Hours after the Grimes campaign released their latest TV ad — which attacks Mitch McConnell for his simply abysmal track record on women’s issues — the McConnell campaign tried to change the subject to foreign policy, using a far right wing publication to paint Grimes as just some stupid woman who would rather don a pretty hat than bomb a country into oblivion.
Here’s the Grimes ad:
It highlights the fact that Mitch McConnell has opposed the Violence Against Women Act and that McConnell has opposed paying women the same amount a man gets paid to the same job.
Mitch McConnell’s record on women gets even worse if you keep poking at it — the father of three girls, currently on his second wife, McConnell has become rabidly pro-life over the past three decades and in 1998 (yes, 1998) Mitch McConnell tried to block the University of Louisville from giving scholarships to women if those women refused to promise him not to have kids out of wedlock (see LHL, 3/18/98, or here, or…).
McConnell plea irks professors // The Kentucky Post – March 18, 1998
The University of Louisville political science department has overwhelmingly rejected Sen. MitchMcConnell’s request that students in his scholarship program promise not to have babies out of wedlock.
The senator’s proposal also offended some of the students he wants to help, some of whom had children out of wedlock and some of whom were born out of wedlock, said Melodie Humphrey, an 18-year-old McConnell Scholar from Louisville.”They felt insulted,” Ms. Humphrey said.
Holy Mother Mary, does this guy have a problem with women!
So it was odd then that in response to a statement from Grimes defending Israel’s right to defend itself, the McConnell campaign glommed on to a far Right Wing publication and began pushing out a line of attack that eschews the substance of what Grimes says and instead berates McConnell’s opponent for:
- Wearing a dress
- Being a woman
- Wearing an event-appropriate hat
Here’s the offending McConnell circulated image (complete with a photo of George Will in their banner, the guy who recently stated that women in college want to get raped because, according to him, it’s a real badge of honor):
Funny, Jim Geraghty, you always looked like an expert on demeaning women.
You get it? Because she gets dressed up for the Kentucky Derby and looks nice, she’s just some dumb bimbo.
Also — at what point did the McConnell campaign decide that attacking the Kentucky Derby’s long tradition of wearing ridiculous hats was a good idea? Does Team Mitch hate one of Kentucky’s proudest traditions as much as they hate women?
But that’s what the kettle of paid staff that circulates around Mitch McConnell is pushing out today (Holmes, Dayspring, Cooper, Jennings, et al) — a demeaning attack on women.
Now, the thing that got Mitch and his volt of Right Wing cronies so hot and bothered is a quote from Grimes in which she says Israel has a right to defend itself and that all the civilian deaths are a tragedy.
“Obviously, Israel is one of our strongest allies in the Middle East, and she has the right to defend herself,” Grimes said. “But the loss of life, especially the innocent civilians in Gaza, is a tragedy. The Iron Dome has been a big reason why Israel has been able to withstand the terrorists that have tried to tunnel their way in.”
For a crew of people who’ve been desperately insisting that their boss was taken out of context when he said “It’s not my job” to bring jobs to Kentucky, it’s pretty funny to watch them celebrate that quote as though it’s the proof that they’ve been right all along that women are idiots and don’t understand foreign policy.
It’s hardly stated gracefully, but the point is pretty clear. Israel has a right to defend itself; the Iron Dome is good; the tunnels are bad; if there was no Iron Dome, casualties would be higher do to double the threat. To help Mitch and his friends along, his female opponent clarified her point in a later statement to the Huffington Post:
“The Iron Dome is an integral part of Israel’s defense system which allows them to defend themselves against missiles and focus their efforts on eradicating the terrorists who try to tunnel their way in.”
At issue here, of course, is not a reasonable conversation between two candidates about what they would do about the ongoing carnage in the Middle East, nor is it even really a debate about foreign policy. Grimes and McConnell are saying the same basic thing about what’s happening in Israel and the McConnell team is trying to say that because she’s a woman, Alison Lundergan Grimes doesn’t understand foreign policy.
On a day when Grimes launched an attack on McConnell’s long anti-woman record, that’s a dumb move.
It’s possibly even dumber a move when you consider that McConnell’s own misunderstanding of foreign policy led him two years ago to push for an authorization of war with Iran — when clearly no such war was needed.
McConnell’s belligerence on foreign policy, an area where once people in DC respected his input, is even worse in Iraq where McConnell was one of the key cheerleaders in the build up to a war. That war which McConnell recklessly helped to push left nearly 5,000 American soldiers dead and tens of thousands more injured or suffering PTSD. The war McConnell helped to trump up has so far cost American taxpayers $2 Trillion.
Oh… and he also opposed investigating the illegal dealings of private contractors hired by the US government to operate in war zones where they routinely bilked American taxpayers.
Mitch McConnell’s track record on foreign policy is about as strong as his track record on demeaning women.
Not to mention the fact that he used his entitled connections to flop out on the Vietnam War.
If McConnell wants to change the debate from his track record on women’s issues to his track record on foreign policy, go for it.
Mitch McConnell in 2005, when asked how the Iraq War was going:
We’ll be in Iraq only as long as we need to be in Iraq. The Iraqi military is in the process of being trained, upgraded. They handled most of the security, by the way, for election day, which is widely thought to have been a big success. This negotiation for leadership in Iraq is what you do in a democracy. They’re in the process of deciding who’s going to get to be prime minister. Who would have thought that would have ever been possible four years ago in Iraq?
The next year, in 2006, McConnell was privately telling the President to get out — not because of the cost of the war in lives or money, according to President Bush, but because it might cost the Republicans the election:
“Mr. President, your unpopularity is going to cost us control of Congress… Mr. President, bring some troops home from Iraq.”
Then in 2010, he was claiming that the pullout of Iraq was a good thing and all credit was due to President Bush:
“[George W. Bush had the] determination and will to carry out the plan that made [this] announcement possible…. It makes it easier to talk about fulfilling a campaign promise to wind down our operations in Iraq when the previous administration signs the security agreement with Iraq to end our overall presence there.”
And by 2014, McConnel had done a 180, now trying to say that the pull out was a bad thing and all blame was on Barack Obama:
“The Iraqi security forces are now less capable than when the president withdrew the entirety of our force without successfully negotiating a remaining U.S. presence capable of preserving our gains and mentoring our partners.”
In the spring of 2012, Mitch McConnell was pushing America toward an unnecessary war with Iran and in spring of 2014 he was pushing for yet another war in Iraq… after already pushing the one that cost $2 Trillion and 5,000 lives.
When it comes to foreign policy, Mitch McConnell can’t be trusted because what he says is ever changing. That’s not leadership, it’s a weathervane.
If Team Mitch wants to talk foreign policy, the Grimes campaign should have one simple response: Bring ‘em on.
In a rare moment of agreement, conservative Kentucky blogger Lisa Graas makes the same point about that National Review article/photo combo that Team Mitch is pushing around. While Graas excepts the point about Grimes knowing nothing about foreign policy, she blasts the anti-Kentucky sentiment of the post:
Kentucky Derby pageantry is a sign of refinement and civilization, not backwardness and ignorance. Grimes is exhibiting something in the photo that expresses a “goodness” about Kentucky. To mock this is not in any way helpful to Mitch McConnell’s campaign, and I would very much like for Senator McConnell to win. His defenders need to take note that if they want to defend him, they need to show a little more respect for things that Kentuckians care about.
The Grimes campaign released a new video that visualizes McConnell’s anti-woman legislative record using some familiar footage: