Maybe it's that whole thing with his wife, the Secretary of Transportation. Maybe it's what he perceives to be the uppity behavior of the new Democratic majority in the House of Representatives, which is daring, in its own shambling, frustrating way, to assert its rights as half the national legislature. Maybe it's the crossroads he's standing at, or maybe it's the weather, or something like that. But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell suddenly seems even more free to let his freak flag fly, not only in his official capacity as the pre-eminent living vandal of representative democracy, but also in his capacity as a fellow citizen with considerable power and a public platform.
On Monday, he wondered, openly, why Jon Stewart "got all bent out of shape" because McConnell's Senate has been dilatory in making permanent the money to take care of the first-responders from the attacks of 9/11. And then, on Tuesday, he unlimbered himself on the subject of reparations. From the AP:
Yeah, I don’t think reparations for something that happened 150 years ago, for whom none of us currently living are responsible, is a good idea...We’ve tried to deal with our original sin of slavery by fighting a civil war, by passing landmark civil rights legislation, we’ve elected an African American president. I think we are always a work in progress in this country, but no one currently alive was responsible for that, and I don’t think we should be trying to figure out how to compensate for it. First of all it would be pretty hard to figure out who to compensate. We’ve had waves of immigrants, as well, who have come to the country and experience traumatic discrimination of one kind or another, so no I don’t think reparations are a good idea.
My first impulse was to tell McConnell to keep Barack Obama's name out of his mouth. McConnell committed himself to a strategy whereby that African-American president was not allowed to be president, from what McConnell said right after Obama's inauguration up until, against all precedent, McConnell refused to allow the president to nominate a justice to the Supreme Court. Either he thinks his days are numbered in some way, or he thinks he's bulletproof. In either case, he is a danger to us all.
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