It’s best not to take anything Mitch McConnell says in good faith — on the Supreme Court judges, the filibuster, and just about anything else, the guy is a cynical and power-hungry political operator. That’s why I haven’t paid much attention to his recent complaints about MLB, Coca-Cola, and other corporations coming out against Georgia’s new Jim Crow laws. 

Still, what he said today about corporations making political statements truly blew my mind. Check this out:


At first I thought this was a joke, even if it was tweeted by a pretty serious Bloomberg reporter. I mean, could McConnell be so openly hypocritical and, frankly, pathetic? Did he really think he could say something like that and not 1. get laughed out of the room and 2. blow all of his leverage?

The answers are yes and yes!

Here’s the full quote:

“Republicans drink Coca-Cola too. And we fly, and we like baseball,” McConnell said. “I’m not talking about political contributions. I’m talking about taking a position on a highly incendiary issue like this and punishing a community or a state … I just think it’s stupid.”

McConnell has the power that he does in the GOP because he is the king of corporate money. His re-election campaign was the number one recipient of S&P 500 CEO contributions last year. Meanwhile, Wall Street has lavished his campaign and PAC with unconscionable sums of money, including $35 million from Blackstone Chairman Stephen Schwarzman to McConnell’s Senate Leadership Fund.

Mitch McConnell has spent his entire career grubbing for as much corporate money as possible, including when he challenged the McCain-Feingold limits back in 2002. He is a man devoid of principles or spine, motivated only by his need to cultivate donors, control Washington, and lavish money on those donors in return. 

His warnings ring hollow. Republicans want to seem like they’re the working class, anti-corporate party — they are tweeting that regularly now — but the reality is that they fully depend on them. 

That any Democrat would allow this hack to control the legislation they get passed into law is also mind-blowing. Ending the filibuster is absolutely necessary to make real progress and save democracy, and McConnell’s threats on that are equally as hollow. By eliminating the filibuster, it would not only allow big progressive policies to pass, but it would also strip McConnell of his power — and help at least bust a tire on the big corporate dump truck that fuels his career.

P.S. I have a political newsletter called Progressives Everywhere, which focuses in depth on voting rights, state legislatures, health care, and progressive policy. Every week, you’ll get deep dives on items like progressive ballot initiatives, saving the Supreme Court, the gig economy, the economics of student debt, and Democratic legislative victories. I also spotlight groups that are helping build progressive election power and retake red states as well as offer ways for people to get involved in creating progressive change by spotlighting important grassroots groups and voter registration organizations.

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