mail with the subject heading "A Real Leader," it was only the most morbid curiosity that led me to open the damned thing. Admit it, this is a real poser: Who on earth could Willard be touting as "A Real Leader"?

The only person I could think of was Willard's erstwhile presidential rival Young Johnny McCranky. But no, even Willard doesn't seem prepared to stoop to passing the Crankyman off as any kind of a leader, least of all a "real" one. At least not when there's no imaginable payoff for him. (I'm assuming that Willard has now refocused his eyes on the 2012 nomination. Shudder.)

No, our Willard's idea of "a real leader" turns out to be (shudder again) the shame of Kentucky, Senate Minority Leader Miss Mitch "I'm Scamming As Fast As I Can" McConnell.

At this point I have to backtrack a bit. With the utterly unlamented General Pinochet suddenly back in the news, in connection with the frolics, back in the day, of the Younger Johnny McCranky with Chile's then-strongman of (are we really supposed to be surprised?), a friend asked the other day if I hadn't seen the TV movie about Pinochet and Margaret Thatcher.

Now I didn't know there had been a TV movie about this terrifying twosome. But even if I had, I can't imagine watching it. As I tried to explain to my friend, I can't imagine choosing to spend time in the company of that pair.

The prospect of thinking about Willard and Miss Mitch fills me with much the same enthusiasm. Nevertheless, I glanced at Willard's appeal, and was intrigued to find the paragraph I've put at the top of this post. Here it is again, with the paragraph that precedes it:
Mitch McConnell is the highest-ranking Republican in the Senate, a place where it's hard to get things done. His friends and foes alike both acknowledge his effectiveness in delivering for his constituents and crafting commonsense legislation that benefits all Americans.

His opponent was handpicked by Chuck Schumer and will be a reliable vote for the Democrats. And as we face the very real possibility of an Obama presidency, that's the last thing we need. [boldface in the original]

I think Willard is mistaken about what the "foes" of Miss Mitch "acknowledge."

Take me, for example. I'm proud to call myself a "foe" of Miss Mitch. And I understand him to be

* a vile human being,

*a crook and more seriously a die-hard champion of Republicrookery,

* and an ideological neanderthal who apparently believes that the function of government is to shovel money into the pockets of the kind of people who consider it a mitzvah to give him money to help enable their money-shoveling.

In his inaugural session as Senate minority leader, he padded this resume with his delighted discovery -- in much the manner of your average demented delinquent adolescent -- that the rules of the Senate could be stretched to enable him and his fellow storm troopers of the Far Right to shut down its business. (By all means credit Majority Leader Harry Reid and his brain trust with an assist, but it's still Miss Mitch and his team who did the dirty work.)

It's for all these reasons, and oh so many more, that with Miss Mitch's hold on his seat appearing surprisingly uncertain as the 2008 election season approached, a lot of us looked forward to a serious reelection challenge. However, thanks to the revolting combination of the power of Big Money and the craven Master Rahm-style machinations of DSCC tsar Chuck Schumer, Kentuckians wound up with a Democratic candidate, Bruce Lunsford, who's only slightly less revolting than revolting than the incumbent.

Here was Howie's take in his above-titled August 12 post:

"It's unfortunate that McConnell's opponent, reactionary corporate Democrat Bruce Lunsford is the worst Democrat running for the Senate this year and can pretty much go toe to toe with McConnell when it comes to corruption. There's nothing that would ever make me vote for either one of these characters. I hope they both lose." [emphasis added]

Now it appears that with the rising Democratic tide, despite a predictably lame campaign, Lunsford may have a serious shot at ousting the unspeakable Mitch. And I guess this would be a good thing. Still, let's not kid ourselves that having Lunsford on his side will embolden Majority Leader Reid to steer the Senate in a bolder or more enlightened mode.

Or will it?

Now we have Willard declaring that Lunsford as a senator "will be a reliable vote for the Democrats"!

Now I'm not a lawyer, but even I know that when candidate Lunsford claims to be a Democrat, that doesn't tell us anything about how he'll vote. Why, even Holy Joe Lieberman still claims -- sometimes, anyway -- to be a Democrat.

But when Willard promises that the bum "will be a reliable vote for the Democrats," isn't that, like, legally binding? Even if the structure of the sentence doesn't commit him to more than being a Democrats like Chuck Schumer, that would still separate him from name-only Democrats like the Nelson twins or Mary Landrieu, wouldn't it?


One note about the above-referenced e-appeal from Willard Romney on behalf of his bosom buddy Mitch McConnell. Okay, two notes, and that will be absolutely it.

(1) In his appeal, Willard writes: "Please take just a few minutes today to visit Mitch's website and make a donation of at least $25.

Um, uh, Mr. Willard, sir, do I really have to give at least $25? Isn't it customary to ask me to give, like, as much as I can afford -- with maybe a suggestion that $25 would be a helpful amount? But to order me to "make a donation of at least $25"? Isn't that, you know, just a teensy bit pushy?

(2) The graphic accompanying Willard's appeal is reproduced at the top of this post exactly as it appears in the e-appeal. And it's the only graphic element in the bloody thing. Is it just me, or is there a not-so-subliminal message here, a message that sort of doesn't include poor Mitch?

At the very least, I think this gives us a fairly accurate read of who is really on our Willard's mind.

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