BREAKING NEWS With virus 'unrelenting,' Minnesota Gov. Walz says new package coming to help small businesses Full Story
CLOSINGS: View Closings

Mitch McConnell's disturbing chuckle

Article Image

Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell debated Democratic Senate candidate Amy McGrath, a former fighter pilot, over coronavirus relief and the Supreme Court.

Posted: Oct 14, 2020 11:41 AM
Updated: Oct 14, 2020 11:41 AM

Mitch McConnell appears to think this is some kind of joke.

At a televised debate Monday night, Amy McGrath, who is running against McConnell for a US Senate seat from Kentucky, noted again and again that a pandemic has plunged the country into an unrelenting crisis and McConnell's Republican-controlled Senate is refusing to do anything to alleviate the pain. In response, McConnell laughed. And laughed. And laughed.

And then he blamed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

More than 210,000 Americans are dead. At least 26 million people are collecting unemployment benefits, and many more than that are unemployed, underemployed, or in danger of losing their jobs.

More than 600,000 women left the workforce in September alone (compared with 78,000 men), according to government data.

And while the Republican controlled Senate, where McConnell is the majority leader, can get it together to hold lightning-speed confirmation hearings aimed at thrusting Amy Coney Barrett onto the Supreme Court before the November 3 election, they have shown no such ability to advance a new relief package for those hundreds of millions of Americans struggling — many with jobs and lives in ruins — as a deadly disease continues its rampage through their communities.

A relief bill is sitting on Mitch "I know how to make deals" McConnell's desk, and he's pushed it aside.

And there's really no charitable reading possible for McConnell's chuckling at a debate over the question of Covid relief.

There's nothing funny about the utter, unconscionable failures over which this Senate Majority Leader has presided. There's nothing funny about more Americans dead from Covid-19 than died in World War I, Vietnam, the Korean War, and the Iraq war combined. Or that while the US contributes just 4% percent of the world's population, it makes up 20% of the world's Covid deaths.

But the point is not only that McConnell found something to laugh about in Covid deaths, although it was striking that chortling was the response he reached for. His laughter-as-answer to McGrath came off as something else, and a reaction that will be familiar to many women: Condescension and dismissiveness. You foolish girl ... You just don't understand how it works. (It's an illuminating bit of video, if you haven't yet watched.)

As for the actual metrics of chaos that McGrath laid at his feet — the unemployed Americans, the dead Americans — McConnell couldn't even pretend to care. The effect was one of arrogance — not to mention stunningly cold and even sexist.

"She mentions she was in the Marines about every other sentence," McConnell said, derisively. "I think her entire campaign is: she's a Marine, she's a mom, and I've been there (in Washington) too long." Translation: She's just a Marine and just a mom; she doesn't know what she's doing, which is why she's questioning what I've done.

The defense McConnell offered for his do-nothing party is that the other side won't negotiate — even though House Democrats did indeed pass a $2.2 trillion stimulus bill early this month, which McConnell has rejected. And McConnell can manage to rally his troops to, as McGrath put it, "ram through a Supreme Court nominee right now, instead of negotiating, which is what he should have been doing all summer long to make that happen."

Despite being a member of the party of personal responsibility, McConnell refuses to accept accountability for the Senate's dereliction of duty on additional Covid relief for Americans. Instead, he blames Pelosi, who gets the bulk of his ire, and he heaps condescension on another woman — his political opponent, McGrath — for having the temerity to even ask.

Kentucky is currently facing a backlog of some 75,000 unresolved unemployment claims — state residents who are out of a job but unable to collect much-needed benefits. Drug deaths, obesity rates and cancer rates are all stunningly high. About 1 in 4 children in Kentucky lives in poverty — and that was before Covid-19 wiped out tens of thousands of Kentucky jobs.

The state saw a remarkable drop in the percentage of uninsured residents, thanks to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), going from 66% uninsured in 2010 to a mere 5.5% uninsured by 2019.

But now, with his state, and the country, trapped in the teeth of a pandemic, McConnell has forced confirmation hearings for a conservative Supreme Court nominee who many believe would join in a decision to obliterate the ACA in a case set to come before the court in just a few weeks.

Now the question is: Will Kentucky voters agree that this is all a laughing matter?

