Kentucky Senate Seat up for Grabs in 2014?

Kentucky has gotten a lot of attention recently because of Mitch McConnell’s freak out at the rumors of Ashley Judd running against him in 2014. Honestly, the entire debacle has been very amusing to me. Though, in the past couple of weeks, there has been a lot of backlash from Democrats inside and outside of the state. Their reaction can be summed up like this:

“Seriously, Kentucky? For the first time Mitch McConnell is worried about reelection, and you’ve chosen an actress to run against him? You’re making fools out of yourself–be serious!”

And that annoys me.

No, we haven’t chosen an actress to run against the heretofore impossible-to-beat incumbent. You’re taking it as seriously as Mitch McConnell, and you’re taking all the fun out of this situation.

Pay attention: McConnell has been the heretofore impossible-to-beat incumbent, and he’s freaking the fuck out right now. McConnell has been a pain in the country’s ass for years now–can you step back for a second and try to imagine how it might be to have this PITA as one of your Senators? Just imagine for a few seconds, I’ll wait.

Got it? Okay.

Now. Stay with me here. Basketball is a really big deal in Kentucky. The NCAA basketball tournament is like a month-long holiday in Kentucky. In Kentucky, you’re either a Cardinals fan, or a Wildcats fan. You’re either Blue, or Red. Ashley Judd is a Wildcats fan. That’s a big deal. A celebrity, or anyone who is a Big Deal jumps into the UK vs UL fandom becomes part of the family. They’ve become one of us. Judd regularly attends UK games. So, the UK half of Kentucky kind of loves Ashley Judd. She’s a Big Deal, and she Gets It. Validation and all that.

Now.

A member of the Kentucky collective, messing with the head of the likes of Mitch McConnell, a guy who holds a lot of power, but does nothing for Kentucky? Who has embarrassed us on the national and international stage? We love it. Think of it as a grown-up pranking that mean old guy in the neighborhood who’s constantly harassing all of the neighborhood kids, while all of the kids are there to see. It’s hilarious. Vindication. It kind of makes your year.

Will Ashley Judd actually run? Don’t know. We don’t really care at the moment. We’re too busy soaking up the glory that is McConnell realizing he could lose his job, his power, and his gravy train, that he’s been milking at Kentucky’s expense.

So, naysayers. Be quiet for a moment. We’ve been waiting a long time for this. Don’t ruin the moment.

Election Day

Today is election day. Tonight we’ll see if Kentucky has gone completely insane. We’ll see if we deserve the reputation we’ve gotten nationally, and internationally.

I don’t need to read the reaction to Rand Paul’s campaign staffers jumping a young, liberal woman to know what the reaction is. I know there are scores of people blaming the woman for three men beating the ever-loving stool out of her. We blame women for being stalked, harassed, raped, beaten by their partners, why not blame them for conservative, tea bagging thugs stomping on their heads?

Thing is, this incident is a lot more than anyone else has bothered to say.

Domestic terrorism.

Voter intimidation.

Oh yeah, I said it. That’s what it is. These Rand Paul fanatics, supporters and employees, beat the stool out of this woman because she disagreed with them. Full stop. Plan and simple. This woman dared to speak publicly, voicing her political opinion, taking and exercising her Constitution-given right. And these Rand Paul thugs couldn’t stand it. I bet Rand Paul couldn’t stand it, either.

We are admonished as children to be careful who we choose to befriend, because who we associate with says a lot about us. Our friends reflect our values, and what’s more, these friends influence us.

Rand Paul chose to associate with violent, fanatical thugs. He chose to associate with men who believe our Constitutional rights only apply to them, and people who look and think like them. Anyone else? Better sit down, and shut up, or they’ll beat the stool out of you, too. Sounds like Al-Qaeda. Why? Because they are very, very similar. Using violence, or threat of violence to silence dissent is domestic terrorism.

It’s also voter intimidation. Voting is the ultimate way we express our political opinions. Will this woman ever be able to attend a rally, vote, or even wear a button without checking around to make sure tea bagger, Rand Paul thugs aren’t around? It’s doubtful.

Rand Paul’s thugs didn’t just intimidate this one, single woman. They intimidated all of us. They sent a message to all women, to all liberals: here’s what will happen to you if you don’t do exactly as we say.

Rand Paul disassociated with these thugs too little, too late. He, and the tea party spent months courting these thugs, and people like them, whipping them up into a fervor, feeding them lies, telling them that we liberals want to kill America and eat their babies, especially us liberal women. I’m horrified at what happened to Lauren Valle, but I’m not surprised in the least. This isn’t an isolated incident.

Tea party candidates across the nation have themselves, or had their employees use threat of violence, or actual violence against citizens who question them. Joe Miller hired military servicemembers as security, who then assaulted and illegally detained a reporter for asking a question. Rand Paul and Dan Seum manhandled a 70-something year old man who dared to ask questions they didn’t like at the Southwest Government Center here in Louisville. This shows a pattern. A pattern of violence, contempt of dissent, disregard for our Constitution and our political process. We cannot as responsible citizens condone this behavior. Not by ignorant individuals, and certainly not candidates to political office in the United States government.

Responsible and ethical Republican and conservative friends and readers, this is not the party you believe in. I’m sorry to say it, but ignorance, hatred, greed, and contempt have infected your party, and led to these despicable events. However much you may wish for your party to gain power, today is not the time. Violence needs to be quelled. Fanatics need to be purged. Hatred needs to be expelled from your ranks. There needs to be some in-house cleaning, and that cannot happen when these fanatics believe their tactics intimidated us, and gotten them what they wanted.

I stood up in the face of Rand Paul thugs’ intimidation and violence. As a liberal woman, I stood up and voted today. Against violence. Against voter intimidation. Against silencing of dissent.

But not without checking around me for Rand Paul supporters.