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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Strange bedfellows

Kentucky Democrats have an idea on how to make Mitch McConnell a five-term senator. Join forces with the Tea Party.

It's an unusual coalition that seems to be shaping up in Kentucky to challenge the Senate Minority Leader who will be mostly remembered for his 2010 pronouncement that the GOP's top goal was not to restore the nation's economic health but to make Barack Obama a one-term president.

It's an intriguing tactic, given the Tea Party's penchant for nominating candidates like Todd Akin, Richard Mourdock and Christine O'Donnell who have all frittered away winnable seats.

And with Rand Paul in place in Kentucky, we know the Tea Party sentiment is strong.

You can't blame Democrats for wanting a little payback against the senator who was first elected in 1984. He has stood as a barricade to action for much of his stint as the Senate's top Republican.  They have been making noise about encouraging Tennessean resident (but Kentucky native) Ashley Judd to run for the seat.

But directly injected progressives into a GOP primary can leave a person queasy, knowing turnabout would always be fair play (not that the GOP has not meddled in Democratic primaries in the past).

There's also the recent reality -- infuriating to the Tea Party -- that McConnell is more capable of compromise, not to mention controlling his caucus. We would still be fighting over the fiscal cliff if McConnell had not sat down and negotiated with Joe Biden. That's something John Boehner proved totally incapable of doing.

Ultimately, it would be a lot of delicious mischief against a senator whose dour persona has come to mark the total lack of professionalism of a group that has consistently put party over country.

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