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Commentary: At coal meeting, McConnell shows his political stripes

We were reminded again last week why Sen. Mitch McConnell is a politician nonpareil. Addressing the Kentucky Coal Association, he deftly portrayed Democrats as the party of victimhood and entitlement: Anybody with a hand out and a sob story is welcome under the Democratic tent of discontent, separating real Americans from their hard-earned money while accelerating this country's slide into nanny-state Euro-socialism.

The Senate minority leader stroked the crowd, never mentioning the divisive and destructive practice of mountaintop removal, instead lamenting the industry's plight as the put-upon target of the Environmental Protection Agency and Obama administration. "Of course the EPA's real goal here is . . . to see the Kentucky coal industry driven out of business altogether," he explained.

He didn't stop there, though. Just as coal is being brought to its knees by an army of meddlesome bureaucrats and their "boatload of regulations and red tape," so is business in general, McConnell said. "You haven't been singled out."

Heads nodded, the senator wound up, took a few media questions. Plates were cleared, hands shaken, backs slapped. The assembly of coal operators, attorneys, engineers and industry insiders moved on, convinced by a master politician that they're entitled to mine coal in any manner, and entitled to a thank you to for keeping the lights on. If only people could see how mercilessly they're being victimized.

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