January 27, 2014

Mitch McConnell prepares to recast himself as our only hope against NSA

Sen. Mitch McConnell knew about the gross NSA infringements upon the civil rights of American citizens, as an ex officio member of the Senate Intelligence Committee since 2007. But as McConnell cowardly remained silent about those abuses, whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed to us their construction, extent and context. McConnell's reaction was a swift condemnation of Snowden, saying "I hope that he is prosecuted to the full extent of the law."(CBS) Because, you know, surveillance of the American people is necessary and not wrong, except...

When McConnell made allegations that he was under illegal surveillance last April, he asked the FBI to investigate how it happened, and then he asked the U.S. Attorney's office to do something about it. ( McConnell is complicit in the surveillance of most human beings on Earth, yet he has no shame about assuming the victim's mantel when he mistakenly believes his own precious civil liberties could have been violated.  

Now McConnell faces Matt Bevin as a challenger in Kentucky's upcoming Republican primary. Bevin is calling for an end to "unconstitutional NSA surveillance of American citizens." He even wants to roll back the Patriot Act, which McConnell has called “one of the most important and overdue pieces of legislation in a generation,” adding“it did not go far enough.” ( Bevin's position is aligned close to Tea Party favorite, Sen. Rand Paul but even President Barack Obama is proposing modest NSA reform. McConnell's position on NSA abuses mirrors more President George Bush's more than Obama's or Paul's, and that makes him vulnerable, if he wasn't so darn politically crafty.

Groundhog Day isn't quite here, yet McConnell's already poking his nervous head outside his hole of hypocrisy in preparation for the most predictable 180 degree position flip of his entire career.

Just a couple weeks ago, he said “I think we’re all interested in reviewing the current NSA procedures and were going to take a look at what he (Obama) recommends.” (Gerth, Courier-Journal)

Before we make it to May 20, 2014, I predict McConnell will be gallantly fighting the NSA across Kentucky on horseback with a bald eagle on his shoulder, not in reality, but in commercials aimed at the most-uninformed, and therefore easily-persuaded Kentucky voters.

Don't get me wrong, I appreciate McConnell's interest in reforming and gutting his own legacy of abuse against our civil liberties, but re-elect him? Being complicit himself in creating the fertile ground that made NSA abuse possible, does McConnell really have the obtuse audacity to ask Kentucky voters to entrust him to police the very agency he empowered up to now? Come on.

(Political cartoon by Roger Bethke. Like him on Facebook at: Art of Roger Bethke, or visit his website at

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