Sunday, March 09, 2014

Mitch McConnell's musket

By Richard K. Barry

Don't shoot me, I'm only the piano player.

I would say that politics is becoming increasingly strange, but it doesn't do much to state the obvious. Latest proof is that Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is being criticized for not looking particularly comfortable on stage at CPAC as he carried a flint-lock musket to the podium before making his speech. 

The gun was an award for retiring Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., but McConnell must have though it would be a great idea to use it as a prop as he addressed the conservative faithful. 

But, As Courier-Journalist writer Joseph Gerth put it:
Instead or recalling images of Charlton Heston at NRA conventions, where the late actor incited the crowd by raising a similar gun, McConnell looked a bit more like Michael Dukakis riding in a tank or President Barack Obama shooting skeet at Camp David, or Jimmy Carter doing much of anything.

A little digging by the Courier-Journal could find no other picture of McConnell with a gun, and his campaign has refused to say whether he "hunts, shoots targets or even owns a gun."

On the one hand, the thought that one's familiarity with firearms should be considered an important qualification for high office is pretty scary. On the other, it's sad that McConnell tried to fake it in the way he did.

The other part of it is that McConnell is not the sort of politician CPAC types much cotton to. As Gerth writes:
McConnell is what he is. He’s a denizen of the beltway who revels in the type of insider politics that folks who attend CPAC hate. He is someone who has historically — at least until recently — believed in the largess of the federal government to help his state.

One thing for sure is the emergence of the far right has made establishment Republicans bigger frauds and liars than they had previously been, if that's possible. 

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