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Op-Ed: We Forget Everything

We forget everything. It makes us prey to fools. Time erases the promises, the insults, pretty much everything. 

It was just over two years ago, that Senator Mitch McConnell said, when confronted by protesters during a luncheon at the Hotel Covington, “The fundamental problem is they’re having a hard time getting over the election.”

It was Mitch’s way of saying that those who’d gathered were just a bunch of sore losers. 

And although the issue over Merrick Garland's nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court by then-President Barack Obama has been flogged to death, at the time of Antonin Scalia’s death, McConnell argued, that in an election year, “the American people should have a choice” in selecting the next justice. In late spring of this year, when asked what the Senate would do if a Supreme Court vacancy opened in President Trump’s last year in office, he replied, “Oh, we’d fill it.”   

Nobody, including President Trump, has done more to destroy traditional democracy than Mitch McConnell. Since January, the House has passed bills on comprehensive democratic reform, pay equity for women, gender discrimination, Dreamers protection, prescription drug costs, pre-existing conditions, background checks, and through his policy of total obstruction, McConnell has blocked them all.   

To further the point, earlier this year, the Senate Majority Leader refused to bring the For the People Act to the floor for a vote. The bill addressed major anti-corruption and government reform and the corrosive effect of big money in politics. Republican or Democrat, most want big money out of government. But not Mitch McConnell. 

Consider Mitch’s response when President Obama, back in 2016, asked him to support a bipartisan statement denouncing ongoing Russian meddling in the presidential election. Mitch flatly refused. 

Last year, supporters (including McConnell) of President Trump’s tax cut measures insisted that the cuts would “pay for themselves.” Now, we learn that that wasn’t exactly true, since the deficit grew by a staggering 17 percent in 2018 and we now anticipate it to balloon to a trillion-plus dollars by 2020.   

And by way of clarification, the protesters at the Hotel Covington told the senator that they weren’t protesting election results. Their issues were much closer to home. One protester was quoted as saying, “We’re protesting the right to work…losing our health care…election interference in (the) White House.”

The old adage - A dull pencil is better than a sharp mind – holds true, especially when it comes to statements made by our lawmakers. After all, we forget everything. 

Jim Fiorelli, retired, Hebron