Ky. Voices: McConnell should focus on those who are really suffering

Dan Logsdon is chairman of the Kentucky Democratic Party
Dan Logsdon is chairman of the Kentucky Democratic Party

I don't know anyone who thinks that the unauthorized recording of Sen. Mitch McConnell's secret attack session was a good idea. The word I hear most often associated with this action is "idiotic." The actions are indefensible.

Now that the senator and I are in rare agreement, isn't it time that he began to focus on the real issues facing Kentucky families?

While McConnell has been pleading for sympathy, members of Kentucky National Guard, Fort Knox employees and many educators are seeing their pay slashed by as much as 20 percent because he was not interested in working out a deal to stop the sequester's reckless budget cuts. He voted against the Violence Against Women Act and tried to remove protections for victims of domestic violence.

These real victims, along with the rest of Kentucky, won't forget McConnell's callous actions simply because he is trying to play the victim himself.

For 30 years, we in the commonwealth have endured McConnell's distract-and-smear tactics — or, as he calls them, "whack-a-mole." Continuing to engage in this strategy is certainly his right. But in his desperation to raise record-low poll numbers, his attacks have become blatantly hypocritical.

Former agriculture commissioner Richie Farmer, who he supported in three different campaigns, has been indicted for multiple felonies — including theft, bribe solicitation and misappropriating hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars.

As the senator continues to accuse guilt by association, his silence on his political ally is increasingly conspicuous and has left some Kentuckians to wonder how close he must be with Farmer to condone such disgrace.

Yet, perhaps even more alarming than the hypocritical attacks are those that are truly offensive.

Comparing others to Nazis is an insulting strategy that has been rejected by the American people repeatedly, yet McConnell still directed his campaign manager to accuse the other side of acting like Nazis on national TV. A Kentucky senator encouraging this type of deplorable behavior, for politics or any other reason, is an embarrassment to our entire commonwealth.

We need leaders who are focused on the issues facing Kentucky families, not a senator who asks us to focus on his own. Kentuckians need a senator who addresses our problems, not adds to them.

After more than 30 years of slinging mud from the political trenches, it's time Mitch McConnell got over it.