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 270157

Reported Deaths: 3297
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin579261084
Ramsey24528470
Anoka19211213
Dakota18738176
Washington12351104
Stearns1200389
Scott735654
St. Louis712297
Wright646135
Olmsted604730
Sherburne499538
Clay435954
Carver397312
Blue Earth367011
Rice350331
Kandiyohi337613
Crow Wing306729
Nobles293828
Chisago27778
Benton256338
Otter Tail251415
Winona240928
Mower232822
Polk222221
Douglas211929
Morrison207521
Lyon189810
McLeod18089
Beltrami177115
Goodhue173126
Becker16769
Itasca165223
Steele16396
Todd161412
Isanti159115
Carlton148310
Nicollet144523
Freeborn13625
Mille Lacs129030
Le Sueur12899
Waseca128710
Pine11625
Cass11538
Brown112610
Meeker10117
Martin97020
Roseau9443
Hubbard92822
Wabasha8961
Dodge7770
Watonwan7604
Redwood75118
Chippewa7437
Renville68818
Sibley6844
Cottonwood6800
Wadena6706
Pipestone65618
Aitkin64722
Rock6259
Houston6012
Fillmore5910
Yellow Medicine55310
Unassigned52756
Murray5173
Pennington5076
Kanabec49711
Swift4835
Faribault4650
Pope4620
Stevens4342
Clearwater4156
Marshall4047
Jackson3981
Lake3463
Koochiching3275
Wilkin3175
Lac qui Parle3123
Lincoln3081
Norman3006
Big Stone2711
Mahnomen2404
Grant2256
Red Lake1833
Kittson1786
Traverse1190
Lake of the Woods821
Cook570

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 210482

Reported Deaths: 2173
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk31270322
Linn13252158
Scott1022075
Black Hawk10209126
Woodbury9870111
Johnson900835
Dubuque866490
Story637819
Dallas595555
Pottawattamie574666
Sioux349925
Webster330928
Marshall327841
Cerro Gordo323041
Clinton303637
Buena Vista290214
Muscatine266964
Des Moines266116
Plymouth257937
Warren254610
Wapello239971
Jones221112
Jasper202739
Marion191518
Carroll188220
Lee188015
Bremer176012
Henry16847
Crawford168215
Benton157414
Tama145140
Jackson13608
Delaware134721
Boone127711
Washington126513
Dickinson126210
Mahaska119027
Wright11425
Buchanan10789
Page10774
Hardin105810
Clay10434
Harrison101428
Clayton10084
Cedar98913
Hamilton9877
Mills9806
Calhoun9787
Fayette9588
Lyon9458
Floyd92614
Kossuth9214
Poweshiek91512
Butler8943
Winneshiek88910
Winnebago87423
Iowa86711
Louisa79916
Hancock7947
Chickasaw7853
Grundy77310
Sac7617
Cherokee7484
Cass73519
Appanoose7336
Shelby7184
Allamakee71111
Mitchell7074
Emmet70123
Guthrie69215
Union6866
Franklin67619
Humboldt6495
Madison6414
Jefferson6121
Palo Alto6044
Unassigned5810
Keokuk5237
Pocahontas5072
Howard4999
Osceola4941
Greene4860
Clarke4564
Ida42810
Monroe42812
Montgomery42610
Davis4225
Taylor4162
Adair4066
Monona3912
Fremont3432
Worth3330
Van Buren3294
Lucas3056
Decatur2950
Wayne2836
Audubon2811
Ringgold1832
Adams1521
Rochester
Clear
36° wxIcon
Hi: 37° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 31°
Mason City
Clear
37° wxIcon
Hi: 38° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 30°
Albert Lea
Clear
34° wxIcon
Hi: 37° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 26°
Austin
Clear
36° wxIcon
Hi: 39° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 31°
Charles City
Clear
36° wxIcon
Hi: 38° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 31°
Colder Monday, Rain & Snow Tuesday
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Sean's Weather 7/23

Image

Holiday cooking safety for Thanksgiving

Image

Turkey farmers adapting to the pandemic for Thanksgiving

Image

Jefferson Elementary students sending messages of hope

Image

Salvation Army needs support

Image

Rep. Bennett on restrictions

Image

Christmas drive for foster children

Image

Sunday weather

Image

Nupa responds to new COVID-19 restrictions

Image

Saturday Weather

Community Events