By John David Dyche
Henry David Thoreau famously wrote that "most men lead lives of quiet desperation." In this campaign season, however, the desperation of some politicians is downright deafening.
For example, Republican U. S. Senate candidate Matt Bevin gives new meaning to the maxim that "desperate times call for desperate measures." Bevin attended a rally in support of the bloodthirsty practice of cockfighting, but upon being caught claimed he thought it was a "states' rights" event.
When that failed, Bevin tried to defend the despicably cruel cockfighting culture by saying that some of the Founding Fathers had engaged in it. Perhaps cockfighting's criminality is properly a state issue instead of a federal one, but Bevin's bungling and deceit once again discredited his argument.
Next, Bevin appeared at a rally with noted buffoon Glenn Beck. The pseudo-intellectual radio charlatan declared the day to be "the beginning of miracles," invoked the Gospel of John's story of Jesus declaring himself to the disciples, and said he believed that Bevin "was called of God."
This tripe goes beyond mere desperation and ventures dangerously far into the realm of derangement. Beck is may be a loud voice ranting in the political wilderness, but the dissembling Bevin is definitely not the political messiah.
Democrats may be even more desperate. They will do anything to distract the voting public from the ongoing Obamacare debacle.
Their fear of the voters' wrath is at least rational, especially in light of a recent Morgan Stanley survey showing that health insurance premiums are spiking dramatically. In Kentucky, average increases in the individual and small group markets over last year are a staggering 29% and 30%, respectively!
The Obama administration claims that over 7 million people have "enrolled" and says debate about the law is over. Apparently the public is supposed to accept this self-serving declaration from the same folks who falsely said, "If you like your health plan you can keep it," bogusly claimed that a video inspired the Benghazi attacks, and comically denied even a "smidgen" of corruption in IRS targeting of conservative groups.
Tellingly, the administration still will not disclose how many enrollees have actually paid for coverage under Obamacare or were previously uninsured. Because such inconvenient facts would further expose his signature accomplishment as a fraudulent failure, President Obama and his U. S. Senate candidate in Kentucky, Alison Lundergan Grimes, are determined to change the subject.
So the Democratic duo of Obama & Grimes is staging political vaudeville shows trying to trump up some public interest in an alleged pay disparity between men and women. Their evasive efforts face two big problems.
First, women who work in Obama's White House make less on average than men who work there do. Busted! Second, as myriad analyses make undeniably clear, the so-called "wage gap" between women and men essentially disappears when differences in education, marital status, and occupations are properly accounted for.
Even Ruth Marcus of the Washington Post, who may be America's best liberal columnist, admits, "The level of hyperbole — actually, of demagoguery — that Democrats have engaged in here is revolting."
But desperate Democrats care not a whit about facts when they are bent on deceiving voters with pure political fiction.
Unfortunately for Grimes, the very same day as her pageant to praise Obama's fatuous "Equal Pay Day" some of her male cronies were waging their own war on women in Frankfort. The Kentucky Legislative Ethics Commission let former Democratic state representative John Arnold of Sturgis off the hook for sexually harassing and inappropriately touching three African-American female legislative aides.
As Sam Youngman of the Lexington Herald-Leader reported, "The deciding vote against punishing Arnold was cast by Elmer George, who has contributed $5,200 to Grimes' campaign and was appointed to the commission late last year by House Speaker Greg Stumbo, who has played a major role at several campaign events for Grimes." So much for sisterhood!
Grimes did not talk about this travesty or respond to reporters' questions at her event, but the next day issued an unconvincing statement that she was "disappointed" (but not enough to return a campaign contribution from Arnold). Given her rank hypocrisy and the overall outrage it is hard to imagine any self-respecting Kentucky woman supporting Grimes or helping Stumbo and his gang of "good ole boy" Democrats hold onto their House majority this fall.
Benjamin Disraeli wrote, "Desperation is sometimes as powerful an inspirer as genius." Sadly, such inspiration sometimes produces some pretty shabby displays.
John David Dyche is a Louisville attorney and a political commentator for WDRB.com. His e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @jddyche.