Monday, November 8, 2010


Our recent election has been characterized by many as against the establishment in Washington (and Frankfort). More than just "throw the rascals out" was "throw them all out."

I'd like to suggest another was also against the party establishment.

A few years ago, when the Dems in Frankfort couldn't find anyone to take on Jim Bunning, Lt. Gov. Dan Mongiardo stepped up, and, surprise!, darn near won. (Had it not been for some sleazy GOP statements implying he was gay, he probably would have won).

Fast forward and the Grand Master of the Grand Old Party, Sen. Mitch McConnell, forces Bunning out. (Thanks, Jim, for all your service. Oh, you already have a watch.) He picks Trey Grayson to run, as the Establishment anoints.

This laying on of hands didn't sit well with the ultra-right wing of the party, and Rand Paul decides to run. He wins --handily, as the voters decide to buck the Republican Establishment. Mitch swallows hard and backs the tea partier –albeit late in the campaign.

On the other side, Mongiardo runs again. He should have had the thanks and backing of the Democratic Establishment for his earlier valiant run, but no. They anoint Jack Conway. Thanks to establishment backing, Conway narrowly wins in the primary.

Now it's General Election time. Conway runs a bad campaign. Could Lt. Gov. Dan have done better? We'll never know for sure. But look at the Jefferson county vote, Conway's home county. He carries it narrowly. Mongiardo carried it big time when he ran against Bunning. These days, if you're a Democrat and you don't carry Jefferson and Fayette by big margins, you seldom win statewide.

So, one way to view the Kentucky returns this election year is as a repudiation of the party establishments--both of them.

Will they get the message?

Do woodchucks really chuck wood?

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