Mitch McConnell Earns the Wrath of Anti-Obamacare Jihadists

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.

Today brings the weirdest fact check ever. It turns out that Mitch McConnell’s primary opponent, Matt Bevin, has leveled the worst accusation that it’s possible to accuse a fellow Republican of. So what is it? Pedophilia? Raising taxes? Putting a solar panel on his house?

Nope. It’s insufficient dedication to destroying Obamacare. And McConnell is fighting back by enlisting the Washington Post’s fact checker to check some facts. But here’s what prompted Glenn Kessler to give Bevin a thermonuclear four Pinocchios:

McConnell, as Obama would attest, has been a consistent thorn in the side of the administration on the health-care law. For instance, McConnell helped ensure that not a single Republican—including even moderates who were sympathetic to Obama’s aims–voted for the final version of the law….McConnell’s office provided The Fact Checker with links to the more than 100 speeches, made between June 2009 and March 2010, and they were often fairly tough. Indeed, as Talking Points Memo has noted, the irony is rich that anti-Obamacare machine McConnell helped foster has now turned against him.

This is….weird. As even Kessler acknowledges, Bevin’s attack is solely about defunding Obamacare, not about opposing it back in 2010. I mean, just watch the attack ad. It’s crystal clear. And yet, the best McConnell can do is point to 100 speeches given before Obamacare passed? He’s all but conceding that Bevin is right.

I certainly agree about the richness of the irony that McConnell’s anti-Obamacare machine has turned against him. And I agree that on a tactical basis, McConnell is correct that the anti-Obamacare jihad is virtually certain to fail and virtually certain to hurt Republicans in the end. His political sense on this is better than Bevin’s.

Nonetheless, on a purely factual basis, it sure looks to me like Bevin is right. In the fight against defunding Obamacare, McConnell is pretty plainly not on the side of the tea partiers who want to see their representatives battle it out to the bitter end. So why all the Pinocchios?

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate