With Indiana Sen. Dick Lugar’s long career in its last breaths before next week’s Republican primary, Sen. Mitch McConnell wants to let everyone — i.e., Democrats and the Tea Party fringe of the GOP base — know that he is an invincible and all-powerful God, and bears absolutely no resemblance to the battered and beaten Dick Lugar.
With right-wing true believers like Erick Erickson at Red State already licking their chops at a chance to make him the next Tea Party purge victim, Mitch McConnell needed to spread the message all across Capitol Hill and Kentucky that you might as well not even try to challenge him in 2014.
And after Mitch offered the sweet, tempting treat of “access,” Roll Call was more than willing to do his bidding for him in this dark hagiography that couldn’t have been written any better by Mitch McConnell’s very own staff. They didn’t paint him as a typical angel, rather one with really sharp fangs.
As you can read in the article:
1) The TEA Party in Kentucky suddenly loves him, because of his “grassroots outreach.”
2) Every Democrat in Kentucky is afraid to challenge him, now and forever.
3) And most importantly, Mitch McConnell will spray your bloody corpse all over the lawn if you even try.
Yes, it even ends with this kicker of a quote:
“There is a history of McConnell campaigns becoming very negative and very critical,” Luallen said coolly. “And that’s a factor people have to think about.”
McConnell allies agreed. “If you’re sitting there thinking about running against Mitch McConnell: Remember ‘Fargo,’” former McConnell chief of staff Billy Piper said, referring to the Oscar-winning movie. “And remember the end, when that guy is putting that chopped-up person’s leg in the big woodchipper machine? Mitch McConnell is the woodchipper.”
McConnell is trying to present an image of invincible strength. I, for one, smell fear.
Two years ago, the thought of Dick Lugar losing this primary was absurd. A year ago, insiders where whispering the possibility, but no one was buying it in public. Next week? He’s toast.
Today, McConnell’s approval numbers aren’t even as close to as strong as Lugar’s invisible numbers from two years ago. Lugar has plenty of weaknesses that have been exploited, but Mitch has plenty too, and he’s a really big target — big enough to attract as insane an amount of money to defeat him as he raises himself.
Whether it is a potential Tea Party challenger — admittedly, Mitch has sold out Rand Paul, but the cement on that deal hasn’t hardened — or a viable Democrat waiting to finish him off after a brutal primary, Mitch is vulnerable. And despite what you read in Roll Call, he knows it.