Thursday, February 6, 2014

Bothered By Bevin's Push Poll

Two nights ago, I was called by a polling firm; another Registered Republican I know received a similar call.   Of course, the pollster did not identify who paid for the poll, but it seemed clear to both of us that it was the Bevin campaign or someone promoting Bevin.  The focus was on the Republican primary for the Kentucky U.S. Senate race with lots of questions about the Tea Party.  If it was Bevin, he should apologize.

I answered the questions without complaint until the point when I was asked to react to different "statements."  For example, I was asked for my reaction to the "fact" that Sen. Mitch McConnell has never held a job in the private sector.  As I pointed out to the pollster, that "statement" is simply not true.  McConnell was a lawyer, in private practice in Louisville.  As any attorney who has spent time in private practice can attest, it is hard work, not just substantively, but in terms of running the business side of it.  So I asked the pollster whether he still wanted me to react to his false statement and he said "No, I think we got it." 

He started talking really fast at that point because he wanted to get me off the phone. He asked another whopper:  How did I feel about the fact that McConnell spends most of his time in Washington, D.C.?  I pointed out that again, the premise was false.  McConnell spends as much time in Kentucky as possible.  He loves his Cards and almost never misses a home game.  He actually loves the Commonwealth and his time here.

To be sure, he has to be in Washington for votes, and running the caucus.  The notion that McConnell has "gone native" is incorrect, however.  McConnell once observed that the fastest way to lose one's convictions in D.C. is to go to the cocktail parties; it can become too tempting to want to garner favor with the Washington Post and the elites that look to it to shape their opinions.  So McConnell avoids the D.C. cocktail party circuit, and Kentucky and the country are the better for it.

Even more offensive was a series of questions about McConnell's net worth. He has a house in Washington, and real estate there -- unlike the rest of the country -- has skyrocketed along with the deficit. (Seen the Hunger Games? Things are different in the Capital.)

The clear implication from this line of "statements" was that if McConnell's net worth has increased while he was in office, then he must be corrupt, or at the very least, that the increase in McConnell's net worth is attributable only to the taxpayers paying his salary.

There were no "statements" asking me to react to Secretary Elaine Chao's family coming to America with nothing, fleeing the Communists, and through hard work building a successful business that enabled four daughters (including Elaine) to attend Harvard Business School.  (The Chao's recently donated $40 million to Harvard Business School.) There were no "statements" regarding whether McConnell and Chao file joint tax returns.

 The line of "statements" about McConnell's net worth was a transparent, disgusting attempt to smear a public servant.  It's the sort of class warfare that we have come to expect from the Democrats.  It has no place in the Republican primary.

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