Last night in Cleveland, Mitch McConnell made a statement that is a big fat lie even for a man who has had minimal contact with the truth since the oligarchs bought his little turtle balls.
The Senate Majority Leader’s statement at the Republican Convention concerns funding for the Zika virus, or, more accurately, the lack of funding. Congress went home without providing for an impending health crisis that will cost lives and cause birth deformities.*
This is what McConnell said: “As we sit here tonight, a terrifying mosquito-borne illness threatens expectant mothers and their babies along our southern coast. And just last week, Clinton Democrats** in the Senate blocked a bill aimed at eradicating that virus before it spread.”
This is what is true:
A bill to provide $1.1 billion in emergency funding to prevent Zika was introduced with bi-partisan support. It was passed in the House and Senate.
THEN Republicans loaded it up with sneaky ass riders that had nothing to do with Zika, but had a lot to do with conservative obsessions. The first provision would have defunded Planned Parenthood. The second would have removed hundreds of millions of contraception-related dollars from Affordable Care funding. The third would have turned back the clock on dangerous pesticide regulations.
Again…none of these had anything to do with the Zika funding bill as first approved.
The GOP brain trust knew it is not possible for Democrats to vote for a bill with these provisions in it and they also knew they could lay the failure to fund at the feet of the Dems.
This is a favorite trick of conservative ideologues and it’s brilliant in a sick way (like Hannibal Lechter). They get away with it because they know most good citizens are not going bother to fact check their fibs, even when there is a clear public record. The Republican constituency is more likely to spend their time researching celebrity feuds than watching C-Span.
During the floor debate, as Republicans manufactured the crisis, Harry Reid asked the following question: “What does he think? Does he think we’re all stupid? The American people are dumb?”
The answer to the last question is: Not only does McConnell think it, he relies on it.
Later this year as the election campaign is percolating to a boil, the Republicans will use this lie to bludgeon Hillary Clinton, if they don’t actually execute her first for lying. But when it comes to looking straight at the camera and telling a tall tale, Hillary is an amateur compared to Mitch.
When the virus gets to your state, please remember what actually happened in July. In November, please remember who we are dealing with.
(If you can find an error in what I wrote here, feel free to share your concerns.)
*This is not the fake Ebola epidemic, which the GOP forgot about right after the November 2014 elections (like, the day after).
** Since Clinton is not in office, it is unclear what a Clinton Democrat might be. Or did he just want to say “Clinton” one more time?