The Stunning Hypocrisy Of Mitch McConnell And Kentucky Coal

Published On August 8, 2014 | By Bob Rowen |

hy•poc•ri•sy noun \hi-ˈpä-krə-sē also hī-\ : the behavior of people who do things that they tell other people not to do : behavior that does not agree with what someone claims to believe or feel.

Hypocrisy is a word that gets thrown around a lot in political campaigns, especially when we talk about the GOP. Most often the subject accused of hypocrisy dances around the issue with the justification that two actions which trigger the accusation are not exactly the same, like professing to carry Christian values while cutting aid to the poor or believing strongly in the sanctity of life while favoring the death penalty or calling for war.

Every once in a while, though, there come along a case in which the two actions are precisely contradictory – and that brings us to Mitch McConnell. Last month, McConnell hit his opponent hard for her support of President Obama and his administration’s alison-grimes2climate agenda for the impact it has on Kentucky’s coal industry. While he never fully made the connection, his message was clear. McConnell is a friend to the coal industry and his Democratic opponent for his senate seat Alison Grimes is not.

So where is the hypocrisy in that? McConnell has long been a vocal advocate for the coal industry that has put so much money in his campaign coffers for years. But then, there is McConnell’s wife and the source of his burgeoning personal net worth, Elaine Chao. You see, Chao sits on the board of not one, but two institutions that are less than friendly to the coal industry, Bloomburg Philanthropies and Wells Fargo. The bank is not flagrantly anti-coal, but has announced it will divest itself from surface coal mining concerns. Bloomburg goes much, much further.

Bloomburg philanthropies recently put $50 million into the Sierra Club’s “Beyond Coal” initiative, a move aimed squarely at “ending America’s dependence on coal” and retire one-third of the nation’s aging coal fleet by 2020.”  

So, while one side of the McConnell family positions itself as a champion of the coal industry that is so deeply bound to Kentucky’s roots, the other side is actively doing all it can to eliminate that same industry.

Sounds like the very definition of hypocrisy to me.

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PHOTO: Huffington Post

Bob Rowen
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Bob Rowen

A lifelong politics junkie with particular interests in privatization and other business and labor issues like minimum wage and immigration.Robert Rowen is also a writer of fiction.His first novel is called The Ballad of Llewellynn.

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Bob Rowen
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