Thursday, December 6, 2012
The Miseducation of Mitch McConnell (apologies to Lauryn Hill)
"Dear Mrs. McConnell; We're sending your son Mitchie home from school today due to extreme behavioral issues. His constant demands for attention are disruptive to the learning atmosphere of the classroom, and his repeated threats that he'll hold his breath until he gets his way are causing us great concern. In fact, we sincerely believe extensive counseling might well be in the boy's best interest..."
I'd be surprised if Sen. Mitch McConnell's mother didn't receive a batch of similar letters throughout his early academic years. Unfortunately, it appears he slipped through the educational system without corrective measures being taken. The pinnacle of the behavior described above would be for a now allegedly "grown up" politician to maintain his primary task in office was not to represent the people who elected him, but rather to oppose and ensure the defeat of a President he personally happened to dislike. In other words, "to hell with the welfare of the American people, I'm going to lay waste to the country so this guy won't have a chance of being re-elected." Holding his breath, again. Is this patriotism? Hardly.
What causes someone like Mitch to laugh contemptuously at the President's fical cliff proposal (as presented by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner? In all likelihood it's naked fear, and greed. Mitch does not want to part with even one penny of his fortune.
Personal financial disclosure forms are vague, at best, so it's difficult to know precisely how much wealth Mitch has squirreled away at this point, but it is at least possible to discover (God bless the internet) that his wealth increased by 30% in 2010 alone. In fact, McConnell's wealth grew exponentially throughout the recession. He doubled his net worth twice between 2006-2009. Mitch's minimum net worth is estimated at $9.8 million, though general consensus places the figure around $20 million. This isn't exactly chump change. One major question remains unanswered; how did he manage to amass this personal Fort Knox, particularly during a severe recession?
Fingers tend to point toward his current father-in-law, James Chao. McConnell's second wife (ah, these rabid family values types!) is Elaine Chao, who served as George W. Bush's Labor Secretary for eight years. Her father James spent decades cultivating close personal and business ties with the rulers of communist China, and subsequently made a fortune flooding the U.S. with low-labor-cost Chinese goods.
Naturally, this explains McConnell's antipathy toward organized labor here at home. Can you imagine if their heretical views on workers rights, unions, safety, and higher wages spread beyond our borders--say, to China? This might negatively impact Mitch's wealth!
There's only one percentage figure Mitch cares about --it's not 47%, and it's not 98%. It's the wealthiest 2% of Americans who might be asked to pay their fair share during extremely difficult times in the economic life of our country. Mitch doesn't care about any of that, he simply refuses to part with a penny of his fortune, regardless of its origins. It seems altogether fitting that "The Hobbitt" will be opening in theaters nation-wide within the next few weeks..it's easy to imagine McConnell as Gollum, in this case obsessed with his bank account. "My precious" indeed.