Mark Hebert reports that President Bush's approval rating is 52 percent in Western Kentucky, 37 percent statewide.
As Hebert notes, Western Kentucky traditionally has voted in large numbers for Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell. Given Bruce Lunsford's attempts to yoke McConnell to Bush, the president's continued support west of I-65 is good news for McConnell: his base is secure.
McConnell's approval rating has exceeded Bush's in Kentucky by a wide margin all along. Kentucky voters understand that McConnell's position as party leader requires him to shepherd the president's legislative agenda, even --as with immigration -- when Bush and McConnell see the issue differently. In that sense, the party leader wears two hats. Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid acknowledged as much when he spoke at University of Louisville a few months back.
Lunsford's attempts to strap Bush to McConnell's back look increasingly desperate. Take his most recent commercial, in which Lunsford implies that anyone who made less than $15 million last year (the average pay of an oil company CEO) is a loser. All of us non-CEOs, according to Lunsford's logic, should channel our bitterness at Bush and McConnell.
It's a blatant appeal to class warfare, much like John Edwards attempted, to no avail. And as with Edwards, it looks silly and condescending for a multi-millionaire like Lunsford to suggest that voters should feel bad about their lives because they make less money than a CEO. Lunsford would have to impose a form of socialism to level the playing field to the extent that every worker is paid like the CEO from an oil company.
The old Soviet Union tried that ploy; it starts by nationalizing all industry so that the government owns the means of production. It didn't work so well. Consequently, the Obama-Lunsford approach would offer a softer, friendlier form of socialism --an accretion of increasingly burdensome taxes and regulations. All that will do is discourage investors from taking the risk to explore and extract new sources of oil.
If Bruce really wants to put more money in the pockets of us non-CEOs, he needs to tell his his buddies Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer to let America tap our own natural resources by drilling for oil here and now.
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